Cybersex: the impact of a contemporary problem on the practices of marriage and family therapists

J Marital Fam Ther. 2008 Oct;34(4):469-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2008.00089.x.


The number of people accessing the Internet for sexual purposes (cybersex) has increased dramatically over the last 10 years. However, little research has been conducted to determine how frequently clients present for treatment with cybersex-related issues. One hundred sixty-four clinical members of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy participated in the current study, which was conducted to identify the impacts of cybersex on MFTs' practices. Most respondents report seeing clients with cybersex-related issues, with client numbers increasing over the past 2 years. Although most respondents felt prepared to diagnose and treat adults with cybersex problems, half felt unprepared to diagnose and treat children. Lastly, most respondents reported that their required college courses were not helpful in preparing them to diagnose and treat cybersex-related problems. The implications of study findings are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Marital Therapy / methods*
  • Masturbation / prevention & control
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States