Dr. Nicholas Kardaras believes that screens can be more difficult to treat than drugs. Its no surprise that screen usage has skyrocketed, the actual numbers are nonetheless staggering: the average American adult spends more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening and interacting with screens. Clinically, screen addiction looks like any other addiction and characterized by a person continuing to engage in problematic behavior which negatively impacts their life. Those addicted to screens have seen their schooling, job prospects, and personal relationships suffer or even destroyed as a result of their addiction to screens and technology.
Treatment for Technology Addiction
The first step to treating addiction is recognizing that a problem exists. One of the primary problems with the Internet is the lack of accountability online. Users are hidden behind a screen and often engage in behavior that they would never do in person.
Omega Recovery understands that the first step to treating addiction is recognizing that a problem exists. One of the primary problems with the Internet is the lack of accountability online. Users are hidden behind a screen and often engage in behavior that they would never do in person. Omega incorporates “Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes” into our clinical program, unplugging from our devices, engaging in a healing community, physical exercise and immersing our clients into nature. Omega Recovery also offers traditional evidence-based therapy to treat technology addiction.
Our staff is trained in a variety of evidence-based treatment modalities. These interventions/strategies are practiced in individual and group therapy sessions and daily psychoeducational/didactic groups.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a treatment modality and a major aspect of our program. It is very common for individuals struggling with screen addiction to experience destructive and negative thinking or maladaptive thought patterns. Since our cognition affects our wellbeing, changing harmful thought patterns, which help clients, recognize their ability to practice alternative ways of thinking, and regulates distressing emotions and harmful behavior. As an evidence-based treatment modality, CBT is a proven effective treatment for substance use disorders, behavioral addictions, and specific mental health diagnoses. An active therapeutic modality, CBT is present-oriented, problem-focused, and goal-directed.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
MI is a collaborative, therapeutic conversation between licensed clinicians and clients that addresses the common problem of ambivalence for change. As defined by William Miller, the creator of MI, its purpose is to strengthen the client’s own motivation for and commitment to change in a manner that is consistent with said client’s values. Therefore, rather than imposing or forcing changes, we “meet the client where the client is” and help him/her move toward his/her goals by drawing out and building his/her readiness to change.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
Similar to CBT, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) helps clients identify, challenge, and replace their destructive thoughts and convictions with healthier, adaptive thoughts. Empirical studies demonstrate that this process incites emotional well-being and goal achievement.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT teaches clients how to regulate their emotions to reduce the self-destructive behaviors that derive from extreme, intense emotions. Primarily a skill-building approach, DBT focuses on the development of four key skill sets:
- Distress tolerance
- Emotion regulation
- Mindfulness (to live in the moment and fully experience emotions)
- Interpersonal effectiveness
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR)
Developed by Dr. Jon Cabot-Zinn, MSBR is a sequential method that teaches the individual who is struggling with racing and impulsive thoughts on how to be in the “here and now”. By focusing on the breath or on an object in the room, the client slowly becomes able to collapse their awareness into the present moment.
Seeking Safety (And Other Trauma-Focused Therapies)
Developed under a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) by Lisa M. Najavits, Ph.D., Seeking Safety is a present-focused therapy that helps clients attain safety from trauma (including PTSD) by emphasizing coping skills, grounding techniques and education. This highly effective, research-based therapy has seven key principles such as helping clients attain safety in their thinking, emotions, behaviors, and relationships, by integrated trauma treatment and focusing on ideals to counteract the loss of ideals that is experienced in mental health issues.
EMDR is an evidence-based modality that has proven to be very effective in the treatment of trauma and PTSD, which are oftentimes the underlying issues that an addict is self-medicating. Thus, clinical staff trained in EMDR use this method to address and assist persons who have experienced trauma, which is significantly negatively impacting their recovery. EMDR incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with eye movements; this form of stimulation is thought to “unfreeze” the brain’s information processing system in the amygdala and hippocampus that was frozen during or after the extreme stress of the traumatic event.
Recovery-Oriented Challenge Therapy
Sometimes also called Adventure Therapy or Outdoor Behavioral Health (OBH), this evidence-based technique is centered on an activity or “adventure” in which a clinical professional can actively engage with clients.
- group challenges
- outdoor activities
- ropes courses
- equine therapy
- or other skill-building healing activities.
Designed to help clients identify strengths and skills, build social support, strengthen their sense of focus of control, and address basic recovery issues, these groups assist with the development of self-care, boundaries, accountability, and trust. In addition, just being outdoors and immersed in nature has itself been proven to be therapeutic for a person stuck in a sedentary and addictive indoor lifestyle.
Experiential Therapies, i.e. Psychodrama
Many clients, especially younger clients, trapped in addictive and dysfunctional lifestyles, often benefit greatly from action-based and potentially transformative experiences. In psychodrama, the client can relive scenes from earlier in their lives that may have been turning points or “stuck” points in their addictive slide. The client is able to relive – and through the help of the clinician – change the toxic scene into one of breakthrough and empowerment.
In addition to these clinical modalities, Omega Recovery will also offer certain alternatives/holistic services that can help alleviate stress, anxiety, cravings, and promote overall wellness, all of which have been proven to help the distressed addict maintain a healthy mind-body-spirit balance which then aids in maintaining recovery:
- Meditation Groups
- Restricted Environmental Stimulus Therapy (R.E.S.T.) AKA “Flotation Therapy”
- Acupuncture and Acupressure
- Art Therapy/Creative Expression