Psychological Affiliates Inc delivers Orlando patients state of the art Psychologists services. Our experts specialize in Family Counseling, Psychology and Collaborative Divorce Psychology.
Psychology in Orlando, FL at Psychological Affiliates offers treatments for a variety of issues. Our minds and bodies and emotions are all interconnected. Your body is a responsive living organism. It is responsive to what you think and how you feel. When you have healthy emotional health, you are self-aware. You are aware of how you feel about things, your thought process, have healthy relationships, and are generally a happy and mentally healthy person. However, the slightest stressors can throw you off kilter. Even positive stressors like a job promotion can throw you off balance in the emotional health department (American Academy of Family Physicians, 2017).
Premature Ejaculation can be caused by both psychological and biological factors. Though this tends to be a sensitive subject matter, it is far more common than most would think. What is wonderful about the fact that both biological and psychological factors play roles in this issue, is that Premature Ejaculation is completely treatable (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 2017).
A majority of the time, physical ailments are caused because of our state of mind and state of emotion. Think about it, people with high anxiety are prone to develop stomach ulcers, acid reflux, and high blood pressure. The best way to resolve those issues, is to address the underlying problem, the stressor, causing anxiety. You would also need to address with how you react to and deal with anxiety. Our go-to coping mechanisms may not be the healthiest choices. People tend to self-medicate with tobacco, drugs, and alcohol (American Academy of Family Physicians, 2017). Many use food as a crutch. These are all symptoms of a much bigger problem; however, they lead to even greater problems when not addressed properly. When you are distressed mentally and emotionally, your body reacts with symptoms of this imbalance. Many common symptoms of this imbalance are:
(American Academy of Family Physicians, 2017).
At Psychological Affiliates, we seek to treat the underlying problem, not just the symptoms. Treating these issues holistically, gives you the power to living a balanced life. Medications and sexual techniques can help treat P.E., however, it is important to include some sort of counseling, either with the combination of these things, or just counseling alone. It is suggested that you seek the guidance of a skilled professional like doctors at Psychological Affiliates before tackling P.E. with medications outside of the office. Some medications, while they advertise to correct the situation, may only cause further harm, and cause possible other side effects that further complicate things. It is best to address the underlying issues that are leading to P.E., as it is a symptom of something else (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 2017).
Premature Ejaculation is classified as one of the two following classifications:
Possible Causes that could be Psychologically Related would be:
Early Sexual Experiences
Worrying about P.E.
Poor Body Image
Each of these things can play a role in Premature Ejaculation. A psychologist can help you with any of these topics. The time to seek out the help of a doctor is the moment you are ready to make a change and move on to live a healthier life, emotionally, physically, and sexually. Call for a consult today, full discretion is a staple at Psychological Affiliates.
American Academy of Family Physicians. (2017). FamilyDoctor.org. Retrieved from http://familydoctor.org
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). (2017). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://mayoclinic.org
We know that when you decide to get a divorce, it’s not an easy or quick decision. When things got tough, you thought long and hard about taking this next big step. Sure, it was hard to think about separating from your partner, but the thought of bringing your kids into a messy situation deterred you the most. So when you make that final decision—we know you haven’t taken it lightly. The worst part? Court. You think you’re going to tie up the loose ends when you hire a divorce lawyer, but then the problems start to unravel and things get messy. Tensions rise, and suddenly you’ve acted like you never dreamed you would around your kids. What will they think? Will your divorce divide the rest of your family along with it?
Well, say goodbye to the consequences of litigation and hello to peaceful resolution. As of March 9, 2016, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into effect the Collaborative Law Process Act. This makes Florida the 15th State in the US to do this. Why go to court when you can resolve your problems without involving legal jargon? Now, this act isn’t just for divorce—it can also be applied to paternity cases and other disputes like probate, employment, and even business disputes.
