Kerry Lifeline

Internet Pornography – Influencing and Shaping Sexuality Today? – The physical, mental and social impact of Internet Pornography

Training Course Presented by The Reward Foundation

The physical, mental and social impact of internet pornography

Date  Friday, 25th October, 2019

Start Time 09:15 am
End Time 16:30 pm
Type Training course/workshop
Location Brehon Hotel, Killarney
Audience Psychotherapists, Counsellors, GPs, Teachers (RSE and SPHE), Guidance Counsellors, Youth workers, Practice nurses, Psychiatrists, Psychologists.

CPD: 6 hours (Royal College of General Practitioners, United Kingdom)

Overuse of internet pornography is fast emerging as a compulsive sexual behaviour disorder. This corresponds to the greater use of smartphones and easy access to streaming video in the past 10 years. A wide range of mental and physical health issues has ensued. For instance, a staggering increase in erectile dysfunction in younger men, widespread evidence of lower sexual satisfaction in men and women, and more social anxiety and body dysmorphia in adolescents, all appear to be related to this cultural phenomenon.

Healthcare practitioners need to be aware of the evidence that supports the addiction model along with effective treatment options and remedies that enhance recovery including effective social prescribing. The workshop is also valuable for all professionals who encounter people who are facing difficulties arising from their pornography use.

This interactive one-day workshop, accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners, will provide an introduction to addiction neuroscience in general and internet pornography use in particular, based on the latest research. It will look at different types of physical health and mental health conditions related to porn use emerging from the research. We will encourage reflective discussion among practitioners about best practice, possible improvements, and signpost recovery options.


08.30 – Registration opens
09.15 – Introduction to internet pornography; The Great Porn Experiment; the World Health Organization’s definition of sexual health and of compulsive sexual behaviour disorder; the addiction model including desensitisation and escalation to stronger material; patterns of user behaviour.
11:00 – Break.
11:15 – Pornography use and risks – the mental and physical health implications, including sexual dysfunctions for adolescents, men and women. Small group discussions followed by whole group discussion. Pornography use statistics in the Republic of Ireland. Adolescent use patterns, sexual conditioning, changing patterns of sexual behaviour across society, mental health issues, child-on-child sexual abuse, porn-induced sexual dysfunctions and the role of pornography in domestic violence. Q&A throughout.
13.00 – Lunch.
Medical Strand A (For medical, therapeutic and clinical professionals)
14.00 – Pornography use and sexual diversity issues; testing for user problems and providing resources to support resilience. Pornography as a lifestyle issue in the LGBTQI+ and MSM communities; comorbidities; chemsex; treatment options; the Problematic Pornography Use Scale and Brief Pornography Screener; online recovery communities and social prescribing. Group discussions.
15.15 – Break.
15.30 – Recovery and prevention – How much porn is too much? Treatment and educational options; addiction withdrawal, ‘flatlining’; mindfulness; CBT; drug treatments and building an understanding of internet pornography into your clinical practice.
16.20 – Evaluation and close.

Educational Strand B (for teachers, youth workers and other professionals working with young people)
14.00 – The challenges around introducing pornography lessons to schools. Small group discussion followed by whole group discussion. Lessons learned by The Reward Foundation from teaching in schools including sexual diversity issues; faith schools; working with parents.
• Introduction to lesson plans for teachers of 11 to 12-year olds on how the brain learns and builds habits with sexual conditioning at puberty.
• Introduction to lesson plans for 13 to 14-year olds on sexting – the legal and health implications.
• Introduction to lesson plans for 16 to 17-year olds: “Porn on Trial” is porn addictive? What’s the evidence? including criminal law implications related to problematic use of pornography – also including sexual assault and possession of indecent images of children. How the porn companies make money when most sites are free.
15.15 – Break.
15.30 – Recovery and prevention – How much porn is too much? Look at withdrawal, ‘flatlining’, where to get help. Interventions like mindfulness, CBT, online support; psychotherapists, recovery coaches. Getting parents on board to cooperate with school.
16.20 – Evaluation and close.

Presenters :

Mary Sharpe, Advocate is founder and CEO of educational charity The Reward Foundation – Love, Sex and the Internet. She has been presenting on the impacts of internet pornography to professionals in healthcare, criminal justice and education and to schools for the past 6 years. Mary is a board member of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health in the USA and is a Research Associate at the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice in Scotland.
Mary studied psychology before taking up the law. She practiced as a solicitor and Advocate for over 15 years. She has published on many aspects of health, sexuality and law and spoken at conferences worldwide. She enjoys face-to-face teaching and discussion.
Mary was based at the University of Cambridge for ten years as a researcher and tutor. She was a science communicator for the Cambridge-MIT Institute, a role she had done previously at the European Commission in Brussels. Mary also tutored students and staff on sustaining peak performance through workshops on life skills and stress management. She is an Associate of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge.
Darryl Mead PhD is an internet expert and pornography industry researcher with an interest in the impact of pornography use on behaviour among adolescents and adults. He is developing innovative policy responses to the health challenges created by the widespread adoption of pornography viewing as a phenomenon of mass entertainment.

As a senior executive at the National Library of Scotland, Darryl helped to establish the system the UK uses to archive the internet. A trained teacher, he held previous roles as a science communicator and is a chartered information professional (FCLIP).

Whilst we endeavour to present the programme as advertised, we reserve the right to amend timings and content

Cost €120 – Payment necessary to secure place as places are limited
Phone 064 6636416

Places are limited. Early booking is essential