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Congratulations to Andrea McLaren for her work in understanding the psychology of digital internet technology on adolescents

Congratulations to Andrea McLaren for her well received presentation of her paper entitled Integrated Understanding of the Psychology of Pervasive Digital Internet Technology (DIT) in Adolescents Lives as Critical to Care at the 2018 Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Annual Conference in Winnipeg. This paper examines the critical area of impacts of digital media on adolescent development and well-being. You can request a copy of the article from our online repository HERE.

Andrea McLaren completed her Masters in Counselling at City University, where she regularly made the Dean’s List. She has a passion for mental health and social justice and is excited to share her experience and knowledge with her clients and others.

Andrea has presented her thesis at CityU Vancouver and more recently at the 2018 Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Annual Conference in Winnipeg. Integrated Understanding of the Psychology of Pervasive Digital Internet Technology (DIT) in Adolescents Lives as Critical to Care, examines the impacts of digital media on adolescent development and well-being.

Using finding from many fields, she explores the effects of digital internet technology (DIT) on adolescent development along biological, cognitive and psychosocial domains. This is relevant information for counsellors working with adolescents and young adults. Are counsellors even assessing for adolescent technology use? Andrea looks at assessments, liabilities and protective factors as they relate to DIT use. She believes multifactorial assessment is of critical importance in helping counsellors understand the impact of DIT on their client’s lives.

This area of study is relatively new as this culture of DIT only began to develop with the advent of the Internet in 1994. This culture is pervasive, especially since the introduction of the smartphone just over 10 years ago. Andrea points out the lack of long term research on the impacts. She notes how the DIT industry has operated with no ethical criteria using neurological findings to engage their users. She hopes future developments in this area will be shared with counsellors and counselling students so that they may understand others better and work towards improving quality of life.

Andrea aspires to continue to share her passion for this subject with others while also developing her professional practice. She enjoys hearing stories, engaging ideas and finding solutions that address DIT use as a systemic issue. She is available for presentations and can be contacted via www.andreamclaren.com