So what does this mean? The Collaborative Law Process Act is an alternative method to litigation. It’s Florida’s way of giving you another option besides going to court with your problems. Each party hires an attorney and tries to peacefully work out terms of their settlement sans-court processes. It’s an opportunity to talk through vital issues, learn how to communicate to the best of your ability, and work things out without resorting to ugly court battles. When dealing with financial issues, a financial expert will be present to calmly deal with any discrepancies. The expert or planner will take stock of each party’s assets and liabilities and offer advice and guidance on how to divide these up fairly. Additionally, mental health professions, like psychologists in Orlando, FL, work with each party to communicate productively.
In essence, the Collaborative Process Act rounds up a team of professionals to help you focus on what really matters—your happiness. There is no “winning” or “losing” during this collaborative process—the only way to “win” is to come to a complete consensus i.e. an agreement that both parties are both content with the compromises they’ve made. This method allows both parties to walk away with mutual respect and understanding—maybe even more than they did before they began the process. Not only does this process come with less drama, but it also comes with less financial cost. Around 80% of those who have settled disputes with this process have reported success.
Don’t you want a peaceful end to all of the pain you’ve already experienced? Thanks to Orlando Collaborative Law for Divorce, we can look to a future of supporting our children peacefully and maturely.
At Psychological Affiliates, we are a group of mental health professionals founded by psychologist Dr. Deborah O. Day in 1988. We provide extensive, comprehensive, collaborative outpatient services for people with a variety mental health issues, lifestyles, and Orlando, FL psychology needs. From individual to group therapy, and even family therapy or evaluations, our experienced, qualified team can do it all. For over twenty-five years, we’ve specialized in areas like child abuse, divorce, play therapy, criminal or forensic psychology, parenting plan evaluation, and more. We work collaboratively with legal professionals, physicians, state agencies, inpatient facilities, and non-profit organizations to provide the most comprehensive service possible for our clients. Our team is specially qualified to work with martial and family issues, from separation to divorce, and even issues of custody and paternity. Two of the most popular services we offer are called supervised visitation and monitored exchange.
Supervised Visitation and Monitored Exchange: The Basics
If you’ve been through a divorce or separation, you already know how painful it can be when a child or multiple children are involved. Marital problems are already stressful and time consuming, without the added worry about the health, safety, and comfort of your child. If you aren’t familiar with supervised visitation, this refers to the contact between non-residential visiting parents and children while in the presence of a neutral third party, whose priorities are only focused on the safety and comfort of the children. This is also referred to as monitored visitation, supervised access, and supervised contact. Monitored exchange, also known as supervised exchange, refers to the supervision by a third party of the transferring of a child or children from one parent to another, allowing the two parents to not come into contact with each other. This does not include supervision during the remainder of the contact between children and parents. The purpose of supervised visitation and monitored exchange are to ensure that a child or children have safe contact with their non-residential parent, without being placed into the conflict that their parents may be embroiled in. It allows a child to have the healthy parental contact they need, without stress, anxiety, or fear, so they can maintain the relationship in a healthy way. As well as benefitting the children, a monitored exchange can benefit parents, too. For parents, monitored exchange can ensure that you don’t have to have contact with a person that causes you distress, anger, fear, or intimidation, while knowing that the safety and comfort of your child is being made a priority by an objective person. In the case of parental separation or divorce, supervised visitation and monitored exchange can be court ordered or arranged by the parents with the help of a mediator.
How Psychological Affiliates Can Help:
By undergoing specialized training, our marriage and family team provide superior mental health services for those needing help with marital therapy, divorce-related services, sex, and even children and adolescents. We know that every family is unique, so we take the time to understand the specific interactions, needs, complaints, goals, and desires of each person in a family. Our marital and family therapists have the experience and knowledge to help you, your children, and your family through any problem you may have. Through Partners with Families, we offer a court-ordered Orlando supervised visitation and monitored exchange program, available seven days a week, as well as evening. Our qualified, experienced supervisors are trained fully consistent with the standards of the Supervised Visitation Network, to provide the best, most up-to-date service possible. Before supervised participation and monitored exchange, all family members must have an interview with Sherry White, our director of services, and sign a Conditions of Participation and Policies Agreement. Additionally, a copy of the court order will be required.
