The southeast regional committee of the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) will host a seminar entitled ‘The Internet and Mental Health – Positive and Negatives’ on Sunday, October 7 from 10am to 1pm at the Brandon House Hotel in New Ross, County Wexford.
IACP member and specialist on addiction Eoin Stephens will present the risks of internet and social media addiction, followed by a question and answers session. The seminar will be chaired by Tony Freegrove, the new chairperson of the IACP South-East regional committee.
“More and more people are gradually losing control over the time they spend online – whether via smartphone, tablet or PC,” says Mr Stephens.
“While being connected to friends and business associates has obvious benefits, many people, especially young people, are finding their desire to use Facebook or other social media sites is so strong that it’s affecting their personal relationships, their studies and often their jobs too.”
The seminar aims to show the positives and negatives of the internet in an ever-changing environment where social media is even more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol according to a recent study.
Social media is a part of everyday life however there are key behaviours that indicate social media addiction. The ‘Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale’ rates the following addictive behaviours:
You spend a lot of time thinking of Facebook; you feel the urge to use Facebook more and more; you use Facebook to forget about personal problems; you have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success; you become restless or troubled when you cannot use Facebook or use is prohibited; you use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on your job or studies.
Entry to the seminar is free for IACP members and €10 for non-members. All are welcome. More information is available from the website www.iacp.ie.