The New Social Anxiety: Mental Health & Social Balance in the Age of the Internet

This On Demand Webinar is 6 hours.

Already registered? Click here to access CEU information, handouts and recordings.

The verdict is in: The Internet is changing our brains and our social skills. The verdict is still out on absolutes about the damage or the benefits, but emerging research, MRIs, and anecdotal evidence suggest that the more “connected” people are, the more at risk they are for anxiety, depression, and general unhappiness.

The world of social challenges has always created anxiety, but in the online social world, new risks for anxiety have emerged. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), NoMophobia (no mobile phone phobia), the Comparison Fallacy, and the Fantasy of Perfect all create risks for anxiety. And those challenges, which are most damaging in youth and young adults, are not restricted to those age groups. At every age, the prevalence of these risk factors has caused rates of anxiety to escalate over the last decade.

Additionally, the impact of instant 24/7 accessibility, continual texting, and gaming has profoundly changed how people learn, deal with stress, and create social relationships.

As mental health professionals, we must know what to ask, what to listen for, and have tools ready to help people understand and then challenge these potential dangers to mental health and happiness.

In this workshop, you will learn to identify how these risks are manifesting in your clients, the neurobiological impact of screen time and gaming, how social media impacts social and personal development, and strategies to offset the addictive nature of new technology and more! The internet and social media are here to stay. Time to better educate ourselves and our clients to facilitate mental health and social balance.

Want More Margaret Wehrenberg?

Margaret Wehrenberg is also presenting Disrupting Rumination: Changing the Thoughts that Underlie Anxiety and Depression on January 8, 2021. Click here for full info.

  • Discuss the power of anonymity and the ‘comparison fallacy’ as new factors in social anxiety
  • Explain the neurobiological impact of rapid screen shifting, prolonged gaming, and screen time so you can create appropriate limits and boundaries for all age groups  
  • Describe how to help young adults develop emotional tolerance and management skills that combat anxiety and depression
  • Discuss how to help older adults navigate the stresses technology places on them as relationships with family are altered and the demand for fast change increases
  • Implement a ‘coaching style’ therapy to combat the fear of ‘Adulting’ that interferes with romantic relationships, normal socializing, driving or working
  • Explain how to develop the ‘default mode network’ and strengthen executive skills that can balance the neurobiological impact of constant information flow
  • Discuss how to develop ‘demand delays’ that diminish the addictive nature of communication notifications, gaming, and social media ‘likes’
  • Explain how to help young adults to recognize and alter the fantasy of perfection and the demand to live an “amazing life” that interferes with actual skill development and damages genuine, appropriate self esteem

Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist, is the author of eight books on the treatment of anxiety and depression, including the best-selling The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques (revised and updated in 2018) and its accompanying workbook. An expert on the treatment of anxiety and depression, she also has extensive training and expertise in the neurobiology of psychological disorders. In addition to clinical work, she coaches business professionals on managing anxiety, contributes articles for The Psychotherapy Networker magazine. She has produced audio soundtracks available on her website for breathing, muscle relaxation and imagery. Margaret blogs on depression for Psychology Today.

Time Topic Covered
10:00 am – 11:30 am

The neurological impact of Social Media and Gaming: the effects on habit, addiction, stress response and appropriate management of consequent anxiety

11:30 am – 11:45 am

15 minute break

11:45 am – 1:15 pm Media/Gaming: compensating for the impact on learning, attention, including attention restoration theory and activation of the default mode network. Addressing identity, FoMO, and techniques to utilize our connections positively
1:15 pm – 1:45 pm

30 minute break

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Addressing the comparison fallacy and perfectionism, developing new outlets to develop self-esteem and resilience

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm

15 minute break

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Developing self-awareness, self-confidence, compassion and social skills at all ages, using positive aspects of technology and Psychotherapy interventions that promote healthy relationships with self and others

This training offers 3 hours of direct contact (not counting breaks or lunch). It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards/regulatory body to verify CE requirements for their license to practice.

Attendees of the live broadcast will receive instructions on how to obtain their Certificate of Participation after the course is finished.

Attendees of the on-demand recorded version will need to complete a Post-Webinar Quiz with a pass of at least 80% in order to verify attendance and then receive their Certificate of Participation. On-demand attendees will receive instructions on how to obtain their Certificate of Participation once they have successfully passed the Post-Webinar Quiz at the completion of the webinar.


The Certificate of Participation includes:

  • Name of participant.
  • Title of training.
  • Name of presenter plus their credentials.
  • Number of hours of training.
  • Date of training.
  • Confirmation that showed 100% attendance at the live broadcast or passed a quiz with at least an 80% grade to verify attendance of the on-demand recording.

Get details about CE credits for Canadian and non-US international participants.

Get details about CE credits for US participants.

Please check with your regulatory body/organization to ensure that this certificate is sufficient proof for you to claim CE credits.

Who Should Attend

  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Clinical and Counselling Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Social Workers
  • Pastoral Counsellors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Graduate Students in accredited programs in the above fields
  • Case Managers
  • Licensed Professional Counsellors
  • All other professionals who would like to develop, update or expand their skills and knowledge in mental health practices