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iDisorder: Understanding How Technology Impacts Our Daily Activities, Mental Health, & Our Children

4 CE Credits/Hours - Online Course - $39.00

Developed by Dr. Larry Rosen

This course is also offered as part of a Psychology of the Web Certificate Program of 31 CE Credits.

This course includes materials consisting of:

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General Course Description

The changes in how we work, play, communicate and relate with each other have more than rewired our communications and our relationship with the world. They have created personality and behavioral changes and have rewired our brains as well. Just as email and Skype have become part of most therapists' toolkit, therapists can no longer afford to ignore these other e-communication and mental processing changes (including multitasking and distraction), and they have to recognize the profound effect such changes have on our personalities and relationships. Psychologist Larry Rosen, who has written five books about the "psychology of technology" and writes a national column for The National Psychologist, and blogs about e-communication issues for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post, has been researching these changes for nearly three decades, and he finds that many of the DSM-5 disorders are present in how we use--and attempt to cope with--the pervasive e-communication tools in our society, such as smartphones, email, social networking and tweeting. How we respond to and swim in this sea of e-communication often looks similar to personality disorders, addictions, anxiety, depression, and OCD. The course explains new phenomena such as "phantom pocket vibration syndrome" where nearly 90 percent of undergraduates in a study reported experiencing these vibrations at least once every two weeks. When asked to place their cell phones out of sight, the anxiety levels of the more frequent smartphone users spiked. What are the ramifications of this when therapists see younger clients in their offices and ask then to turn off their cell phone?

This beginning level course, consisting of a video and eight articles, introduces research about how such changes affect us socially and neurologically and presents exercises and strategies to help clients alleviate the stress of today's world and gain control over the very e-communication tools that often seem to have gained control over us. It also includes a section for therapist who work with parents, children or families that shows parents how to relate to their children around electronic technology that has become an integral part of the lives of the younger generation. Finally, the course includes a resource section for further study and information.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach psychotherapists to:

1.    Describe the neurological and behavioral effects of e-communication.

2.    Discuss strategies to help clients adapt to e-communication stress and increase their attentional focus.

3.    Compare the concept of iDisorder to DSM-5 disorders.

4.    Discuss the TALK model for helping parents communicate with their children about e-communication.

Course Syllabus

Definition and prevalence of iDisorder

Neurological effects of ecommunciation

E-communication's effects on interpersonal relationships

iDisorder's relationship to DSM-5 diagnoses

  • OCD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Sleep disorders
  • ADHD

Differences among generations in relation to e-communication

  • Baby Boomers
  • Gen X
  • Net Generation
  • iGeneration

Strategies for coping with e-communication's and technology use's negative effects

  • Brief e-communication breaks
  • Mindfulness

Myths about the benefits of multitasking

  • Multitasking is actually multi-switching
  • Decreased attention and shallower focus

Enhancing parent-child communication concerning electronic technology

Additional references and resources

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