Image of a therapist and client in a counseling session.

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

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

Starting Internet addiction counseling

What is Internet addiction counseling?

Internet addiction counseling is a specialized therapeutic approach designed to address and alleviate problematic or compulsive internet usage. It offers individuals a structured and supportive setting to delve into the root causes of their excessive online behaviors, which may encompass activities like social media and gaming.

How does Internet addiction counseling work?

Internet addiction therapists at Thriveworks in Virginia Beach, VA collaborate with you to identify and alter thought patterns and behaviors that drive your dependence, often employing cognitive-behavioral techniques. The primary objective of this counseling is to assist you in regaining control over your internet use, establishing healthier online habits, and addressing any underlying emotional or psychological issues, ultimately fostering a more balanced relationship with the digital world and enhancing overall well-being.

Is Internet addiction counseling conducted in person or online?

Thriveworks internet addiction counseling in Virginia Beach is conducted both in person and virtually through online therapy. We encourage you to choose the option that works best for you.

How long does Internet addiction counseling last?

The length of internet addiction counseling can differ depending on the person's particular requirements and the seriousness of their addiction. Typically, this form of counseling includes multiple sessions spanning from several weeks to several months. The precise number of sessions and overall therapy duration are determined through discussions with the counselor.

Need more help deciding?

Christopher did not want to meet with a therapist, but he did not have a choice. His wife made the appointment and insisted. Last week, their daughter made a comment that made them both think twice. After her volleyball game, Christopher’s daughter was angry. Every time she looked at her dad, she said he was on his phone. His daughter said he is always on his phone. When Christopher asked his wife to defend him, she said that their daughter had a point—Christopher spends most of his evenings on his laptop or with his smartphone in his hand. Christopher was upset, so his wife suggested he talk about it with a professional. At the appointment, Christopher explained that his Internet use is not a big deal, and that he is here so that his wife and daughter would be satisfied. To help him gain perspective, the therapist gave Christopher and asked him to write down when he was online, either on his laptop or phone, during his evenings and days off this week. At his next appointment, Christopher felt differently. He was beginning to see what his wife and daughter were saying. His therapist explained that he is not the only one. Many people are struggling to regulate how much they use the Internet and what they do online. Many people are struggling with an Internet addiction.

“Tech isn’t morally good or bad until it’s wielded by the corporations that fashion it for mass consumption. Apps and platforms can be designed to promote rich social connections; or, like cigarettes, they can be designed to addict. Today, unfortunately, many tech developments do promote addiction.”
― Adam Alter, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked

The therapists at Thriveworks Virginia Beach are working with more and more clients who need help with their Internet use. They may be spending too much time online or they may be taking too many risks online. In either case, help is available. Internet addiction has effective treatments.

Internet Addiction: Diagnostics

High-speed Wifi is long been available in coffee shops and restaurants, but now, people can log in on airplanes and in their cars. Unlimited data plans mean that people are glued to their phones even more. For some, unplugging is not a challenge at all. They can sit down at a meal with friends and not reach for their phone. Others, however, have difficulty with their Internet use. Much in the same way that gambling or shopping can become addictive and compulsive, so can Internet use.

Even before high-speed Internet, mental health professionals were concerned about how people were using the Internet. In 1995, when people were still using dial-up, Dr. Ivan Goldberg suggested that the behavior he was observing was indicative of an addiction. By 1998, another mental health professional, Dr. Kimberly Young developed diagnostics for recognizing compulsive Internet use:

  1. Using the Internet for increasingly longer amounts of time or taking more and more risks online in order to feel content with one’s use
  2. Managing one’s mood—particularly difficult emotions—with the Internet.
  3. Deceiving others about being online—how much, when, where, and what one does online, et cetera.
  4. Losing track of time while online and staying there longer than intended.
  5. Failed attempts to limit or quit using the Internet—often there is a desire to curb use but the inability to do so.
  6. Experiencing obsessive thoughts about the Internet.
  7. Being irritable, depressed, or moody when unable to go online.
  8. Taking risks in order to be online or do certain things online—jeopardizing one’s finances, relationships, job, and more.

Compulsive Internet Use: Symptoms and Signs

When people have difficulty regulating what they do online, they often experience side-effects in real life. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of Internet addiction is important because early intervention often helps people heal and recover from Internet addiction. When people see the red flags of addiction and take action immediately, they may have an advantage in recovery.

