Resources for Video Game and Screen Time Addictions

Group therapy is an important part of the clinical process at Summerland Camps.

Group therapy is an important part of the clinical process at Summerland Camps.

Resources for video game addictions include online options, support groups, outpatient therapy, and residential therapy.  For parents seeking immediate help with the overuse of digital media- whether that’s with video games, internet browsing, social media, or cell phone use, we can help you find relief.

Summerland Camps help families with campers ages 7-21.  For older adults, we can point you in the right direction with treatment options as well.

Individual Therapy: A Great Place to Start

At Summerland Camps, we support individual therapy.  We work with therapists back home to ensure continuity of care.  We also recommend our campers engage in therapy after camp or utilize our extensive aftercare program.

However, some adolescents and teens need a higher level of treatment than outpatient therapy can offer.  For outpatient therapy to be effective, the child needs to engage with the therapist.  Most therapists have the child journal or track behaviors in order to change behaviors.  If a child is unwilling to do these most basic components of treatment, parents should look at going up to the next level of intervention.

In addition to individual therapy, parents may wish to visit these resources:

  • Common Sense Media is a nonprofit organization that provides independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media. Its website includes recommendations for age-appropriate content and advice for parents who have concerns about their children and social media/technology.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics provides a customized “Family Media Plan,” which helps craft a realistic schedule for screen time, taking in to account educational requirements, extra-curricular activities, household chores, and other items determined by the family.

When Individual Therapy Doesn’t Work

In general, if a child is unwilling to participate in outpatient therapy, or if outpatient therapy is just not making the changes you want, we can help.

The next step up from outpatient therapy is residential treatment.  Residential treatment provides a “reset” on family relationships, but also the relationship the child has with electronics.  Simply put, the surest way to change a child’s screen time use to create a total reset with online activity.

The group component of residential treatment is what it’s all about.  At Summerland Camps, we engage our campers as part of an interdependent team that works on engineering, science, and problem-solving tasks.  It takes the entire group to overcome the challenge.  Interactions become grist for the mill in therapy, and therapists can intervene in real-time to develop insight and practice coping skills.

Types of Residential Treatment

resources for video game addiction

Treatment pyramid illustrating the levels of treatment available.

It’s important for parents to understand that residential treatment is not all the same.  At the highest level of residential treatment, we have psychiatric hospitalization, which would not be appropriate for most individuals that have technology addictions alone.  Generally psychiatric hospitals today only do crisis stabilization, assessment, or detox.

Below psychiatric hospitalization, we have residential treatment centers (RTC’s) and wilderness therapy.  These are typically intensive programs that treat a wide range of issues including bullying, oppositional defiance, drug addiction, suicidal behaviors, and even psychosis.

Therapeutic boarding schools are the next level below RTC’s and wilderness therapy.  For Therapeutic boarding schools, the focus is on both academics and therapy.  Generally, students stay for a school year to a calendar year.

Summerland Camps is a unique option.  We don’t accept campers with psychosis.  We don’t accept campers with drug addictions.  Also, because most of our campers have missed out on socialization opportunities and are socially behind, we don’t accept bullies.

Next Steps

Give us a call today at (800) 867-2090 or complete our contact form to have a representative contact you at a later date.

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