A wilderness-based addiction and substance abuse treatment center in Utah has added a rehabilitation track for young men addicted to the Internet and videogames.
Passages to Recovery begins treatment with a 40-day wilderness experience, which is then followed by on-site treatment. The center announced that its Clinical Director, Lucy Taylor, LPC, recently completed certifications in online gaming, anonymity in online relationships, pornography and infidelity, and the psychology of Internet misuse. Taylor was tutored by Kimberly Young, PsyD, from the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery.
Videogame addiction treatment will begin with “an assessment of the client’s patterns of use and the needs that are being met by gaming.” As Taylor explained, “Most people abuse the Internet or video games to meet an underlying need. Our goal is to help our clients decrease stress and increase pleasure without numbing themselves or trying to fill a void through video games or the Internet.”
Taylor continued, “An Internet addict may spend as much as 15 to 17 hours gaming, creating an online persona or acting out in an irresponsible way,” adding, “Because the behavior fills an important need for the individual, without treatment a desire to play can quickly turn into a need to play.”
While some can enjoy activities like gaming in moderation, Taylor warned that, “others are lured in by the fantasy, power, anonymity and freedom of the online world.”