Emotional signs that an Individual is struggling with Internet addiction may include…

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

Physical signs that an Individual is struggling with Internet addiction may include…

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

Scheduling a Session at Thriveworks Virginia Beach for Internet Addiction

Compulsive Internet use can look like a professional who never puts their phone down. It can look like a teen (or anyone for that matter) who incessantly scrolls through social media. It can be out-of-control pornography use or over-involvement in online relationships. If the Internet feels like it is controlling you, it may be time to reach out for help, and help is available. When you reach out to Thriveworks Virginia Beach, know that you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We accept many different insurance plans, and we also offer weekend and evening appointments. When you call, one of our scheduling specialists will answer and help you find an appointment. Let’s get started. Call 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 Virginia Beach therapists and counselors accept 25 insurance plans

  • Aetna

  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Virginia | BCBS

  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Virginia Medicare Advantage

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield | Anthem (Blue Card)

  • CareFirst Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia | BCBS PPO

  • Carelon

  • Cigna | Evernorth

  • Cigna | Evernorth EAP

  • Cigna | Evernorth Medicare Advantage

  • Compsych

  • First Health Network

  • Humana Exchange

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Self-pay costs at Virginia Beach
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

4.7 Thriveworks Virginia Beach reviews are collected through Thriveworks.com.
★★★★★
I have been seeing Sharyn Ingrum for a couple months now, she is very kind and welcoming and has helped me so much. I have seen great improvement in myself since seeing her. 10/10 recommend her, she makes therapy engaging and you can feel that she truly cares about her patients.
Read more I have been seeing Sharyn Ingrum for a couple months now, she is very kind and welcoming and has helped me so much. I have seen great improvement in myself since seeing her. 10/10 recommend her, she makes therapy engaging and you can feel that she truly cares about her patients.
Virginia Beach Dec 2021
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
I’ve known John McAnulty for a few years, and I have to say he’s the most compassionate counselor I’ve encountered so far! He helped my husband and I through a very rough time and I’m eternally grateful. His skills and empathy for his clients is evident!
Read more I’ve known John McAnulty for a few years, and I have to say he’s the most compassionate counselor I’ve encountered so far! He helped my husband and I through a very rough time and I’m eternally grateful. His skills and empathy for his clients is evident!
Virginia Beach Oct 2021
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
I would definitely recommend Thriveworks. Rarely can you reach for a counselor online and be able to take practical and progressive steps to work toward personal goals, growth and healing. John McAnulty Is a consummate professional, lending compassionate attention and assistance to clients as they navigate the path to well-being. I could not be more appreciative of his service.
Read more I would definitely recommend Thriveworks. Rarely can you reach for a counselor online and be able to take practical and progressive steps to work toward personal goals, growth and healing. John McAnulty Is a consummate professional, lending compassionate attention and assistance to clients as they navigate the path to well-being. I could not be more appreciative of his service.
Virginia Beach Sep 2021
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Nikol is top tier when it comes to professional counselors. She has the ability to connect with individuals while providing sound therapy. I have interacted with Nikol personally and professionally, and would most definitely trust my loved ones and friends in her care.
Read more Nikol is top tier when it comes to professional counselors. She has the ability to connect with individuals while providing sound therapy. I have interacted with Nikol personally and professionally, and would most definitely trust my loved ones and friends in her care.
Virginia Beach Jun 2021
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Don is an incredible human being who is right where he needs to be helping people regain balance in their lives. I lost mine. My husband lost his. We lost our marital balance. Don helped us face hard truths and taught us how to acknowledge our negative communications and replace it with the knowledge of how to break the cycle. We learned how to healthfully detach, accept & grow. We are forever thankful to Don for his guidance.
Read more Don is an incredible human being who is right where he needs to be helping people regain balance in their lives. I lost mine. My husband lost his. We lost our marital balance. Don helped us face hard truths and taught us how to acknowledge our negative communications and replace it with the knowledge of how to break the cycle. We learned how to healthfully detach, accept & grow. We are forever thankful to Don for his guidance.
Virginia Beach Sep 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Great session,fair priced and mr. Costigan is very friendly and knowledgable. Great help
Virginia Beach May 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
This is a review for Mandy Donnelly at the Virginia Beach location. I worked with Mandy for more than one year in community mental health and she is the real deal. Mandy was able to build strong relationships with her clients and had a great impact with with children, adolescents, and adults. Mandy is also highly ethical and respectful. I would strongly recommend Mandy and would take my own children to her.
Read more This is a review for Mandy Donnelly at the Virginia Beach location. I worked with Mandy for more than one year in community mental health and she is the real deal. Mandy was able to build strong relationships with her clients and had a great impact with with children, adolescents, and adults. Mandy is also highly ethical and respectful. I would strongly recommend Mandy and would take my own children to her.
Virginia Beach Apr 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
I started seeing Don in Feb. of this year. I have several behaviors I am currently dealing with. Don is compassionate, knowledgeable, sympathetic and easy to talk to. He is like a friend and has helped me with so many things I'm currently dealing with.
Read more I started seeing Don in Feb. of this year. I have several behaviors I am currently dealing with. Don is compassionate, knowledgeable, sympathetic and easy to talk to. He is like a friend and has helped me with so many things I'm currently dealing with.
Virginia Beach Sep 2019
Review left on Thriveworks.com

Where to find us

Getting here

Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Virginia Beach is located off of S Independence Blvd, in a shopping center right by Lake Trashmore. As you enter this shopping center, you’ll pass Making a Difference Foundation, Inc. on your right. We currently share a building with Interm Healthcare of Virginia Beach, VA, and Bug-Masters.

Phone number

(757) 520-0827

Languages spoken by VA providers

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

Shown in ET

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

Shown in ET

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