The Illusion of Connection: Psychotherapy in the Age of Facebook

The Illusion of Connection: Psychotherapy in the Age of Facebook

The Illusion of Connection: Psychotherapy in the Age of Facebook, Minecraft and Online Pornography 

Presented By: Mark Edwards, MS, LMFT | April 21, 2018 | 9 am to 1 pm

Location: CIP, 1330 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 201, San Rafael, CA 94901

Cost: $75 early registration, up to 10 days prior to seminar, $85 after

CIP Member Rate: $50 early registration, up to 10 days prior to seminar, $60 after

CEs: 4 CEs for MFTs & LCSWs and 4 CEs for Psychologists

Mark Edwards Bio: 

Mark Edwards, MFT is a psychotherapist, trainer, teacher and consultant. He has maintained a private practice in San Rafael since 2000 and works with a broad client group of children, adolescents and adults. He has been a member of adjunct faculty of the Master’s program in Counseling at Sonoma State University for more than 10 years and was formerly Assistant Clinical Director at the Community Institute for Psychotherapy where he continues to supervise and teach post Master’s and Pre-Doctoral interns. Mark was an early adopter of internet technology and is keenly aware of the clinical implications of this rapid shift in communication, leisure and information. 

Course Description:

As the internet and communications technology have evolved, the amount of time people spend online has increased dramatically. Children and teens engage friends through social media and text. Hours are spent in competition through casual and serious gaming. Relationships can be enhanced or challenged through the consumption of pornography. 

How is this change affecting the nature of interpersonal relationships? Just as importantly, how should clinicians understand this new reality and address the effects of technology-mediated communication?

This study group will review current research on compulsive internet use in adolescents and adults, examine the question of internet addiction, and explore the ways in which pathological internet use is likely to enter the treatment room. Treatment strategies will be suggested for use in outpatient psychotherapy. 

The presenter will apply the ideas of Bowen, Winnicott, Lacan, and others to frame the paradox of online life – the lure to connect through a medium which can pull us farther apart – and to explore the psychological attraction of excessive internet use.

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to:


  1. Describe current research into consequences of the overuse of social media, online games and online pornography.
  2. Evaluate the social outcomes of adolescent and adult use of social media.
  3. Assess for indications of pathological internet use and comorbid psychopathology.
  4. Select appropriate treatment strategies and interventions to address issues raised by pathological internet use.


Course Schedule/Outline: 


8:30 am – 9:00 amRegistration 


9:00 am – 9:30 am Overview of use patterns of social media platforms, online games and internet pornography across the clinical spectrum. Discussion of the range and prevalence of internet related concerns in clinical practice.


9:30 am – 10:15 amThe paradox of social media. Patterns of social media use for adolescents and adults. An exploration of four hypotheses to explain the social outcomes of adolescent online communication. 


10:15 am – 11:00 amThe consequences of casual and serious gaming on identity formation and psychological development. An evaluation of current research addressing the connection of first-person shooter games and interpersonal violence.


11:00 am – 11:15 am Break 


11:15 am – 12:00 pmA discussion of the demographics, dynamics and risks of internet pornography including child and adolescent exposure. A review of current research and legal considerations.


12:00 noon – 12:30 pmThe psychodynamics of online life. Applying psychodynamic thought to 21st century online relationships.


12:30 pm – 1:00 pmDiscussion of assessment measures and treatment strategies for individuals, couples and families.


  * Marked fields are required.
Price $85.00