We always recommend Gary Wilson’s book “Your Brain on Porn-Internet Pornography and the emerging Science of Addiction” because it sets out the key science in this area. It is especially good at explaining adolescent brain development in a totally accessible way and is full of great stories by the people who are working on recovery. It builds on his successful TEDx talk The Great Porn Experiment that has had over 9 million views on YouTube and been translated into 18 languages.
Stanford professor emeritus of social psychology, Philip Zimbardo (Stanford Prison Experiment) has worked with Nikita Coulombe to produce an excellent book called Man Interrupted – Why Young Men Are Struggling and What We Can Do About it. Building on his own short but pithy TED talk, The Demise of Guys, Zimbardo and Coulombe set out the social, economic and environmental factors that are shaping young men today and driving them to the easy rewards found on the internet.
If you liked the cartoon film Inside Out, you’ll love this more advanced but nonetheless simple guide to key neurochemicals that influence our behaviour and habits. It is Habits of a Happy Brain, Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin and Endorphin Levels by Dr Loretta Graziano Breuning. Loretta kindly accepted an invitation by TRF to speak at The Melting Pot, Edinburgh in June. The room was packed and the talk was very well received.
Reset Your Child’s Brain – A 4-week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Dr Victoria Dunckley, child psychiatrist. She reckons that 80% of the children she sees do not have the mental health problems (like ADHD, depression, anxiety etc.) they have been diagnosed with and medicated for. Dr Dunckley has found that after a 3 to 4-week screen fast the symptoms of ‘electronic screen syndrome’ reduce or disappear in most cases. She sets out the science and a compelling case for a digital detox.
This is a pair of books by another very experienced American therapist, Rob Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S. We learned a lot from Sex Addiction 101 – a Guide to Healing from Sex, Porn, and Love Addiction. It has a companion Workshop Guide 24 Proven Exercises to Guide Sex Addiction Recovery. He has done extensive work with the LGBT+ community.
If you are a psychotherapist or counselor working on internet pornography issues especially with teenagers you may be interested in a book called “How to Recover from Cyber Pornography Addiction -the Teen Cyber Pornography Workbook” by Christopher Mulligan LCSW. Mulligan is an experienced American therapist who sets out a 16-week recovery programme. It is a self-published book and has a few typos but otherwise is a great resource. It draws on the teachings of experts in the field like clinician Dr Patrick Carnes and academics Dr David Delmonico and Dr Elizabeth Griffin.
Sex, Likes and Social Media – Talking to our Teens in the Digital Age by Allison Havey and Deana Puccio, (American but based in London) founders of The RAP Project. This is a very readable book by two mothers of 5 adolescents with practical advice for parents living the reality of teenage dating life today. They also do talks in schools about the impact of the internet on teenage behaviour and well-being.