At Northbound Treatment Services, clients suffering from internet addiction work with a certified addiction case manager and a primary therapist who understand process addictions like Internet addiction.
As society changes and evolves, so does the scope of addictive behaviors. Even the common everyday activity of going online evolves into an addiction for some people. At Northbound Treatment Services, clients suffering from internet addiction work with a certified addiction case manager and a primary therapist who understand process addictions like Internet addiction.
Process addictions are similar to alcohol or drug addictions in that they provide an outlet for the addict. Excessive use of the internet allows the addict to get “lost” in another world and avoid negative feelings. Individuals with internet addiction often become obsessed with being online, despite the negative consequences that flow from their excessive and/or compulsive use of the internet.
Real Life, Real Treatment
At Northbound, process addictions are treated with individual and group therapies. We emphasize helping individuals address their feelings and return to real-world scenarios.
Common treatment methods include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). CBT, the most frequently used treatment, helps sufferers learn to effectively process feeling and emotions without relying on or resorting to the internet. Northbound’s expertise in helping address a wide variety of co-occuring disorders has helped our clinical staff has create a treatment plan that addresses both the internet addiction and substance abuse.
In addition, Northbound utilizes a number of experiential therapies to aid the healing process. One of the most powerful experiential therapies is equine therapy, involving interaction with horses, which has been found to help clients process their feelings and take on personal responsibility.
Often, treatment for internet addiction leads to the discovery of a co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety or chronic depression. If psychiatrically indicated, medication for clients with a dual-diagnosis (e.g. a process addiction and a mood disorder) serves to support therapeutic goals and client well-being. In situations where a secondary disorder is diagnosed, proper medication can make therapy more effective, as a chronic psychiatric imbalance can block a client’s ability to successfully communicate in therapy.
At Northbound, our goal is always to give our clients the tools they need to make a healthy and lasting life change. Therefore, the development of basic life skills is crucial to long-term recovery. Northbound takes a holistic approach to treatment, ensuring that every client’s unique treatment plan is well-rounded and helps him or her develop the life skills needed to return to an active and healthy life, free of addiction. For those who suffer from internet addiction, learning how to cope with triggers created by normal use of the internet is an especially important part of recovery, as the reality of our “wired” culture will require former addicts to go online in their day-to-day lives. Learning how to interact with the internet and how to overcome internet addiction without reverting back to old behaviors is critical to long term recovery.
Clients are paired with a licensed therapist who understands the process addiction, and individual sessions with the therapist are scheduled weekly (or more often, if needed). Individual sessions not only help the client come to terms with the underlying reasons for his or her addiction but are also designed to work in concert with any additional therapies the client is undergoing. During this time, clients are able to gain some perspective on when their Internet use became a habit and later an addiction. They also begin to understand what they were trying to accomplish through their process addiction. It is through this knowledge and greater awareness of the underlying issues behind their actions that our clients are able to overcome internet addiction and are motivated to live sober.