At Psychological affiliates, we offer a wide range of services for marital issues, from collaborative divorce and mediation, to divorce education classes, and our Kids Place education program. Dr. Day received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Florida Institute of Technology, as has been practicing as a licensed mental health counselor, licensed psychologist, and certified family mediator for decades. Her practice specialties include areas such as forensic psychology, divorce, collaborative law, and more. We offer services that can be personalized for each and every individual that steps through the door; no matter what you need, we can help. If you are experiencing separation or divorce, or are interested in supervised visitation and monitored exchange, call our office today to schedule a consultation today.
For many people, a romantic relationship is a precious bond. Your partner is your teammate in life, your main source of support, your lover, your companion, and your best friend. But after an affair, it can seem as if nothing will be the same. When an affair occurs, the crucial feelings of trust and safety disappear, and the foundations of the relationship start to crumble. You may wonder if there’s anything you can do to save the relationship; at Psychological Affiliates, we can help. Although each couple and they challenges they face are unique, our expert psychological team can give you the best chance at working towards peace and happiness once again.
Generally, infidelity appears in marriages or relationships lasting over 10 years, with cheating occurring most frequently in the first two years. The influence of therapy will depend greatly on the depth of the connection that was present before the affair, the type of affair, the personal emotional meaning of the betrayal to the partner, the level of resilience of the partner, and the mutual motivation to stay together. When making the decision to divorce or break up, or stay together, you will need to balance both your emotions and logic, in order to determine what is best for you and your family. At times like this, it can be extremely helpful to clarify your feelings, options, and perceptions with a licensed psychologist. This is crucial if you, your partner, or other members of your family are struggling with grief, depression, or other painful emotions.
If both you and your partner want the relationship to succeed and become healthy again, or are open to exploring the possibility, healing can occur after an affair. By interviewing and evaluating each partner, along with interviewing the couple together, our team can pinpoint the root cause of the affair, and come up with a treatment plan tailored to your unique situation. When creating a treatment plan, there are many variables to consider, from current lifestyle to desired end goal. As a part of the treatment plan, partners will likely need to participate in acknowledging their wrongs, and accepting responsibility for their actions, cultivating forgiveness, re-establishing trust through personal accountability and full honesty and transparency, fostering deeper intimacy by sharing vulnerabilities, and spending time to think about how to have more fun together, and starting to enjoy each others company again. If a relationship has a history of repeated offenses and subsequent pleas for forgiveness or promises of change, and then recurrent relapses, couples may need a more detailed evaluation, more demanding therapy, or even a completely different approach. As a team with qualified relationship therapists, at Psychological Affiliates we can apply empirically-proven psychological principles to help you and your partner identify, execute, and achieve your goals for the relationship. We will work within you and your partner’s value systems, while maintaining full confidentiality.
Orlando psychologist Dr. Day has been facilitating expectation-exceeding, comprehensive psychological healing in since 1988. She knows that relationship therapy is one of the most important ways to aid to couples who are struggling through any number of issues, from intimacy to play. With regularly-scheduled sessions, similar to any other form of one-on-one or group therapy, we can help you bring peace and romance back to your relationship. The first few sessions will be dedicated to the collection of information about you and your partner’s personal histories, along with your shared history as a couple. This can be completed individually in a private setting, or together as a couple, depending on your comfort and preference. During relationship therapy, we will usually cover areas such as communication, sexual adjustment, emotional intimacy, acceptance, commitment, and play. Each one of these areas are vital for making progress in functioning, expression, comfort, trust, satisfaction, giving, receiving, healing, having fun together, and everything else that goes in to a successful relationship. Communication, especially, is important throughout the entire process, encompassing both anger management and conflict resolution. By improving all of these areas, the goal is for partners to be able to express their feelings calmly and considerately, and analyze the deeper causes of their negative emotions. Eventually, couples will be able to come up with lasting solutions that result in happiness and satisfaction. As a general guideline, six to ten sessions may be needed to address all issues and promote healing. For relationship and sex therapy in Orlando that exceeds expectations, schedule a consultation at Psychological Affiliates today.
