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karabas

Anyone find benefit in going to a therapist?

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So I signed up for one of those online therapy websites. So far it's been underwhelming and nothing I didn't already know. That and I get a strong sense they're not really convinced that I'm "addicted" in the full sense of the word.

Anyone here find benefit in talking to a therapist about your addiction?

I'm not talking about other mental health problems like depression or whatnot. I'm talking about the addiction specifically.

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I was seeing a phycologist some years ago for approximately a year, once every week and then once every two weeks. She helped me think deeper in what the addiction meant in terms of what I was loosing, how to detect the reasons I wanted to play, methods to calm myself instead of playing videogames, etc.

The thing is, I was already seeing her before detecting the addiction. When she told me how videogames were my problem, I had no idea about what to do, and she put me on the good way right there. I can definitely say that it helps if you are lost or lacking knowledge.

Your case might be that you already are on your way to quit, so you don't really need that kind of help. Besides, I don't know how good can be having online sessions instead of real life meetings. Or maybe it's just your therapist, or your relationship with him/her. If you really feel like you need a professional, try to find one that you can meet and talk to in person. It's more relaxing and makes you feel more safe, and he/she can judge your gestures and help you say what you have inside or guide the conversation better.

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I went to a therapist once, but I quit after the first session when she asked how much money I had available and then said that those 10.000 € I had saved up but was willing to invest to deal with my anxiety and stuff wasn't enough to pay for the number of sessions needed to achieve progress and therefore starting a therapy wouldn't be any use.

On the other hand, talking to her this one time made some things clear to me.

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Thanks guys. So far it seems to be that a therapist would be helpful in making a person realize they have a problem and maybe some basic techniques for dealing with the problem. They can also serve as an "accountability partner" to whom you'd be reporting regularly about your detox status.

But it doesn't seem that there's benefit beyond that. I've known about my problem for a decade now and so far what I learned online, especially on these forums and from Cam, is on par if not better than what therapists have offered.

Which I could excuse them for... they deal with all sorts of stuff, but this community deals with gaming addiction specifically.

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6 minutes ago, info-gatherer said:

I don’t intend to throw this imaginary bomb on the whole category, but in my very personal experience therapists are just huge money sinks (I had 2)

Can kinda confirm, not on a very personal level, but my girlfriend has a therapist (low self-esteem, issues when around many peoples/in crowds, etc.). She is there for over one year now, I don't see any difference tbh..
Also my mom has one, I see just a little difference on her, but not that much..

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10 hours ago, stablish said:

Can kinda confirm, not on a very personal level, but my girlfriend has a therapist (low self-esteem, issues when around many peoples/in crowds, etc.). She is there for over one year now, I don't see any difference tbh..
Also my mom has one, I see just a little difference on her, but not that much..

I’m sure there’s very good therapists out there, but before you find one of them you’ll have depleted your bank account already. It’s also extremely difficult to understand if a therapist is worth something or not, because they (freudians, at least) don’t talk. Overall, they’re not well-spent money.

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In my experience there are therapists that understand and work for me, and others that just don't.  The therapist I have now specializes in addiction issues and understands and helps me think through my addiction and offers suggestions, but I had a couple therapists before this which just didn't understand me and what I needed. My suggestion is that it is best to define before you go what you are expecting the therapist to do or help you learn. Any therapist has a better chance of helping if you know what you are expecting them to do. When I first went I was clear and honest about what I was struggling with (have tried to quit games by shear willpower, but was struggling to do so) and was looking for practical solutions to help me accomplish this goal. I think it's easy for many therapists to get lost "studying you" instead of "helping you". Don't be afraid to try different therapists/counselors/psycharatrists/psychologists (I'm not exactly sure the differences??). In my experience they are not all the same. Find something or someone that works for you!

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Had a therapist off and on for almost 7 years now. Really, a shrink is just a paid friend/mom/dad, a mentor, someone who gets it and can give you good advice - someone you can vent to without them telling the whole world. With a bit of research into how psychology (the mind) works, intuition, and objective thinking, you can assess your own problems yourself and fix them yourself. So, for me personally, a shrink was good for the first year or so, but, it's gotten to the point where I see the guy once or twice a year when I feel like crap. For me, having an outside force, a motivator, a goal, a purpose, in that order, that's what made me a better person. Crying about my problems to some dude getting paid by the hour, did not. In fact, in hindsight, it actually made me more depressed because I dwelled on it more. You know, sometimes the answer is to just move on, sometimes the bad guy does get away, sometimes you can't get what you want, so you have to take control of the things that you can - the present and the future. If I could tell myself something when I was 20 or so it'd be that: nobody's gonna just magically fix your problems for you, you have to do it yourself, accept that and become better - or don't, stay pissed off and sad longer than you have to.

Move on and you'll put the therapists out of business. Yep, ignorance is bliss, if you're not bound by money or law to think about shitty things, don't think about them. Move on. Can't change the world, but you can change yourself, stand with the man in the mirror - or don't.

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I've had a therapist for 2 years now and it's the best thing I've ever done.  I have insurance so I see him for free.  What you need to do with the therapist is know what kind of advice and therapy works for you.  I knew I didn't want medication, so I made sure to see someone who could not prescribe anything.  I wanted to solve my problems without that help.

I also like this therapist more than the two I had tried out because he engages with me.  Some therapists just want to let you speak.  I find that women therapists will let you vent more and male therapists will often try to problem solve more with you.  Not saying that's the case with all, but I found that in the four that I've seen in my life.  

