As clinicians, we are trained to assess for pathology in the clients we see. In essence this means determining what mental health disturbance is contributing to a person’s inability to function and integrate in an appropriate social manner. We endeavor to help our clients to develop coping skills so they may function socially in a way that allows them to acquire and maintain meaningful relationships. This sometimes requires a creative approach to exploring the client’s pathology and developing strategies that address their mental health needs in a holistic way. This is especially true when the presenting issue is around Internet use, online social networking and/or gaming. We are experiencing an evolution of interpersonal relations and as helping professionals we must look closer at how technology is impacting psychosocial development.
Generations X,Y, and Z (the “Net Generations”) include people who were born between approximately 1961 and 2010 and are comprised of the current and upcoming workforces and their preteen children. This group has always had knowledge of and access to computerized technology and its use for communication. As a result, it has become increasingly interwoven into their experience of daily life and productivity. Most public schools and the majority of colleges and universities teach and assign work that requires the use of computers and networks. Distance teaching via the Internet and conferencing technologies allow children and adults to learn from others all over the world. The majority of individuals who have matured during the last 4 decades have used digital/electronic technology and gaming for entertainment. During this time, computerized communication and social networking have increased at an accelerated rate. The most significant shifts have occurred in the last 10-15 years with the release of innovative networking and digital communications programs and devices that are being used and integrated as quickly as within a few weeks.
… read the complete story ~ http://issuu.com/onlinetherapyinstitute/docs/tiltiss8/30
This article first appeared in the November 2011 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of the Engaging Gamers: The Evolution of Social Development in Gen X, Y and Z article.
Shawn Ware-Avant has provided mental health services to children, adolescents and adults for over a decade. She is skilled using both face-to-face and distance (online, e-mail and avatar) treatment methods and specializes in Online/Cyber Relationships and personal development (social, emotional, spiritual). Shawn also has a passion for treating attachment and regulation challenges (RAD, Autism, Sensory Integration Dysfunction) and enjoys assisting parents of children with disabilities (especially Autism). She is happily married, for 16 years, with 3 children, including a set of twins and a son on the autism spectrum. She works and resides in Hampton Roads, Virginia.