At Psychological Affiliates, we offer many different types of psychotherapy in Orlando, and the central Florida area. From co-parenting therapy to hypnotherapy, sex therapy, and even individual therapy, we cater to children, adolescents, and adults using a wide variety of evidence-based models for therapy. One of our greatest assets at Psychological Affiliates is our experienced family psychotherapy team, who strive to improve and understand the way members of a family interact amongst each other and resolve conflict. Whether you’re wondering what to expect from family psychotherapy, or just trying to learn more, we have the answers.
What Is Family Psychotherapy?
Family psychotherapy is great not only for families as a whole, but even an individual within a family. This kind of psychotherapy creates healthy communication, strengthens relationships, and allows family members to work together for a common goal: positive change. From deeper issues of trust to simple disagreements, we can do it all. Our marriage and family therapists are trained extensively with a focus on family relationships, and know that each and every family is unique. We offer personalized service in a safe, open environment. By encouraging trust and comfort over time, family psychotherapy can restore healing to those who are struggling, or even continue to build upon a family foundation that is already strong.
Family Psychotherapy: What Can I Expect?
You may be nervous about your first session, or even worried about whether or not family psychotherapy will be a good for for your family. If so, you aren’t alone! When a family is struggling to maintain trust, support, and healthy communication, it can almost seem like it’s too late; many people may believe their family is already past the point of no return. However, this is definitely not the case. When it comes to family therapy, the biggest and most important step is walking into the office. After that, any issues can start to be resolved. During a first session, your therapist will get to know your family, generally both as a whole group and as individuals. You may spend some time on your own with the therapist, along with some time with all or a few members of your family. This will allow the therapist to get to know you better, along with different dynamics within your family. Initially, your therapist will want to evaluate the way the family interacts, any complaints that are brought up, and the role that each family member fits. In family psychotherapy, it’s not just about catering to those who are the oldest or youngest, those who are the loudest, or those who have the most complaints; family psychotherapy is about the needs and perspectives of each and every single person in the family. Without detailed attention to each person, the family will not achieve maximum healing and health. Before getting started, the therapist will lay down ground rules and boundaries that are necessary for session, to ensure everyone is on the same page. These ground rules can even outline who will or will not need to attend future sessions, how future sessions may proceed, and how often your family should attend therapy based on your needs. At Psychological Affiliates, our marriage and family team has the knowledge and experience to work with your family in order to determine what kind of treatment and scheduling will be best for you. We encourage constant feedback, and will answer any and all questions you may have about the process. Your concerns are our priority.
Ultimately, the most important part of a family psychotherapy session is how you feel. In family therapy, you will not feel like your therapist is on any one family member’s side. Our therapists remain completely neutral, supporting the entire family unit in order to allow everyone to feel supported, safe, and comfortable. Your therapist will not play favorites, pick sides, or invalidate your perspective and feelings. You can feel comfortable knowing that your entire family’s best interest in constantly at the forefront of our minds. We will work with your family on communication, trust, support, and even play.
If you are interested in trying family psychotherapy to strengthen your family or even help heal one that is struggling, call Psychological Affiliates today to schedule a consultation.Your Psychological Affiliates Psychologist in Orlando will ensure that services are completely confidential, discreet, and can be made to work with even the busiest schedules. Don’t let grudges, mistrust, and arguments stop your family from reaching its full potential; we can help you get back the love and support your family has been wishing for.
At Psychological Affiliates, we offer a wide range of neuropsychological evaluations, including those for head injuries, trauma, gifted testing, learning disabilities, and academic placement evaluations. If you need a formal assessment of mood, personality, and cognitive abilities such as memory, concentration, and problem solving, you need Orlando neuropsychological evaluations conducted by a certified neuropsychologist. Our psychologists and specialists have the knowledge, experience, and skill to evaluate you or a loved one without breaking the bank or causing you stress. Research has shown that some people with movement disorders, psychiatric disorders, or brain injuries can have changes to their mood, personality, and thinking skills. While those changes can be either subtle or dramatic, they all reflect an underlying issue, whether that be disease processes or side-effects from treatment.
