Addiction to the internet, video game addiction and cell phone addiction have become an ever increasing part of our fast paced, technology centered culture. Unfortunately many teens and young adults are drawn in by an obsession with violent video games, pornography or simply waste valuable time with countless hours of addictive gaming and perusing the internet.
This type of compulsive use of technology is not only wasteful but could also be dangerous for children and teens who find themselves addicted to internet chat rooms where anonymity often leads to bad decisions and further destructive behaviors, often times involving sexual behaviors. Chat room and internet dating addictions often lead to diminished social skills and an inability to relate to others on a personal level. These problems have become even more severe with increased use of mobile devices. Excessive texting, emailing and instant messaging is becoming more and more common.
Parents are often unaware or naive to the addictive and destructive behaviors of their children or become aware only after addictive and compulsive behavioral patterns have become well established.
Education and prevention of these problems is the best way to help the rising generation of teens learn to manage technology and sex in a responsible way. A group of therapists in St. George, Utah have developed a unique and powerful intervention for both teens and their parents for assisting in this purpose. The program is called STAR Guides www.starguideswilderness.com and provides an intense wilderness therapeutic experience that assists teens and young adults in breaking free from internet and sexual addictions.
Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.