I know someone with a gaming problem; What do i do?3-part candid interview with luke vu phd.  by sasha k. Ever wondered what therapy for gaming addiction would be like, and what to do about it first and foremost? Today, we bring to you a conversation we had with Luke Vu – a PhD and psychologist treating digital addictions who runs his recovery clinic in Maroubra, on the topic of gaming addiction. This is Part 3 of a three-part topic that is available exclusively on this blog! I think I might know someone who is at risk of gaming addiction. What do I need to do first? Is there some kind of “first aid” that I can administer?If you want to engage them yourself,  you could! But know that it requires a particular skill set. Do you know how to talk to someone with an addiction problem? Because you want to be non-judgmental and listen to what they’re saying, instead of pushing your beliefs onto them. You want to make it so that the other person is able to open up and … [Read more...]


How does therapy work, exactly? part 2 of 3, candid interview with luke vu phd.  by sasha k. On the previous post of the series, we talked about what gaming addiction might look like for those who suffer from it, and today we’ll talk about why it can be difficult for them to feel understood. Next, we’re going to continue our talk with Luke Vu – a PhD and psychologist treating digital addictions who runs his recovery clinic in Maroubra. This is Part 2 of a three-part topic that is available exclusively on this blog! ​Who usually comes into your clinic to seek help for gaming?I get a lot of young men come to my clinic, who are usually those between the ages of 16 to 35. I have yet to see a woman come in specifically for gaming addiction, but maybe that’s because the majority of gamers are men? But in general, addictions are more prevalent amongst men than they are with women anyway.Why do you think there are more men who experience addiction? Beyond the obvious … [Read more...]


Ever wondered what gaming addiction is about? Today we bring to you a conversation we had with Dr. Luke Vu – a PhD and psychologist treating digital addictions who runs his recovery clinic in Maroubra, on the topic of gaming addiction. This is Part 1 of a three-part topic that is available exclusively on this blog!What is gaming addiction exactly, and is it even a real thing?Gaming addiction is a very real thing. Like any other addiction, it provides an escape or a relief for oneself from anything stressful or negative that they are experiencing in real life. Like any addiction, there’s a pattern of using a short-term solution (whatever your substance or activity may be), repeatedly, turning it into a long-term problem.In this case, let’s say that it is excessive gaming.They can end up neglecting their responsibilities and relationships as they continue to game more heavily. In general, gaming is a powerful stimulus, because it’s a great stress reliever, source of pleasure, provides a … [Read more...]


3 Mental Hurdles to deal with if you want to beat gaming addiction. If you want to overcome gaming addiction, having the right mindset will really help you take positive steps towards getting control of you gaming habits. In my opinion, there are 3 mental hurdles that prevent someone from successfully engaging in treatment or solo-recovery. In fact, if you haven’t accepted and overcome these 3 hurdles, you’re in for a tough time when attempting to quit. There are also practical tips on how to deal with these hurdles.   1st Mental Hurdle: Changing is hard. Why should I change? It’s far easier to stick to what you are currently doing than change. We cling to the familiar and we double down on the time we invest in our life activities. Gaming addiction is the extreme end of this spectrum of gaming. Addiction means that we often do the unhealthy activity despite consequences to other life functions. To simplify, addiction from a psychological perspective is when you … [Read more...]


What is Anxiety? 2 Metaphors that explain it all (almost) I often see clients with anxiety disorders, because is one of the most common mental health issue and that anxiety disorders and addiction often present together. Today I figured it's worth talking about anxiety because it is very treatable and that is one of my great pleasures to treat in therapy. This includes those who have anxiety about being judged or evaluated (social anxiety), those that have excessive concerns about their health (health anxiety or hypochondria), those who experience anxiety attacks and panic attacks and those who can’t stop worrying or ruminating (generalised anxiety). Addiction can be an issue because you might have used substances, gaming, gambling or porn to manage some of your distress from the anxiety ("Why do I have this as a problem") or anxiety itself ("I don't want to feel my anxiety"). Do this often enough, the habit becomes problematic and the anxiety gets worse. Now it's worth … [Read more...]


