Digital Wellness: Intentional Tech Integration in Young Adult Therapy

In a world where technology is intertwined with every aspect of our lives, the impact of digital devices on mental health, especially among young adults, is becoming a growing concern.

The question is, how can we reduce our excessive use of technology and harness it to create a healthier, more balanced, and more intentional daily life for ourselves?

At Momentum, we’ve developed an adaptive, innovative approach to young adult therapy that blends clinical mental health care with the intentional integration of technology use in order to do just that.

What is Digital Health and Wellness?

Digital Wellness: Tech Integration in Young Adult Therapy - A group of young adults hold and look at cell phones.

 

At its root, digital wellness refers to the practice of developing a healthy relationship with technology.

Digital wellness can also involve using technology and digital devices in intentional ways that have a positive impact — rather than a negative impact — on mental, physical, and social-emotional health. Creating a lifestyle that prioritizes digital wellness can mean managing screen time, making intentional choices about the digital content that we consume and social media accounts that we engage with, and utilizing apps and digital technology designed to enhance our well-being.

Tech Integration with Intention: Our Approach to Digital Wellness

In the past, Momentum asked participants to check their phones at the door for a more immersive therapeutic experience. But we’ve learned over the years that this cold-turkey approach didn’t do much to support or prepare our participants for re-entering the digital world after their time at Momentum.

So, we’re introducing a new initiative that focuses on realistic and sustainable tech integration with intention.

We begin with collaborative education, inviting young adults to explore the relationship between mental health and tech use in their own lives. Through this understanding, young adults can begin to cultivate a mindful balance between the digital sphere and personal well-being.

Our adaptive approach combines clinical mental health care with the therapeutic benefits of a low-stimulus setting with access to outdoor spaces and the advantages of healthy technology use. Through this integration, participants discover how to harness technology as a tool for wellness rather than a source of stress, creating a foundation for a balanced and mindful lifestyle.

A group of four young adults sit together and journal.

Momentum Methodology Involves:

  • Learning: Discussions with peers and counselors aid in understanding the impact of tech on psychological health.
  • Practicing: Experiential activities that promote intentional tech integration.
  • Balancing: Tools and techniques to establish a healthy tech routine.

With An Emphasis On:

  • Self-Awareness: Recognizing patterns and triggers related to digital consumption.
  • Intentionality: Engaging with technology in a purposeful, goal-oriented manner.
  • Healthy Boundaries: Setting clear limits to prevent the overuse of digital devices.
  • Progress Over Perfection: Young adults work toward replacing their current tech habits with healthier ones. This is a process that takes time, and Momentum provides a supportive, shame-free environment to get started.

By engaging in mindful technology use, young adults can create space for offline social connections, fresh air, physical activity, or even a new hobby. Not to mention, less screen time and doom-scrolling can aid in reduced stress and better sleep patterns.

Digital Tools for Digital Wellness

A close-up image of a young adult's hands. The young adult is wearing a smart watch.

Upon joining our program, each participant receives an Apple Watch, marking the first step in their journey to tech wellness. This device, along with intentionally curated digital wellbeing apps, serves as a cornerstone of our approach.

These apps are not merely digital tools. They empower individuals to actively track and manage their well-being. From mindfulness exercises and executive functioning strategies to routine and biometrics tracking, our program leverages technology to enhance the therapeutic experience, promoting a sense of control and engagement in one’s personal growth journey.

Promoting Digital Wellness: Scaffolded Tech Integration

A close-up image of a young adult wearing a white sweatshirt holds a cell phone.

Our approach to tech integration is both structured and supervised, designed to meet each individual’s needs. Participants gradually incorporate smartphone use into their daily lives after starting with the Apple Watch. This process is closely monitored, with structured phone use times to ensure that technology serves as a benefit rather than a detriment.

As participants demonstrate responsible and healthy tech use, they progress to stages of increased digital independence, including supervised limited WiFi use and, eventually, the opportunity for social connections via technology.

This scaffolded approach provides a supportive environment for participants to explore and integrate technology into their lives healthily.

We recognize that this method may seem strict, but it’s vital for fostering an environment where technology enhances rather than hinders our well-being. By guiding participants through structured stages of tech integration, we help them build a strong foundation of digital literacy and wellness. This not only helps in managing potential tech-related issues but also empowers them to make informed decisions about their digital lives, laying the groundwork for a healthier, more mindful relationship with technology.

Individualized Treatment: Intersecting Mental Health and Problematic Tech Use

Our tech integration approach is not one-size-fits-all. As with every aspect of our program, this process is rooted in participant collaboration and personalized methods. Here’s what that can look like at Momentum:

Comprehensive Assessment

The journey begins with a comprehensive assessment where participants, in collaboration with their therapist, develop a personalized tech integration plan. This plan is revisited and adapted throughout their time in the program, informed by ongoing assessments that provide valuable insights into each participant’s relationship with technology.

Digital Detox Treatment

Tailored therapeutic goals are at the heart of our individualized treatment approach. Working closely with their primary therapist, each participant identifies areas of growth at the intersection of their mental health and tech use. This collaborative process ensures that treatment is responsive to each individual’s needs, promoting meaningful progress and personal development.

Digital Wellbeing Education

Education plays a pivotal role in our program, offering participants critical insights into the impacts of technology on mental health. Through classroom sessions, individual and group therapy, and therapeutic assignments, participants are equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate the digital world in a way that supports their mental health and overall well-being.

Ready to Start Your Digital Wellbeing Journey?

At Momentum Young Adult Therapy and Gap Program, we are committed to guiding young adults through the complexities of the digital age. By integrating nature-based therapy and technology addiction treatment with healthy technology use, we provide a path to digital wellness that respects the challenges and opportunities of our modern world. Join us on this journey to discover a balanced, healthy relationship with technology, fostering well-being in all aspects of life.

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