Computer game addiction therapy

Computer game addiction therapy. I am a family therapist. I work with children and families and I notice that one of the common flash points in the family day can be asking a particular family member to come off the computer. In this blog explain computer game addiction and how easily it can start.

Sometimes it’s convenient to allow your children to sit in front of a screen because you have things going on. Maybe you have an email to send and need some peace and quiet, maybe the children don’t fight when they play in their separate consoles in their rooms or maybe you are not feeling great and you need some space and time to yourself. In any event, if you allow your children to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time then there is a possibility that you should prepare yourself for battle when you ask them to turn it off.

If you don’t believe how hard it is to turn away from a screen then think about the adults you see in public places, on trains, buses or in restaurants looking at their phones. Think about how much you need your phone or device and think about someone telling you that you must limit you time on it to what is absolutely necessary. Would you find yourself pretending that you need it for essentials for longer than is true? Do you also find it hard to put your piece of technology down?

Computer gaming offers us an opportunity to hone our skills and to develop our ability in an absorbing wonderland where most people can find a niche of some kind that grabs their attention. The fundamental basis of us improving our skills at most activities we pursue lies in the practice we put in. Try hard and see the benefits in real terms. School, work, relationships, parenting, the more you try to improve your skills then most likely the more rewards you will receive as the benefits of your work pays off.

A paper was written in 1993 by Prof Anders Ericsson of the University of Colorado saying that you can consider yourself an expert at something if you have over 10,000 hours practice. This idea has been criticised, reasonably, but the basis of the idea stays the same, practice, improve, benefit.

The problem with computer gaming is that it offers us an opportunity to hone our skills and to develop our abilities in a fantasy environment where anything is possible but the achievements we make there mean nothing in the real world and have no benefit for us once we turn away from the computer.

Crash landing back into reality is hard because we have nothing tangible to show for the effort we put in, except the time that has gone that will never come back. The good feelings we have felt because of the pseudo-success we have achieved melt away, mean nothing and become lost in the real world.

It could be argued that the success of the movie Avatar lay in the false premise that you can play in virtual reality and your success can be real.

So, be careful about too much exposure to the technology you make available to your children and don’t be surprised if they protest when you try to remove it. It’s making them feel good!

I offer interventions to parents who want to find peaceful and compassionate ways to modify their children’s usage to technology so please get in touch with me by email or phone if you would like to find out more.