Assessment & Treatment for Compulsive Video Gaming/Internet use Disorder
The DSM identifies “Internet Gaming Disorder” as a Condition requiring further study. Although it may not yet be recognized as a DSM diagnosis it is evident that we live in a culture that struggles to find a balance with our digital world that supports our work, academic, and personal lives in a safe and healthy way. Young brains are especially susceptible to being ‘wired’ in a way that places their digital lives on top of their other priorities shaping the way they work, live, play and are in relationships. When anyone begins to prioritize their digital lives at the cost of maintaining their interpersonal relationships with family and friends in the real world and managing their real-world obligations (homework, housework, work) there is cause for concern. It is at this point that seeking out professional support can assist in resetting their digital lives.
Traverse Counseling & Consulting assesses each client and their family and then provides the client with a customized treatment plan to address their unique circumstances and challenges.
Individual Therapy for Compulsive Video Gaming/Internet use Disorder
Individual Therapy for Video Gaming helps an individual identify the purpose of their use of gaming in their lives, reset their relationship with technology to find a balanced and healthy relationship with their digital lives and identify and address other underlying issues mental, emotional, or relational issues that might be driving their unhealthy video gaming. Some of these underlying issues commonly include; Depression, Anxiety, Family Conflict, Social Isolation at school, Bullying, a history of Trauma, ADHD, Grief and loss, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Family Therapy for Compulsive Video Gaming/Internet use Disorder
Family Therapy for Video gaming assists the client in managing their relationships with family with greater efficacy, and supports parents/guardians in setting and maintaining appropriate boundaries and limits for the client. Family therapy supports the client and their family in rebuilding trust and repairing these relationships.
Group Therapy for Compulsive Video Gaming
Group Therapy for Video Gaming provides clients with a group experience to get support for managing their compulsive behaviors around Video Gaming. In addition, clients benefit from support for other struggles such as; Perfectionism, Depression, and Anxiety. In addition to these issues common issues for “Gamers” include a lack of social competency/confidence, issues relating to differentiation from family of origin and launching into adulthood. Group therapy for these individuals will support them in increasing their insight and confidence with practical application in a group process.
How does Therapy meet the needs of each client?
No single therapy is right for everyone. The best therapy addresses a person’s various needs, not just his or her gaming. Matching a treatment plan and services to a person’s unique level of need is a key to his or her ultimate success to having a productive, healthy and fulfilling life. It is important for the treatment approach to be broad in scope, taking into account a person’s age and stage of development, gender, ethnicity, and culture. The severity of the compulsive behavior and previous efforts to stop gaming can also influence the therapeutic approach.
Therapy may provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet a client’s needs. In addition to treatment for gaming, a client may require other medical services, family therapy, parenting support, job training/academic assistance, and social skill building.
Finally, because compulsive gaming often occurs with other mental and relational health issues and concerns, a client being assessed for compulsive gaming will also be assessed for the other mental and relational health issues and concerns. Treatment addresses all conditions.
The following are some typical symptoms of compulsive gaming:
- A change in sleeping patterns. Not sleeping at night. Tired during the day.
- Withdrawing from family and/or friends.
- Being defensive or lying about gaming or technology activities.
- Losing interest in activities that she/he previously enjoyed.
- Physical ailments, such as backaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, stiff neck, nerve pain/tingling in arms or fingers, eye fatigue.
Traverse Counseling & Consulting is equipped to help families and communities with prevention and early intervention for compulsive gaming technology use. For more information about compulsive gaming and technology use, please contact us.