Who is a good candidate for a neuropsychological evaluation?
You are likely a good candidate for neuropsychological evaluation if you have a head injury, trauma, need gifted testing, have a learning disability, or are undergoing academic placement evaluations. If you need a formal assessment of mood, personality, and cognitive abilities such as memory, concentration, and problem solving, neuropsychological evaluations are a good choice. All patients who are considering deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment movement and psychiatric disorders are required to complete a neuropsychological evaluation to help determine their candidacy for surgery. Research suggests that patients with significant cognitive difficulties may not be suitable candidates for DBS.
Neuropsychological evaluations determine if a person’s thinking skills, mood, and personality have been affected by a neurological disorder. These evaluations can also establish a baseline from which to monitor changes in thinking skills, mood, and personality over time to help improve treatment, and personalize it to each unique individual. These are also used to help the patient and family make decisions about work and other responsibilities, educate family members about how the brain disorder has affected the patient’s thinking skills and personality, and make it easier for them to help and understand, and provide information for a physician in order to help with medication selection to reduce side effects or improve cognition.
Knowing the neurological sources of the unique differences helps us pinpoint brain-based disorders in personality, attention, self-awareness, memory, emotional expression, and cognition. Understanding these differences can lead to development of present and future expectancies in a person’s. Testing gives a comprehensive understanding of a person’s strengths and impairments. We then create a host of customized recommendations for therapy, educational assistance, treatments, and medication. Every brain is a combination of learned responses, genetics, experiences, injuries, physical health, personality, and diseases. It is the role of the neuropsychologist to figure out the specific factors influencing the ways in which the brain is operating, in order to explain and conceptualize abnormalities.
A standard psychological assessment generally evaluates the cognitive functioning and personality, and is targeted toward diagnosis of psychiatric conditions. A standard assessment has the capacity to diagnose a condition such as ADHD based on behavior, but it lacks the specificity to understand what underlying neurological process is causing the symptoms and therefore cannot give customize recommendations for treatment. Neuropsychological assessments are comprehensive assessments of a person’s unique cognitive functioning and processes. We will evaluate neurodevelopmental or neurological disorders, and look more deeply at the root of a disorder, as well as the development. Neuropsychology is the unique integration of genetic, developmental, and environmental history with testing data to better understand brain functioning. With a comprehensive assessment of a person’s personality and cognitive function, we can specify the root and developmental aspects of a disorder, providing recommendations customized to each individual. These evaluations can look at attention and concentration, verbal and visual memory, auditory and visual processing, visual-spatial functioning, language and reading skills, motor development, social skill development, executive functioning and decision-making, personality, and more.
At Psychological Affiliates, we are renown for our services in the field of psychology in Orlando, FL. No matter what your needs are, our team can provide personalized, attentive care. We are a group of mental health professionals established by Deborah O. Day, Psy.D. since 1988. Our psychologists provide comprehensive outpatient services for a wide variety of mental health issues. Individual, family, and group psychotherapy, along with comprehensive evaluations, are available. Proudly providing Family Counseling for 25 years the areas of child abuse, play therapy, divorce-related issues, adolescent and adult issues, criminal/forensic psychology and comprehensive parenting plan evaluations. Our psychology practice is experienced in working with physicians, legal professionals, non-profit organizations, state agencies and inpatient facilities. Our office is handicapped equipped and easily accessible. To find out more about our neuropsychological evaluations, call our office today.
Sometimes, a couple openly discusses their expectations for each other regarding use of pornography, and they reach an agreement acceptable to and honored by them both. More often, nothing is said, unspoken assumptions abound, and unwelcome surprises potentially await discovery. Men sometimes agree to not use pornography, then relapse, and are caught, leaving their partner feeling betrayed.
