Thursday 27 July 20239:00 - 16:00Add to calendar
Adina Apartment Hotel Surry Hills, 359 Crown St, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010View map
|Trainer||James Driver (NZ)|
|Includes||Catering, handbook and certificate|
Technology Dependence and Mental Health
The pandemic has shown how we've come to rely on the convenience of our smartphones to provide connection, maintain a sense of belonging, and access information. Now even more so. The device is always on, and always on us.
As we cautiously watch young people (and ourselves) navigate the ever-changing digital landscape, there’s increasing concern of technology dependence. A term describing the compulsive need to spend significant time on the Internet, to the point where relationships, work and health suffer. Our daily online use is increasingly immersive and persuasive, enabling a high level of accessibility and interaction with daily personalised notifications. Increasing usage from healthy to compulsive too dependent.
Recent Australian research (Monash University 2021) shows we are increasingly dependent on our smartphones and our inability to disconnect may be endangering our health. Young people aged 18 to 25 had the highest level of Nomophobia (a social/situational disorder exhibited by discomfort and anxiety caused by the absence of one’s device) with 37.3% experiencing mild symptoms and 13.2% experiencing severe Nomophobia. At excessive levels, technology misuse can lead to broad-ranging harms with significant physical, mental, social, and economic costs for individuals and communities.
In this interactive one day workshop with New Zealand Psychotherapist James Driver investigates the role of technology in problematic usage behaviours and its affect on mental health. He will cut through the controversy and the myth with the latest research and clinical experiences from the field. James' background as a clinician, early-adopter of technology, and former gaming addict gives a unique illustrative perspective from lived experience to clinical vignettes. Techniques and approaches for use by mental health practitioners, educators, youth workers, helping professionals and parents/carers will demonstrate how to engage children and young people in an open, curious and non-judgemental way about their usage (and yours).
The workshop will cover:
- The psychology of technology: the reasons why people use technology and the affect this can have on wellbeing and mental health.
- How much is too much? How 'normal' use can develop into inappropriate, compulsive or dependent usage habits - including detailed case examples relating to social media, gaming and pornography.
- The different kinds of technological dependency, as well as how they manifest and impact particular populations.
- How to assess for and identify problematic usage: the signs and symptoms to look for that indicate usage may be problematic (diagnostic criteria, screening tools, associations).
- Effective practical techniques for engaging with young people (and adults) to get them thinking about their technology usage.
- Considerations for the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of digital natives versus late adopters.
- Managing and/or treating technology related problems (with a specific focus on working with ambivalence).
Presenter: James Driver is a registered Psychotherapist and former gaming addict. His interest in the topic stems from his own gaming addiction as a teenager where he was spending 16 hours per day playing online games. This led him to poor mental health, failing university and a lot of problems for himself and his family. Having overcome his dependence he went on to complete a Masters of Psychotherapy and research into gaming addiction. He has extensive experience treating technology dependence in private practice and youth services.