When you go in, just know the first appointment is going to be hard.  You're going to unload your problems and they're going to take notes.  Not a lot will be accomplished because they need to figure out the whole story from several points of view through your stories.  You need to be patient with them and just know that it is helping you in the long run.

Give them a chance.  It took a few months, but after that I was not gravely depressed anymore and had the courage to move forward in life.

Good luck and if you have any questions let me know.

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Thanks guys, I appreciate your different viewpoints. It's super helpful.

I'm not struggling with depression, so a therapist for me boils down to a person who I'm responsible to and who gives me advice and tips on how to deal with my addiction.

The former is not that important because I live abroad and my only option for a shrink is online. And it's hard to feel responsible to someone you know only online.

The latter is not that useful because most of the stuff is online already.

I tried 3 therapists online and one of them seemed to be half-decent, worked with me on my problem and gave some basic suggestions. I didn't end up going through with it because I don't think the price is worth it at this point in my life. If I'm better off financially I might try it again.

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On 8/13/2018 at 8:54 PM, karabas said:

Thanks guys, I appreciate your different viewpoints. It's super helpful.

I'm not struggling with depression, so a therapist for me boils down to a person who I'm responsible to and who gives me advice and tips on how to deal with my addiction.

The former is not that important because I live abroad and my only option for a shrink is online. And it's hard to feel responsible to someone you know only online.

The latter is not that useful because most of the stuff is online already.

I tried 3 therapists online and one of them seemed to be half-decent, worked with me on my problem and gave some basic suggestions. I didn't end up going through with it because I don't think the price is worth it at this point in my life. If I'm better off financially I might try it again.

I see, I see. How to deal with your addiction... Honestly? My answer? Find something else to get addicted to, something that benefits you in the real world. I'm an artist, I draw and paint all day, I sculpt now too. So, ever meet a business-man and he's like... 100 times more wealthy than you and you think to yourself..."this guy, is kind of a fucking idiot?" Well, time is money as those guys say, simple and true. Gaming took a lot of time from me, I'm not as great as I wanna be - but I'm getting there. I'm on the road to getting into the commercial art industry since I got into a concept design school. Find something that you're into, art, music, some kind of sport, whatever - get into it like you did with gaming. Gamify it, go to school for it, have a goal, challenge yourself, see that progress, get addicted all over again - but to something that actually matters; that's what worked for me anyway. Time is money, invest that time into yourself, time is a valuable currency - even if it is free. Oh and don't do relationships until you've got your shit together, it's easy to cave into loneliness and all that. The only difference between addiction and passion is that one fucks up your life and the other strengthens it - they're two sides of the same coin.

That's all I've got for you, don't let time slip away, don't wake up at 30 or 40 or even 50 and wondering what the hell happened.

 

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Hey there!

Although this discussion seems to be finished I tried to come up with some points to consider when thinking about going to a therapist/the first sessions. Some have already been mentioned by others, I just included them for the sake of creating some sort of checklist.

  • first things first: money - this is actually a highly individual point as different people do have different amounts of it for spending on a therapist. Also, health care and insurance systems and general prices of these services are vastly different across the world.
  • The personality of the therapist and the general style of therapy should be something you can work with: by that I mean your therapist should be less of a friend or doctor, but rather a (sort of) colleague/mentor who works with you on a certain project  (fixing whatever issue you're attending therapy for)
  • The therapist won't be able to magically cure you, this is not his/her task - he/she should be able to provide you with the tools necessary to handle and overcome depression/addiction/... yourself.
  • Ask the therapist for techniques to incorporate into everyday life... I doubt that "just talking" every other week will lead to sustainable results (even though talking is important and a professional may give better advice than a friend/family member)
  • Study the qualifications and biography of your therapist beforehand to see whether or not he has experience dealing with the subject (e.g. video game addiction)
  • Monitor the progress you made during therapy to evaluate whether or not it actually pays off.
  • If you are confident about needing a therapist: try several and assess them based on the quality and quantity of the advice they are giving.
  • Know what you are expecting from therapy and communicate these needs during sessions.
  • Give your therapist the "full picture" to work with (don't hold back any information out of shame, guilt, etc.)
  • (At least) Try out your therapists' recommendations, even if they sound strange/funny.

Let me know if you have further ideas to expand on this list or if you disagree with the points already mentioned. I would love to update it.

Cheers,

Max

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You can talk to them about updating your addiction progress which is what I did with games.
I was settling back into gaming this semester and straight up deleted the software in front of
him. I have yet to redownload any of it again.

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A therapist might be helpful. However, specifically from the point of view of practical application of therapy techniques to video game addiction, I don't believe there has been nearly enough research and practice put into it in order to confidently say a therapist would be of any real use. You'd definitely need to find one that not only specializes in addiction therapy, but has had success in the past with putting people on the right road to recovery.

I had a therapist in the past, but I can't confidently say one way or another if they helped or not. I'd like to think my sessions with her did ultimately help at least a little bit. However, to have success in therapy requires something very important from you: the acceptance that you have a problem, and the willingness and resolve to apply the strategies and techniques they suggest. A therapist cannot magically cure you, they can only point you in the right direction. It requires effort on your part in order to make it work. When someone says therapy didn't work for them, this is probably the reason why.. myself included.

All that being said, I feel like if you have accepted you have a problem and are prepared to make the commitment to deal with it, you don't really need a therapist. Do a little research, ask some questions on this forum and put into a place a plan of action that will work for you. There are so many examples of people bouncing back strongly from video game addiction that you can pretty much take the high level approach that they took and just modify it to suit your personal needs.

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