In such cases, however, viewing pornography is not equivalent to having physical sexual contact outside of a relationship committed to monogamy. When an intimate partner promises more than they can deliver, such as agreeing to never use pornography, then proceeds to violate that promise, feelings of betrayal are certainly warranted. Trust has been diminished. A partner in this situation may seriously question whether he or she is desired, and anger and disappointment are quite understandable. All of these feelings are even more intense if one feels sexually neglected.
Often, there has been no prior discussion of pornography use and expectations for each other with explicit agreement on such specifics as what actually constitutes pornography (e.g., YouTube content, Victoria Secret Catalogues, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editions, and Playboy now without nudity). Many, perhaps most couples, never broach this topic and, therefore, may be under the mistaken assumption that pornography use is nonexistent in their relationship. Such an assumption would be unwarranted, based on my clinical experience, as most men enjoy viewing some form of erotica or pornography, especially when masturbating. Most men masturbate at least occasionally, even if they are entirely satisfied with their shared sexual activities. Many, perhaps most women, follow a similar pattern.
Ultimately, betrayal and its meaning are in the eye of the beholder. If one partner feels betrayed and a lasting resolution has not been achieved, consider a consultation with an experienced Orlando sex therapist, such as Dr. Grieco. A capable sex therapist will work within a couple’s value system to clarify the steps, such as forgiveness and accountability, towards healing of betrayal.
Alan Grieco, Ph.D.
When it comes to divorce, traditional litigation can be costly, stressful, and time-consuming. Your needs and goals may not be met, and you might even have to endure mandated conditions that do you more harm than good. Mediation is an easier way to get the best possible outcome after a divorce. At Psychological Affiliates, our team of specialized mediators are available to help you get the results you want from your divorce, while protecting the best interests of your children and you.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is the process through which partners seeking divorce can resolve their outstanding issues before, or in the place of traditional litigation. This method is preferable to traditional litigation, because it is less expensive, allows both parties involved to maintain some control over the outcome of the divorce, and is taken care of by an expert, objective mediator. The entire process is confidential, and much more discreet than litigation. Parties can choose to have their legal representation be involved in the mediation process. To become certified as a mediators, over fourty hours of specialized training is required. All Psychological Affiliate mediators have post-graduate degrees in the field of Psychology, and have the knowledge, experience, and training act as expert mediators during your divorce.
When negotiations in mediation being, mediators will generally choose to focus on the simpler issues initially. This allows all parties to address easier questions, build trust, and foster an environment of compromise. This foundation sets the tone for when more difficult issues are addressed. A mediator can keep the negotiations on track, help with brainstorming options, and encouraging open communication and expression of feelings and priorities.
The Psychology Behind Mediation:
Mediation allows you to remain open to compromise, so you can attempt to understand where the other party is coming from, and maximize the chances of the mediation being completely successful and mutually beneficial. During a divorce, it can seem almost impossible to understand where your spouse is coming from; their demands might seem rigid or unfair. Mediation fosters an environment of openness and compromise, helping you brainstorm new ideas and resolve conflict more effectively. Through this process, both parties are more likely to reach solutions that are mutually beneficially. Compromise through mediation takes the needs, beliefs, personalities, and perspectives of both parties into consideration. The creation of a safe space both emotionally and legally allows parties to express their worries, be vulnerable without judgment or ridicule, and without fear of something being used against them later in a court. The solutions agreed upon in mediation come from the parties themselves, in order for the best results.
When You’re Ready for a Better Way to Negotiate:
If you or your partner are pursuing a divorce, Orlando family mediation is a better way to negotiate. Mediation is less expensive, faster, and more discreet than traditional litigation. At Psychological Affiliates, we have three mediators to assist your family:
Dr. Amanda Janner
Dr. Amanda Janner earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from FIT, and became a licensed psychologist in 2007. She is also a Certified Family Mediator and Qualified Parent Coordinator, and has a range of experience working with families characterized as “high conflict”, facilitating reunification with supervision in a therapeutic setting and conducting individual and couples psychotherapy, co-parenting, and more.
