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Offered in-person & online

Our therapists offer help for video game addiction in Grand Rapids, MI

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686,000 people sought help with Thriveworks in the last year

Discover how starting video game addiction counseling can support your own journey toward a happier, more fulfilling life.

Starting Video game addiction counseling

What is Video game addiction counseling?

Thriveworks video game addiction counseling in Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI helps people who have an obsession with playing video games as well as with the more severe internet gaming disorder. People may have mild, moderate, or severe internet gaming disorder if they struggle to control how often or how long they game. The symptoms of internet gaming disorder may include deceiving loved ones about when and how often they play, thinking constantly about gaming, and using video games as a distraction from real-world problems.

How does Video game addiction counseling work?

Thriveworks video game addiction counseling in Grand Rapids Charter Township helps those who suffer by assisting them in regaining control over video gaming. In addition, it can help them cope with the negative effects of video game addiction counseling from anxiety to depression, insomnia, and more.

Is Video game addiction counseling conducted in person or online?

Video game addiction counseling at Thriveworks is conducted both in person and through Online therapy. We encourage you to choose the option that works best for you.

How long does Video game addiction counseling last?

The length of video game addiction counseling depends on the individual's needs as well as the extent and severity of their problem and those that might stem from it. That said, people can make meaningful progress in the first weeks to months of therapy.

Need more help deciding?

Miles and his college buddies used to play video games around the clock. After graduation, most of them moved to different cities, and with full-time jobs, they mostly stopped playing—except for Miles. He still plays throughout the night a few times a week. He has tried to cut back, but the hours he spends gaming inevitably increase. Miles wants to stop. He sees colleagues who were hired with him being promoted while he feels stuck. Miles wonders what else he can do and if he might be addicted to video games.

Along with Miles, many other people are struggling to regulate their video game use. More research is being conducted to understand whether compulsive gaming fits the same clinical categories as other behavior based addictions such as gambling, but several things are clear: the symptoms for compulsive gaming are very similar to those of addiction and so are the treatments.

Based upon the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, several 12-step groups have formed that address gaming such as Online Gamers Anonymous and Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous. People are also turning to therapy to regain control of their gaming.

Thriveworks Grand Rapids video game addiction counselors have worked with many clients who need help regulating their video game play. We have worked with children, teens, and adults, and we love seeing them find freedom and balance.

What Exactly Is Video Game Addiction?

What people normally talk about as a video game addiction, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) formally labels internet gaming disorder and includes in the section, “Conditions for Further Study.” While the DSM-5 acknowledges that mental health professionals need more information on internet gaming disorder, it also acknowledges that much is known. The following are symptoms of internet gaming disorder:

  • Lying to friends, family, and accountability partners about gaming habits.
  • Obsessively thinking about games.
  • Developing a tolerance to gaming—playing for more and more time to feel satiated.
  • Alleviating difficult emotions such as anxiety, loneliness, boredom, guilt, sadness, shame, grief, or fear by playing video games.
  • When trying to stop gaming or when unable to play, experiencing withdrawal—moodiness, irritability, restlessness, or depression.
  • Playing video games to avoid solving real-life problems and challenges.
  • Trying to stop without success.
  • Choosing to game over pursuing time with loved ones or professional/educational opportunities.

In addition, parents should pay particular attention if their children or teens display the following:

  • Falling grades.
  • Drowsiness at school.
  • Unfinished homework.
  • Giving up activities they normally enjoy.
  • Playing video games by themselves.

The underlying theme of these symptoms is control: do people have control over their video game habits or have video games taken control of their lives? Depending upon how many symptoms people present, they may have severe, moderate, or mile internet gaming disorder.

How Does Compulsive Gaming Start?

There are still many unanswered questions about why and how internet gaming disorder is caused, but many people believe that the way video game narratives are written is a contributor—especially core loops. Many social media games, massively multi-media online role-playing games (MMORPG), and mobile games utilize core loops—a system of challenges with rewards that interconnect to the next challenge.

This is how core loops work: the game presents a task. When players complete it, their reward helps them complete the next task, drawing them deeper into the narrative. With each reward, dopamine is also released in their brain. The dopamine solidifies the player’s association between the game and the experience of pleasure.

Monster Hunter is one game, of many, that employs these loops. Players hunt and battle monsters (the challenge). When they defeat a monster, they receive that monster’s powers (the reward). With new powers, they can battle fiercer monsters (the reward loops into the next challenge). Players’ brains also release dopamine with every reward, making the experience pleasurable.

Counseling for Internet Gaming Disorder

Compulsive gaming can cause serious harm in people’s lives. They may experience physical, relational, and emotional challenges as a result of gaming:

  • Physically: many gamers struggle with dry eyes, severe headaches, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, poor hygiene, irregular eating habits, back pain, and sleep disturbances.
  • Relationally: irresponsible behaviors such as lying, overspending, or choosing gaming over time with loved ones can drive a wedge in relationships.
  • Emotionally: when people turn to video games as a release for emotional pain, the pain is never resolved and healed. In fact, it may grow worse.

If you recognize the symptoms and the effects of internet gaming disorder, it may be time to reach out for professional help. If you are ready, so is Thriveworks Grand Rapids.

When you call our office, a scheduling specialist will answer. If you call today, you likely will see a therapist tomorrow. Many new clients have their first appointment within 24 hours of their first call. We offer weekend and evening sessions. We also accept many insurance plans.

Let’s get started. Call Thriveworks today.

Pricing & insurance

Our therapists accept most major insurances. We accept 585+ insurance plans, and offer self-pay options, too.
Learn more about pricing for therapy and counseling services at Thriveworks.

