WHAT LICENSED PROFESSIONAL TREATMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE for GAMING ADDICTION?

For anyone who has conquered any addiction knows, it is harder to quit when the addiction remains a part of your life.  People with gaming addictions may not be able to get rid of a console as they watch movies on it or get rid of a computer that is also used for homework.  In many cases, it would be like asking an alcoholic to stop drinking and continue to tend the bar.  Thus, what can you do?

You could ask the person you care about, be it a child or partner to take some time away from the environment they are in.  This could be a wilderness camp, a vacation, or spending time at another place they live more often.  This may work if it is practical for them to continue to stay there.  However, in the case of a vacation, bootcamp, or other option that is not sustainable, this is unlikely to be successful.  More than likely, as soon as the gamer returns to their normal gaming environment, they will want to continue gaming regardless of past alternatives.  

What about seeking video game addiction treatment from a professional?  We have not received a story yet or found one online where treatment from a professional was successful for combating video gaming addiction.  Perhaps more noteworthy, most other addicts in every other area are cured on their own outside of treatment.  The success stories we find are almost always from self-help and support from family, friends, or people that have overcome a gaming addiction personally.  Why might this be?  For one, change must come from within and those around a person can only help motivate a person to change themselves.  However, many confuse helping with forcing and manipulating which often actually makes the problem worse.  Family members for all types of addictions frequently are less than helpful and employ the addiction of a loved one as a mechanism where they do not have to focus on their own problems.  For example, a husband that has a gaming addiction and a problem with drinking will make it easy for his wife to overlook her own problems.  She can (but does not necessarily have to) blame however she feels on him rather than stopping to look at herself for whatever she contributes.  In summary, not only is curing any type of addiction difficult, but most cures come from within rather than outside.

How does this play into gaming addiction and licensed professional counselors and other mental health specialists?  Overall, it makes a clear statement that this is not the route to go.  Counselors  have relatively similar set addiction programs they treat every patient with often including motivational interviewing for example.  While they do not take the exact same steps for the alcoholic as they take for a child experiencing gaming addiction, the methods are generic and often ignore the technological revolution changing our society.  Motivational interviewing especially is supposed to help a person become motivated to change themselves but is irrelevant if a person is not ready to change to begin with which occurs a majority of the time.  Furthermore, for video gaming addiction, behavioral therapy and counseling sessions can cost thousands of dollars and be almost entirely irrelevant for making a long term difference in a gamer's life.  Why is this true?  Our society does not consider excessive gaming a bad way of living on the same level of other addictions such as substance abuse.  While other areas are likely to have established support groups and a general consensus from society to support their potion, gaming addiction is an entirely different area that few counselors have ever experienced themselves and few established groups exist to help with.  Online Gamers Annonymous has online meetings to help with this and is making an effort to change this.

What should you do?  Using the community and self-help resources on our website linked on the left, you can find the best help you need right here at no cost.  For even more comprehensive self-help resources, we have 18 of our favorite gaming addiction books listed on the books page that are generally under $20 eachIf after everything we have highlighted here you are still certain you want to seek treatment for gaming addiction, we have the included below the best resource we could find for connecting with a licensed professional that helps with gaming addiction.  Enter your zip code and search for "Video Game Addiction" treatment and therapists will be shown to you in your area.