Internet Addiction: How to Assess and Treat the Disorder

Online Course Materials:    AudiosVideos   ArticlesArticles   

All materials are available as audios with transcripts.

Developed by Kimberly S. Young, Psy.D.

General Course Description

Internet addiction is a rapidly growing clinical condition that impacts adults and children. Given the newness of the disorder, therapists often feel unfamiliar with how to treat the problem and in some cases do not understand the addictive potential of Internet usage. This course is designed to help therapists identify the issues related to diagnosis and treatment of this new clinical problem. Using modified DSM criteria, this course provides therapists with a framework to diagnose Internet addiction, specialized assessment tools and clinical interview techniques, and reviews the subtypes of this condition as well as a model for treating Internet-addicted clients.

The intermediate level course consists of six audios. Text transcripts are available for all audios. The first audio reviews the prevalence of Internet addiction as we understand to date. The problem is relatively difficult to track, especially worldwide. The audio identifies the current literature across cultures and discusses the significant prevalence of the problem in China, Korea, and Taiwan. The second audio describes the DSM-based criteria used to diagnose Internet addiction and provides specialized clinical assessment and interview tools. The third audio explains the subtypes of Internet addiction such as Internet pornography, chat rooms, Internet gaming, and Internet gambling. The fourth audio describes several theories on why users become dependent or addicted to the Internet. The fifth audio describes CBT-IA, the current model of treating Internet addition, which is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy mixed with harm reduction therapy. The final audio summarizes the 2018 announcement by the World Health Organization regarding the new diagnosis of Internet Addiction and briefly discusses the Implications of Gaming Disorder that are classified in the ICD-11 and its implication for the DSM. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Disclaimer: This course is purely educational and does not intend to serve as a license (or permission) to mental health professionals to prescribe or practice any of the approaches discussed in this course unless they fall within the scope of practice of your profession. Check with your licensing board about the scope of practice of your profession to make sure you practice within that scope.It also does not serve as a permission to title yourself in any specific way.

Educational Objectives:

    This course will teach the participant to:

  • Identify the prevalence of Internet addiction.
  • Define the subtypes of Internet addiction.
  • Summarize the reasons why people become addicted to Internet use.
  • Utilize cognitive-behavioral interventions specially designed to treat the Internet-addicted client.

Course Syllabus:

  • Prevalence Estimates and Etiologic Models of Internet Addiction
    • Learning the prevalence across cultures
    • An overview of etiologic factors contributing to Internet addiction
    • Cognitive-behavior factors
    • Neuropsychological factors
    • Compensation theory
    • Situational Factors
  • Clinical Assessment of Internet-Addicted Clients
    • Conceptualization of Internet addiction
    • Learning how to administer the Internet Addiction Test
    • A focus on moderation and controlled Internet use
    • Developing motivational interviewing techniques
    • Learning how multiple addictions impact Internet overuse
    • Learning how underlying social problems impact Internet overuse
  • Subtypes of Internet Addiction
    • Internet Pornography
    • Adult chat rooms
    • Chat rooms in general
    • Internet gaming
    • Internet gambling
    • eBay and auction house compulsions
  • What Makes the Internet Addictive
    • Substitute for relationships and intimacy
    • Self-esteem and self-confidence
    • Emotional release and catharsis
    • Multiple addictions
    • An arena for sexual exploration
  • CBT-IA: Treating Internet addiction
    • Why use cognitive-behavioral therapy?
    • Phase 1: Behavioral Modification
    • Phase 2: Cognitive Restructuring
    • Phase 3: Harm Reduction Therapy
  • Gaming Disorder as Classified in the ICD-11
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Cost: $49.00

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