Social Media Addiction Therapy in Boulder and Longmont
Does your teenage daughter spend most of her free time on her phone? Does she obsessively take selfies and seem preoccupied with creating her identity through social media? Is she socially withdrawn? Does she exhibit symptoms of anxiety and depression? As her parent, are you wondering if her relationship to social media is healthy or unhealthy? Do you wonder the long term effects social media has on your daughters developing brain? Are your efforts to impose limits on her social media use met with emotional breakdowns that feel like a constant battle? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your daughter might be struggling with symptoms of social media addiction.
The therapists at Colorado Women’s Center recognize the devastating consequences of social media addiction. We are living at a unique time in history never navigated before. When you think back to your adolescent years, you might recall a preoccupation with social connection when friends became more important than your family, and your growing autonomy was tested with independent trips to the mall or the park. During this stage of development, adolescents rely on feedback from peers to build their sense of identity, while practicing and refining social skills that will serve them throughout their lifetime. So what is the impact social media plays on these developmental tasks? Research has found that compulsive social media use can create a sense of isolation rather than a sense of connection. And, it can lead to increased risk of developing anxiety and depression. These online forums are designed to stimulate the reward pathways in the brain, and repetitive use over time trains the mind to expect constant stimulation, which makes it harder to access contemplative thought and attention. And what’s the result of this? Less tuning into what is happening inside your daughter on an emotional, mental, and spiritual level, hyper-focus on the perceptions of others, and stunted identity development. Here at Colorado Women’s Center, we work with many young women to help them form and sustain connections outside of their virtual world.
So what can you do to support your daughter? The most important thing is to place limits on social media and smartphone use. Research has found that the minimum age children should have access to these forms of technology should be around age 13. Whether it’s the band, dance class, soccer, wilderness groups, or after school activities, parents should be encouraging their adolescent daughters to participate regularly in activities that build her sense of connection and belonging. What if your daughter is already exhibiting the negative effects of social media addiction and you feel lost on what to do next? This is where the Colorado Women’s Center can help.
We offer individual teen and adolescent therapy, parent/daughter therapy, parent coaching, and girls empowerment groups to support girls in creating meaningful, face-to-face connections. Our therapists are trained to help your daughter explore the self-limiting beliefs and struggles that exist beneath her symptoms of obsessive digital connectivity while helping her develop tools to regulate her emotions. This process allows her to tune into her inner voice, which will help build a positive self-identity that will serve her throughout her lifetime. We believe that social media, when used in a balanced way, can be a positive resource in social identity development. Balance is key.
Contact us today at Colorado Women’s Center to set up an appointment at our Boulder and Longmont, Colorado Locations.