Counseling in Alexandria, VA (Franconia) for Internet Addiction—Counselors and Therapists

Counseling in Alexandria, VA (Franconia) for Internet Addiction—Counselors and Therapists

Neal did not want to be driving to a therapy appointment, but his parents insisted. They were concerned. Neal did not see what the issue was. As they sat down with the counselor, Neal’s parents started to explain. A year ago, Neal loved school and would often stay after for practice, a study group, or club meeting. Now, he is often late to class in the mornings because he stays up late. They said that Neal comes home right after school and is on his computer all evening and late into the night. In the past few months, he has also lost a lot of weight. Neal’s parents said that they are most worried for Neal’s safety. They are concerned about these changes, but they are also concerned about who he is meeting online. After they finished sharing their point of view, the therapist could see Neal was annoyed. He asked for a moment to speak with Neal alone. The therapist explained to Neal that he wanted to hear about this past year from Neal’s point of view. He thought for a moment and then made a brave decision. Neal decided to share about how his friends had excluded him. They ignored him at school and stopped inviting him to hang out. Neal’s therapist could see that he was facing a lot of serious situations in his life. The therapist explained to Neal what Internet addiction was. A lot of people go online to cope with hard circumstances, but there is a better way. With the accessibility of the Internet, more and more people are developing an addiction, but many people are also reaching out for the help they need.

“Turn off your email; turn off your phone; disconnect from the Internet; figure out a way to set limits so you can concentrate when you need to, and disengage when you need to. Technology is a good servant but a bad master.” —Gretchen Rubin

Thriveworks Alexandria, VA (Franconia) has seen many people who are wrestling with when, how, and where they use the Internet. Our therapists have helped many learn healthy coping skills and how to take back control of their life online.

Obsessively Using the Internet

Unlimited data plans. Smartphone. Tablets. Laptops. It is not difficult for most people to access the Internet. Many people can unplug, set their phone down, close their laptop, and walk away without difficulty. Many people struggle. They may reach for their phone during dinner with friends; they may be losing control of what they do online; they may scroll through social media while never feeling satisfied. Internet addiction is much like a gambling addiction or a shopping addiction. There may not be a substance, but there is dependency.

As early as 1995, mental health professionals were proposing the idea that people could use the Internet compulsively. Even during the days of dial-up, people were displaying behavior that paralleled addiction. By 1998, Dr. Kimberly Young had developed diagnostics. When an individual displayed at least five of the following, they may be addicted to the Internet:

  1. The inability to curb or stop internet use.
  2. An obsession with the Internet.
  3. Staying online for longer than one planned.
  4. Putting one’s personal relationships or professional work at risk because of Internet use.
  5. Escalating the time spent online in order to feel satisfied with one’s use.
  6. Regulating one’s mood with the Internet.
  7. When not online, feeling irritable, moody, or depressed.
  8. Lying to loved ones about when and/or how much one uses the Internet.

Mental health professionals realized that Internet addiction can also show itself in many different ways, including:

  • Cybersex addiction: Going the Internet for porn and/or sex in a compulsive way.
  • Net compulsions: Losing control over online shopping, gambling, or day-trading.
  • Computer addiction: Obsessively playing online video games.
  • Information addiction: Endlessly looking at social media, searching databases, and surfing websites.
  • Cyber-relationship addiction: Enmeshed online relationships.

Emotional and Physical Effects of Internet Addiction

There are a number of problems that compulsively using the Internet can cause for an individual in their real life. Physically, Internet addiction can result in challenges such as…

  • Poor personal hygiene (e.g., not bathing)
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Backache
  • Insomnia
  • Dry eyes and other vision problems
  • Neck pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Poor nutrition (forgetting to eat or eating excessively)
  • Headaches

Emotionally, Internet addiction can result in challenges such as…

  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Avoidance of work
  • Inability to keep to a schedule
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Isolation
  • Defensiveness
  • Losing a sense of time
  • Agitation
  • Fear
  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of elation when using the Internet
  • Dishonesty
  • Anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Procrastination

Scheduling Help at Thriveworks Alexandria, VA (Franconia) for Internet Addiction

There are many resources available to people who have an Internet addiction, and often, a mental health professional can help them find the right treatment options. At Thriveworks Alexandria, VA (Franconia) each client receives individualized care. We know that some clients who struggle with Internet compulsions need a support groups; others need medication; other benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; many need a combination of all three. Our therapists have helped many clients find the help they needed.

