8 questions to Dipl.-Psych. Annette Teske on media addiction
Ms. Dipl. Psychologist Annette Teske is a full-time employee at the Competence Center and the Advice Center for Excessive Media Use and Media Dependence in Schwerin.
Ms. Teske, how do you assess the explosiveness of the topic "Media dependence ???
In my view, the topic will be "media dependence" in the coming years rather more current and more explosive than it already is. Based on various studies on media consumption, e.g. The KIM and JIM study shows that media use is steadily increasing in our society. At the same time, media usage is becoming more and more interesting due to ongoing technological advances. Every day, new opportunities for use open up that invite them to immerse themselves in the virtual world thanks to their fascination. Therefore, it can be assumed that the number of excessive media users and media addicts will increase in the future. Even a glance across the board to Asia allows such conclusions. There modern media have a significantly higher and positively occupied status in society ?? The media consumption is also much higher, but also linked to a no longer overlooked addiction problem. To prevent addiction, some Asian countries are already working with strong state regulations.
What does her practical work in addiction help look like??
I work together with a colleague as a psychologist in the media addiction center in Schwerin. Our most important offer is, of course, the advice of excessive media users and media addicts of all ages and their relatives. A direct contact in our counseling center would be optimal, especially since we can then invite the entire family, if the person concerned is a child or a teenager. However, since many help seekers from all over Germany contact us, we often advise by phone or email. There is even the possibility to contact us via skype. For those who come from Schwerin or the surrounding area, we can then offer regular consultation appointments over a longer period of time.
In addition, we offer prevention events in schools (for students, parents and teachers), other public institutions and companies. Due to the great demand, we are meanwhile also organizing training courses on media addiction for multipliers, e.g. Family helpers, employees at the youth welfare office, addiction counselors.
Media addiction is a relatively new, still unexplored phenomenon among mental illnesses. So far, there are only a few in Germany who have dealt with the topic. In addition to the other tasks, the construction of an auxiliary network is an important task for us in order to be able to offer helpers in their area.
How does the contact between you and the affected persons come about?
Usually, the members of the media addicts first contact us and report on the family problems caused by the media consumption of the person concerned. These are mostly desperate parents of teenage sons who feel overwhelmed and unable to have a constructive conversation with their son. Unfortunately, many parents do not get in touch until the situation at home has escalated. These include school refusal, apprenticeship loss, compulsory in- struction by foreign or auto-aggression, after the person concerned has completely failed media consumption. If the persons affected or relatives from Schwerin and the surrounding area report, we will make the first-call consultation in our counseling center after a short telephone conversation.
Especially for those underage who are still living in their parents‘ home, we call for a conversation with the whole family. We also give parents tips on how to motivate the affected child to participate in the counseling session. The first conversation explores the family situation and problematic behavior. The parents should get more insight into the (virtual) life of their child. If the person concerned has confidence in this interview and is ready to deal more intensively with his media consumption, further appointments can be arranged in future without the participation of the relatives in the counseling center. How many appointments take place is individually different and depends on the respective objective.
If the relatives are not in a position to motivate the affected person to participate in the conversation, we nevertheless offer the relatives a counseling session. For calls from other parts of Germany we try to mediate to a local contact person.
Who is your topic from the topic "Media Addiction ?? most likely affected?
Judging by our clientele, male adolescents would have to be primarily concerned with media addiction, with problematic use primarily referring to computer games or online role-playing games.
Nevertheless, I would be very careful to set such generalities. For one thing, adolescents are generally vulnerable to mental illness due to change during adolescence. Added to this is the fact that children and adolescents are subject to greater social control by parents and school than most adults. A problematic media consumption is therefore much faster than a single adult.
I therefore continue to believe that media addiction can affect adults, children and both women and men. Depending on your age, the type of media use may differ (play, chat, download porn sites, etc.).
How do you assess the demand of the party "The green?? become more active in the field of media search?
So far, there is no universal diagnosis for media addiction. Accordingly, the reimbursement for the treatment of media addicts depends on the goodwill of the payers. In addition, there are no government subsidies for this area of advice due to the lack of diagnosis. The advice is therefore offered by addiction counseling agencies on their own initiative. Higher public problem perception could result in future financing possibilities for the advice and treatment of media addicts. From this point of view, we are therefore glad about any interest in the topic from the policy. We hope for long-term support in the inclusion of the diagnosis in the general diagnostic catalog and substantial funding for funds for prevention and counseling.
What do you advise those affected or their relatives??
In any case, it is important that both sides come back to the conversation and try together to find solutions to the conflict situation in the family. The relatives should talk openly and impartially with the person concerned about the motives of his media consumption and the media content (which medium does the person concerned use and why?). The goal should be to find out together why the media consumption is so fascinating for the person concerned and what he lacks in real life. In addition, rules should be established in consultation with one another about media consumption in the family (for example, media may be from certain rooms "relegated" or times of use are introduced). However, it is important that all members of the family respect compliance with the established rules. In a further step, alternatives to media consumption can then be developed. What can the person affected? What is fun for him? And how can relatives support alternative leisure activities??
These should only be first suggestions for intervention measures.
Can you give our readers advice on how to prevent media addiction??
At a time when the media play a very important role in our everyday lives, I would like to speak out for a critical reflection of our own consumption from time to time. We can no longer dispute everyday life without the use of modern media, and that is not necessary. But especially in the context of parenting, you should check your own media usage and change it if necessary (for example, can I only relax in front of the TV after work?). In addition, one can think about where media should be available in the home and if there should be rules regarding media consumption in the family. But it is particularly important for children to be shown alternatives in real life to media consumption. Children need positive experiences in real life, a healthy self-confidence and self-confidence to be prepared for disappointment. Excessive media consumption is an escape from the perceived as disappointing and drab real world. That might sound a bit pathetic, but pretty much the core.
Which source of information can you recommend on this topic?
On the subject of media literacy, there are informative and easy to read brochures from the Federal Center for Health Education, which are available free of charge on request. If parents would like to know more about the contents of certain games, they can inform themselves in the Internet on the side of the usk (www.usk.de) or on the side of the player advisor NRW (www.spieleratgeber-nrw.de). At the Federal Examination Office for Youth Hazardous Content and at Klicksafe there is information on the topic of youth protection on the Internet and in PC games. We ourselves have an information booklet for parents and relatives on the subject of media addiction" written, which can be ordered from us. Another booklet on the subject of media addiction was published by the Gesamtverband Sucht. Those who would like to read more intensively may find a suitable book for themselves under the following literature suggestions:
– Farke, G. (2003) (ed.). OnlineSucht, Stuttgart: Kreuz publishing house
– Bergmann, W., Hüther, G. (2006) (ed.) Computer Addicts. In the wake of modern media, Düsseldorf: Walter-Verlag
– Grüsser, S.M., Thalemann, R. (2006) (ed.) Computer games addict? Advice and help, Bern: Publisher Hans Huber
Ms. Teske, we thank you for answering this questionnaire.
The education counseling center – getting help is a sign of competence
The Education Counseling Center – Problems in education are no longer taboo If parents do not get further at one point in the upbringing of their…
Help with education – the family counseling center as a starting point
Help with education – the family counseling center as a starting point for parents Today, there are a variety of counseling services available to help…
Vegan child nutrition – pro – versus vegan nutrition in children
Vegan child nutrition The topic of nutrition is enormously important for parents . With hardly any topic on health they have more influence than on the…
Job and family Here are some tips for job seekers and employees. What should be considered when looking for a job? How do you enjoy the job? And how do…