Located in the Cypress area Northwest of Houston, I specialize in the treatment of Internet Addiction and Asperger’s Disorder (High Functioning Autism). Below is a list of the main conditions I treat:
My main specialty, I work with Internet Addiction of all types, with a focus on Gaming Addiction. As an Internet Addict, I spent 10-16 hours a day within an online game for six years. Quitting was difficult, and to this day I have to monitor myself carefully to avoid relapse. In Treating Clients with Internet Addiction, I focus on the needs the Internet supplies, such as connection to others, control, and self-esteem. I use Cognitive Behavioral techniques to help the Client learn to manage their thoughts and urges and change how they access the Internet. I work with children, adolescents, and adults who suffer from Internet Addiction. Family therapy is a must and is included in most treatments.
Gaming Addiction is a big problem for many teenagers and young adults. Gaming is a cheap form of entertainment, often in the form of virtual worlds with thousands of real life players. These games are often realistic, violent, and difficult to master. Some of these games have millions of players and have tournaments where players can win real-life money. Games can be highly addictive, especially the more realistic they become. Most of my Clients play games at least 10 hours a day, causing damage to grades, work, and relationships. I work to teach my Gaming Addicts how to better manage their time and to learn what the gain from these games. Most have social anxiety or view the game as a career choice. With therapy, they can move past their anxiety of others and focus on a future outside of gaming.
Social Media Addiction
Social Media Addiction is more common than Gaming Addiction, as most people use social media daily to communicate with others. Social Media Addicts view their online presence as extremely important, and will often spend upwards of 10+ hours online crafting their online persona. Public opinion is important, so much so that extreme negative attention has led some people to suicide. Identity and approval are often the needs of those who are addicted to Social Media. Therapy can help find other avenues for these needs, as well as developing coping strategies to manage stress.
Pornography is the silent enemy most people accept. Many in our society consider pornography “normal” and see no problem with it. This holds true for many of our young adults and youth, who view pornography as a normal part of life. Unfortunately, pornography is harmful as it damages relationships, is highly addictive, and damages the brain. Therapy can help a pornography addict learn the reasons why they are addicted to porn, and what they gain from it. Often low self-esteem, social anxiety, and depression are often at the root of Pornography addiction. I help Clients view themselves differently, so they no longer need pornography and can focus on real-world relationships.
Asperger’s Disorder (High Functioning Autism)
Asperger’s is a form of Autism that is becoming more common. Many people with Asperger’s have problems maintaining relationships, understanding social cues, focusing at work or school and often have high levels of anxiety. Asperger’s is a complex condition, as no two people have the same symptoms. Therapy can help teach social skills, manage anger, and work towards independence. While Asperger’s is a form of Autism, many with the condition can lead productive lives. I help my Autistic Clients learn to use their strengths, such as problem-solving and logical thinking while working to better understand the world.
Depression is one of the most common conditions in the world. In the past, Depression has been viewed as a choice, with people being told to “snap out of it.” Research has shown it is, in fact, a medical condition, with damage to the Limbic System being one of the causes. With high levels of stress, anyone can develop Depression. In working with my Clients, I have found many suffer from Depression. In treating Depression, I help teach coping skills, from deep breathing to meditation. I help them to reduce stress in their lives, while at the same time working on realistic, manageable goals.
Anxiety, like depression, affects millions of people. For some, high levels of anxiety are difficult to understand. Those suffering from an anxiety disorder often experience crippling fear, often limiting their interactions with others. Anxiety comes in many forms, including social anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, PTSD, and others. I treat anxiety by introducing coping skills, determining the root cause of the anxiety, and developing a plan for the future.
Imagine going to the grocery store and feeling everyone is judging you. There is no reason for them to judge, you look perfectly normal. However, inside you fear they are judging your appearance, actions, and conduct. Your heart races, and you start to sweat. You leave the grocery store, determined not to return. Social anxiety is a real condition, one based on extreme negative feelings about oneself. In therapy, I help combat these negative thoughts, instead focusing on what is real. I also teach coping skills, and over time ask my Clients to enter back into society.
Bipolar Disorder is a combination of two different Mood Disorders, Depression and Mania. People diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder are often in one of these two states, with some experiencing both states daily. Imagine waking up not knowing if you would be depressed today, or manic. Being Bipolar is like riding an emotional rollercoaster, with ups and downs you cannot control. Suicide is a fear with Bipolar, as a higher percentage of Bipolar suffers commit suicide more than any other disorder. In therapy, I help the Client come to terms with the diagnosis, while focusing on controlling thoughts, teaching coping skills, and devising plans to manage both the Depressive and Manic State.
Addictions In General
In short, anything can be addictive. Addiction is not just drugs and alcohol. I have seen some strange addictions, some chemical, some behavioral. In the end, regardless of chemical or behavioral, all addiction leads to increased neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters, often Dopamine or Serotonin, lead to a “high” and can cause the brain to become dependent on these neurotransmitters. In therapy, I work to determine the cause of the addiction, and what the Client gains from it. From drugs to sex, any addiction has needs it supplies. Learning to manage urges, dealing with relapse, and working with guilt are required in learning to manage an addiction.
In many of my young adult Clients, I have noticed a trend: many do not know what they want to do for a career. Many have no idea what would be interesting to them and have problems seeing a career lasting most of their lives. With so many choices and the fear of choosing the wrong career, many teenagers and young adults are refusing to choose. Many go to college, do badly, and end up dropping out. Often anxiety and low self-esteem are to blame. In therapy, I help my Clients focus on their strengths, their interests, and help them work past the anxiety so they can begin living their lives and focus on the future.