When you contact our office, know that we accept many different forms of insurance. New clients often have their first appointment within 24 hours. We also offer evening and weekend sessions, but we do not keep a waitlist. Our hope is that every client receives the help they need when they need it. Let’s work together.

Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

People Love Our Providers!

Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 17 5 1 17 reviews. See all reviews
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Great Experience

★★★★★
My daughter's dad and I had a few sessions with Dee Jacobi-Edwards and she was great. She was very neutral and honest with both of us when it came to our disagreements and downfalls. She was also extremely patient with us throughout our sessions. I would absolutely recommend Dee.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

A truly dedicated professional

★★★★★
I have been battling anxiety and depression for years, and Mary Alice Fields has helped me finally find some relief. She is dedicated to helping her clients live their best possible life, and she has helped me gain some peace in my life. I know she has help countless others, and I would highly recommend her to anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety issues.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Excellent Experience

★★★★★
Mary Alice was excellent to work with. I highly recommend!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Mary Alice Fields

★★★★★
Excellent and convenient help when you need it.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Great place

★★★★★
Not only does Mary Alice perform her duties in an exemplary manner following all protocols, she does so with empathy and caring.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

MaryAlice Fields

★★★★★
MaryAlice is a talented counselor who helped me tremendously.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

patient parent

★★★★★
Lolita is a very thoughtful therapist. She also has a good understanding of children as she worked with my son at the ages of 15 & 16. She was an advocate for him, and she was eager to work with him in goal-setting, which my husband and I appreciate very much. We may continue to seek our her assistance in the future should our needs change. Thank you for all of your help.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Can’t thank you enough

★★★★★
I was skeptical at first to open up to a complete stranger and express my problems and thoughts but Gelila made me feel completely comfortable within the first couple of sessions. She is very kind, a good listener, and extremely helpful. I have been talking to her for a couple of months and I feel instantly relieved of stress after our sessions. I can’t thank her enough for helping me out through tough times.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Rebecca Fry is amazing

★★★★★
Rebecca has been my therapist for almost a decade and I can not recommend her enough. She is thoughtful and caring, while also great at challenging and giving direct recommendations on how to deal with issues. She even stayed with me after I moved out of the area and worked to figure out a remote option. She has worked with me through many issues and remained a valuable resource I can rely on.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Rebecca is incredible!

★★★★★
I can't speak highly enough of Rebecca Fry - she is compassionate, patient, attentive, and encouraging. She is celebratory of growth and honest in her feedback without ever being critical or judgmental. For someone who was fearful of entering therapy, she embraced me with warmth and understanding. She has helped me tremendously by equipping me with practical coping mechanisms that are manageable and realistic but challenge unhealthy habits when necessary. On top of her professionalism - Rebecca is so easy to relate to and never makes me feel like I have anything to be ashamed of. She cares deeply for her patients and wants to help them lead healthier lives. She is an absolute treasure and I can't recommend her highly enough!!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Highly Recommend Kayla Barnoski

★★★★★
I would highly recommend Kayla Barnoski as a therapist. She is caring and knowledgeable. She listens and works with you to find a solution that works for your individual situation. She has experience with many age groups and is a hard worker. You will not be disappointed.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Only one session so far, but it’s going well.

★★★★★
Only one session so far, but it’s going well.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

I love Lisa Cornelius!

★★★★★
I love my sessions with Lisa Cornelius! She helps me to work through issues and is just a fantastic listener!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Lisa is great!

★★★★★
Lisa is great! Easy to relate to and very helpful. I appreciate her flexibility as well.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Loving my therapist!

★★★★★
Loving my therapist!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Great Counselor – Lisa Cornelius

★★★★★
I'm so glad I found Lisa. She's an awesome therapist, and I really enjoy my visits with her!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

So far so good!!!!

★★★★★
So far so good!!!!
See fewer reviews

Thriveworks Counseling

Schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Counselor or Life Coach!

  • 6076 Franconia Rd Suite D,
    Alexandria, VA 22310

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-12AM
    Saturday:7AM-6PM
    Sunday:8AM-5PM

It’s Time to Start a Relationship with a Thriveworks Counselor

It’s not easy, but we’re extremely selective about the counselors, psychologists, and coaches that join our practice. Experience a provider with skill and passion for helping clients make meaningful advances in their lives, relationships, careers, and happiness.


Get Started Today!

We believe that everyone can benefit from counseling or coaching with a skilled and caring professional.