Working Therapeutically With Video Gamers and Their Families


Bean, A. M. (2019). Working therapeutically with video gamers and their families. Journal of Health Service Psychology, 45, 40–46.


Video games are a common form of entertainment, but small percentage of those who regularly play video games engage in excessive use of video games. There is a professional debate about whether excessive video game use should receive a formal diagnosis as an addiction. Video games can also be used as a tool in psychotherapy, and elements of video game activity can be valuable in assessment of personality and domains of psychological struggles. This article presents examples of questions and observations of game playing as a means to engage child and adolescent players in discussion and exploration of more psychologically relevant matter.

Registrants can read the full article on


Aarseth, E., Bean, A. M., Boonen, H., Colder Carras, M., Coulson, M., Das, D., . . . vanRooij, A. J. (2016). Scholars’ open debate paper on the World Health Organization ICD-11 Gaming Disorder proposal. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Advance online publication. 10.1556/2006.5.2016.088

Bean, A. M., Nielsen, R. K. L., van Rooij, A. J., & Ferguson, C. J. (2017). Video Game Addiction: The Push To Pathologize Video Games. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Advance online publication. Http://

Bean, A. M. (2018). Working with video gamers and games in therapy: A

clinician’s guide.

Berger, K. S. (2014). Invitation to the life span. New York: NY.  Worth Publishers.

Bonnaire, C., & Baptista, D. (2019). Internet gaming disorder in male

and female young adults: The role of alexithymia, depression, anxiety and gaming type. Psychiatry Research, 272, 521-530.

Carbonell, X. (2017). From Pong to Pokemon Go, catching the essence of the Internet Gaming Disorder diagnosis. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Advance online publication. .2017.010

Ceranoglu, T. (2010). Video games in psychotherapy. Review Of General

Psychology, 14(2), 141-146. doi:10.1037/a0019439

Charlton, J. P. (2002). A factor-analytic investigation of computer ‘addiction’ and engagement. British Journal of Psychology, 93, 329–344.

Charlton, J.P. & Danforth, I.D.W (2007). Distinguishing addiction and high

engagement in the context of online game playing. Computers in Human Behavior 23(3): 1531–1548.

Choo, H., Gentile, D. A., Sim, T., Li, D., Khoo, A., & Liau, A. K. (2010).

Pathological video-gaming among Singaporean youth. Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, 39, 11, 822-9.

Entertainment Software Association (ESA). (2018). Essential facts about the

computer and video game industry.  Retrieved from:

Feldman, R. S. (2015). Development across the life span. Upper Saddle River: NJ; Pearson Education.

Ferguson, C. J. (2015). Clinicians’ attitudes toward video games vary as a function of age, gender and negative beliefs about youth: A sociology of media research approach. Computers in Human Behavior, 52, 379– 386.

Gentile, D. (2009). Pathological video-game use among youth ages 8 to 18: A national study. Psychological Science, 20, 594–602. 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02340.x.

González-Bueso, V., Santamaría, J. J., Fernández, D., Merino, L., Montero, E., & Ribas, J. (2018). Association between Internet Gaming Disorder or Pathological Video-Game Use and Comorbid Psychopathology: A Comprehensive Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15, 4.

Krossbakken, E., Pallesen, S., Molde, H., Mentzoni, R. A., & Finserås, T. R. (2017). Not good enough? Further comments to the wording, meaning, and the conceptualization of Internet Gaming Disorder. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi .org/10.1556/2006.6.2017.013

Kuss, D. J., Griffiths, M. D., & Pontes, H. M. (2016). Chaos and confusion in DSM–5 diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder: Issues, concerns, and recommendations for clarity in the field. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Advance online publication. .2016.062.

Liu, L., Lan, J., Ma, S.-S., Zhou, N., Fang, X.-Y., Liu, L., Yao, Y.-W., … Xia, C.-C. (2018). The comorbidity between internet gaming disorder and depression: Interrelationship and neural mechanisms. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9-19.

Marmet, S., Studer, J., Grazioli, V. S., & Gmel, G. (January 01, 2018). Bidirectional Associations Between Self-Reported Gaming Disorder and Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence From a Sample of Young Swiss Men. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9.

Mental Health TAG (2017) Content enhancement proposal.  Retrieved from

Mentzoni, R. A., Brunborg, G. S., Molde, H., Myrseth, H., Skouverøe, K. J.,

Hetland, J., & Pallesen, S. (2011). Problematic video game use: estimated prevalence and associations with mental and physical health. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 14, 10, 591-6.

Morahan-Martin, J., & Schumacher, P. (2000). Incidence and correlates of

pathological internet use among college students. Computers in Human Behavior, 16(1), 13-29.

Morris, C. (2019).  We spent over $43 billion on video games last year.  Retrieved


Przybylski, A., Weinstein, N., & Murayama, K. (2017). Internet gaming disorder: Investigating the clinical relevance of a new phenomenon. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 174, 230–236.

Quandt, T. (2017). Stepping back to advance: Why IGD needs an intensified debate instead of a consensus. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Advance online publication.

Stein, M. (1998). Jung’s map of the soul: An introduction. Chicago: Open Court.

van Rooij, A.J.,& Kardefelt-Winther, D.(2017).Lost in the chaos: Flawed literature should not generate new disorders. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Advance online publication. .6.2017.015

Thank You to Our Advertisers for This Issue

Earn CE Credit

Learn More

1200 New York Ave NW, Ste 800

Washington DC 20005

p: 202.783.7663

f: 202.347.0550

Endorsed by the National Register