Our Grand Rapids Charter Township therapists and counselors accept 27 insurance plans

  • Aetna

  • ASR

  • Blue Care Network of Michigan

  • Blue Care Network of Michigan Medicare Advantage (HMO | PPO)

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield | Anthem (Blue Card)

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan | BCBS Medicare Advantage (HMO | PPO)

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan | BCBS PPO

  • Carelon

  • Cigna | Evernorth

  • Cigna | Evernorth EAP

  • Cigna | Evernorth Medicare Advantage

  • Compsych

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Self-pay costs at Grand Rapids Charter Township
Talk therapy

Talk therapy

Includes individual, couples, child/ teen, & family therapy

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Talk therapy

Psychiatry

Includes reducing symptoms with medication & management

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Hear from our clients

4.9 Learn about verified reviews
★★★★★
I am loving Thriveworks not only for the convenience of virtual appointments, but this is the first place I’ve tried that has actually helped. My therapist is incredibly kind and helpful and is amazing at helping me with any issues I’m struggling with. They paired me with a therapist that is experienced in the specific areas I needed help with, and it has been wonderful. I would absolutely recommend Thriveworks!
Read more I am loving Thriveworks not only for the convenience of virtual appointments, but this is the first place I’ve tried that has actually helped. My therapist is incredibly kind and helpful and is amazing at helping me with any issues I’m struggling with. They paired me with a therapist that is experienced in the specific areas I needed help with, and it has been wonderful. I would absolutely recommend Thriveworks!
Kelly Jan 2024
Thriveworks.com verified review
★★★★★
I have worked with Pamela Rybka LPC both personally and professionally. I have found her compassion and expertise invaluable. She has helped with me issues related to aging and grief and loss. If you need someone to help you on life's journey, contact her. Her kindness and gentle confrontation will help you be the best person you can be.
Read more I have worked with Pamela Rybka LPC both personally and professionally. I have found her compassion and expertise invaluable. She has helped with me issues related to aging and grief and loss. If you need someone to help you on life's journey, contact her. Her kindness and gentle confrontation will help you be the best person you can be.
Grand Rapids Jul 2022
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Emily Warning is an amazing therapist. She is very professional and knows how to listen and respond to my concerns. She really makes me feel heard. Thank you Emily, you are great!
Read more Emily Warning is an amazing therapist. She is very professional and knows how to listen and respond to my concerns. She really makes me feel heard. Thank you Emily, you are great!
Grand Rapids May 2022
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Cassie personally and professionally for over 10 years. She is an extremely kind and compassionate person. She is an excellent listener, she is very thoughtful, organized and you can tell she genuinely cares about her clients and wants to help. She’s an excellent communicator and I would highly recommend her as a counselor any day!
Read more I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Cassie personally and professionally for over 10 years. She is an extremely kind and compassionate person. She is an excellent listener, she is very thoughtful, organized and you can tell she genuinely cares about her clients and wants to help. She’s an excellent communicator and I would highly recommend her as a counselor any day!
Grand Rapids Mar 2022
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Angel was the sweetest person! I’m so glad I chose this place for help! I felt like a crazy person at first but she made me feel like I was just normal and just going through a lot! I really appreciate angel!
Read more Angel was the sweetest person! I’m so glad I chose this place for help! I felt like a crazy person at first but she made me feel like I was just normal and just going through a lot! I really appreciate angel!
Grand Rapids Jan 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Thriveworks is a blessing. I got an appointment with a counselor within a week. Margaret Rose was wonderful. She was kind and insightful and I felt safe with her. I highly recommend Thriveworks Grand Rapids
Read more Thriveworks is a blessing. I got an appointment with a counselor within a week. Margaret Rose was wonderful. She was kind and insightful and I felt safe with her. I highly recommend Thriveworks Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids Sep 2019
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
My son saw Denise for the first time recently and she was great. She seemed very well informed in every area and so willing to help my son with his anxiety. She actually spent time with us and seemed to care. I'm so glad we found her.
Read more My son saw Denise for the first time recently and she was great. She seemed very well informed in every area and so willing to help my son with his anxiety. She actually spent time with us and seemed to care. I'm so glad we found her.
Grand Rapids Jul 2019
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
I was in need of a psychiatrist for chronic depression and anxiety. I came across thrive having only a 4 month wait instead 9 to 12 month wait with any other psychiatrist. This was wonderful news. I met Denise as my clinician. She is very empathetic very knowledgeable. She has helped me alot sine my first vist. She is very dedicated to her patients which I truly appreciate. I would highly recommend her for any psychiatric needs. I think she goes above and beyond her role. She is a caring individual. There should be more people like Denise. She needs to be recognized for her work.
Read more I was in need of a psychiatrist for chronic depression and anxiety. I came across thrive having only a 4 month wait instead 9 to 12 month wait with any other psychiatrist. This was wonderful news. I met Denise as my clinician. She is very empathetic very knowledgeable. She has helped me alot sine my first vist. She is very dedicated to her patients which I truly appreciate. I would highly recommend her for any psychiatric needs. I think she goes above and beyond her role. She is a caring individual. There should be more people like Denise. She needs to be recognized for her work.
Grand Rapids Mar 2019
Review left on Thriveworks.com

Where to find us

Getting here

Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Grand Rapids is located off of Kenmoor Ave SE. We share an office with Paper Plane Therapies, and are located near the ClearChoice Dental Implant Center.

Phone number

(616) 421-9387

Languages spoken by MI providers

  • English
Saturday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Monday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 9:00pm

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Saturday 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Monday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Tuesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Wednesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Thursday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Friday 7:00am - 9:30pm

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