Dr. Robert Janner
Dr. Robert Janner is a Licensed Psychologist at Psychological Affiliates, conducting therapy with adolescents, adults and couples. Dr. Janner is highly trained and very experienced in cognitive behavioral and insight-oriented therapies. Dr. Janner also utilizes a variety of models effective for couples and families.
Dr. Deborah O. Day
Dr. Day graduated with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from FIT, and practices as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Psychologist, and a Certified Family Mediator. Through her private practice, Dr. Day has helped used psychology in Orlando, FL to help clients for years. She completed a three-year appointment to the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Florida Supreme Court, and seven-year appointment with the Mediation Ethics Advisory Commission, and is active in the Florida Bar's Family Law Section as well as previously serving as Vice-Chair of the Domestic Violence Committee and Co-chair of the Litigation Support Committee. Currently, Dr. Day serves as Special Advisor to the Section Chair on Children’s Issues, Domestic Violence, and Legislation. Dr. Day is also a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the Florida Psychological Association, and an affiliate member of The Florida Bar, Family Law Section. Dr. Day has served as the President of the Florida Psychological Association, Central Florida Chapter, and serves as the current Ethics Chair and a founding board member of the Central Florida Collaborative Law Group.
At Psychological Affiliates, we routinely get referrals for sex offender therapy and/or evaluations of individuals found to be in possession of child pornography. Our experience indicates certain common demographic characteristics of these individuals. First, they are uniformly males. Female child pornography offenders are quite rare.
Secondly, males in both the 18 to 25-year-old age group, and the 50-year-old and older age range are most commonly seen at our practice for this issue. The younger group often consists of immature, shy and insecure/anxious individuals who started viewing Internet pornography in their early or mid-teens; preferred material depicting age-mates at that time, and appear to have never developed age-appropriate sexual interests as they matured. About 10% of this group are virgins. They are often too anxious to approach adult females to initiate conversations, flirt, make potential friends, or request a date.
The older age group often consists of men who have been married for many years and have generally enjoyed satisfactory sex lives with their wives. Then, their wives become less sexually available to them, such as from illness, disability, or changes due to menopause that make intercourse less enjoyable for her. Sexual boredom also takes a toll on the sexual frequency in long-term relationships, and either or both partners may decrease or cease sexual initiation for these or a myriad of other reasons.
The most adaptive responses to these common life changes are often stymied by embarrassment, inhibition, or accumulated resentment and/or indifference. These adaptive responses include open discussion of one’s perceptions, feelings and needs (needs of both the relationship and of each individual), along with a creative and open-minded consideration of options, such as decreased emphasis on intercourse and orgasm and increased use of outercourse. Instead of braving these obstacles to a more authentic sexual sharing, women do without, channel their energies elsewhere, read erotica, flirt on social media and occasionally masturbate in private. Men often instead turn to Internet pornography. Explicit, free, seemingly endless pornography of every flavor is available on such sites as YouPorn, PornHub and XVideos. Some men, apparently not content with these offerings, dig a little deeper and find child pornography. Sometimes, because of flagging erectile or orgasmic responses, these men believe they must seek even more exotic or forbidden pornography to see if their erections and/or orgasm will work under these circumstances.
The most common pathways to child pornography on the Internet are peer-to-peer file sharing sites, such as LimeWire, FrostWire and EMule. Use of these sites typically begins with downloading mainstream movies, music and adult pornography that then progresses to include child pornography. On some social media applications (KIK and MeetMe) users apparently can post pictures that qualify as child pornography. Local, state and Federal authorities routinely monitor these and other sites, and occasionally put “bait” out to ensnare child pornography users.
Child pornography offenses, more than any other sexual offenses, are increasing in frequency and prevalence. In posting this overview of our experiences working in this area, providing evaluations and therapy, my intent is that others can learn from the mistakes of those who will now carry the label of sex offender for decades, usually after serving a harsh prison sentence. Current Federal sentencing guidelines call for a five-year prison sentence for each image of child pornography.
Authored by Alan Grieco, Ph.D.