4 signs that your gaming, gambling or porn habit is becoming a problem. I get a lot of questions from concerned parents, partners and clients if their online habits are becoming an addiction. So I thought to highlight some signs I look out for in the early stages. I like to think of this as signs that you’re starting to shift from regulated healthy habits to risk of developing a problem. Remember, you don’t need to have a full clinical diagnosis of addiction or “internet gaming disorder” in order to have consequences. It is always better to act early and prevent the development of problems. Here’s what I would look out for as a concerned consumer, parent or partner:   Sign 1: Do you find yourself delaying sleep in order to game, gamble or use porn more? Now some of this is intentional, that is, you might wait for everyone to fall asleep so that you can game in peace, consume porn in privacy and avoid being interrupted. Other times, the delay in sleep is unintentional, … [Read more...]


Building healthy digital habits for you and your family. In this seminar, Justin Hendriks and I will go over some super practical tips on how to manage your screen and digital use. I like to think of it as the best way to prevent problematic tech problems from becoming digital addictions (such as porn addiction, gaming addiction, gambling or social media overuse). Best part: ITS ENTIRELY FREE! So drop by, listen to the latest research, techniques and guidelines to keep your digital habits from controlling your life. Also its a great chance for you to ask the questions that you've been reluctant to ask. Such as "is gaming addiction even possible?", "how can someone even get addicted to porn?", "does your brain change if you are addicted to tech?" and etc. Event Details: Tue. 18 September 2018 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm AEST Randwick City Library - Lionel Bowen Library, Maroubra, 2035 Some FAQs. Is it okay for me to bring my teenage son/daughter to this seminar? Yes, it'll be … [Read more...]


Launch Yourself and Overcome Fear, Lecture UNSW A huge thanks to Jacquelyn Cranney and her kind invitation for me to speak with UNSW Psychology Students about launching yourself and overcoming fear. I got a chance to share the 4 most common tools to overcome fear and some of the common barriers to getting going after your meaningful goals (things you want to do, know that are good for you, fear blocks you). It’s an absolute honour to be able to help (in a small way) young adults pursue their meaningful goals. I briefly covered: Fear as a common barrier to pursuing your goals Fear motivates us to avoid the tasks that we want to do and that are good for us. Fear harnessed well can motivate us to action. Fear is a good thing, and courage is a skill that can be practised A 4-piece toolkit to deal with common fears that impede self-launching. The tools: identifying fears, climbing a fear mountain, habituate to fears mentally, attacking your fears Some useful … [Read more...]


A huge thanks to UTS Clinical Psychology for the invitation to present about gaming addiction (sometimes called internet gaming disorder), managing therapeutic resistance and effective CBT tools. I got a chance to share my experiences and some of the common barriers to getting a great therapeutic outcome. In addition, I am very thankful and privileged to be giving back to the profession. I briefly covered: Common barriers to those engaging in treatment of gaming addiction, porn addiction and other digital addictions The Pros and Cons of gaming, and the importance of recognising the benefit of gaming in those are reluctant to change their gaming habits The importance of practicing what you preach: Mastering the tools, then you better teach them to your clients. Some therapist errors to avoid and how to rectify them. A special thanks to Dr. John McAloon, Prof Ian Kneebone and Dr. Jo Paparo who have passed on their wisdom to me in the past and continue to do so with … [Read more...]


USE THE 4D’S TO BEAT URGES When someone comes through my door, a good number of them have attempted to quit and have been unsuccessful (unsurprising). Often, only 2 “tools” are used i.e. harsh self talk and distraction. Part of the definition of having a gambling, porn addiction and gaming addiction is the difficulty in quitting and repeated failed attempts at trying to get your addiction under control. Truth is, when you attempt to reduce your use, you will encounter urges. These urges can be triggered by something you see or hear, but they can also just occur. Urges are part of the equation of keeping your use under control and in relapse prevention.  Urges might sound like this for someone with a gambling problem: “I feel like going for a lucky spin” “I’m feeling lucky, time for a slap” “I’m super stressed, I’ll play the pokies to help me relax” Urges sound like this for someone with a gaming problem “Just one more game, then I’ll start my assignment” “Its already 5am, … [Read more...]