Teen on computerIn a recent conversation with Christy Plaice, LPC, MAC, CCT we discussed the adolescents’ sense of reality. In our professions we both encounter at-risk adolescents who are, often times at their worst. So I posed the question to Christy:

Do you think that adolescents in general have a distorted sense of reality and if so, why do you think that is?

Christy indicated that through her practice she definitely sees a skewed sense of reality in adolescents. “With the flooding of movies and reality TV; and especially the obsession with video gaming an adolescents’ world becomes distorted.” With hours upon hours of artificial entertainment compounded into their brains adolescents can easily fall into a state of transference: essentially transferring gaming-fantasy to everyday life as we know it, she continued. Thus gaming-reality infects their world.

When teenagers and adolescents are not put in a position of having to use their brains for creative outlets, develop their own imagination, develop their own insights which are, of course, the building blocks for a healthy sense of self. Christy went on the say that problems arise when an adolescent does not have a healthy sense of self, but one of the problems she sees arising from adolescents’ gaming-reality are is escapism.

“Video games and hours upon hours of being on the computer are removing them from engaging within the world. These forms of media are also huge for escapism.” says Christy.

Hiding from uncomfortable emotions, feelings, family dynamics, peer pressures, body image are just a few of the issues Christy sees in the adolescents she encounters. If they are on the computer, playing computer games or watching reality TV they may be “out of the way and not getting into trouble” as some parents have referenced Christy says, but why they are more comfortable at the computer or TV instead of engaging in personal conversation or group activities should be the greater concern.

Christy indicated to me that adolescents have a hard time growing into adulthood without allowing gaming-reality to be the guiding force in their world. “I do want to be clear,” Christy said with emphasis, “that there are many adolescents who can play video and computer games and still maintain healthy social networks, open dialogue at home and maintain well in school, so forth.  So yes, those whom are obsessed for hours on end are the ones we need to draw wonderment and concern about.”  She said we could continue to discuss this issue without even getting into the problem of how the lack of exercise associated with the adolescent couch potato affects their life. I suggested we save that topic for another day.

For more information on Christy Plaice, LPC, MAC, CCT Door of the Soul in historic downtown Roswell, GA and how she can help your adolescent move out of their gaming-reality call the offices of SafePassage Adolescent Services 770.667.7467 or visit Christy  Plaice on the web.