Avatars on the couch

These are some English translated extracts from an article I found in a French magazine:

“Computers are not always harmful, they can heal too.” Doctor Pommereau is convinced that child psychiatry must adapt to the new generations. These “teens.com”, children of images and communication, born in the computing era, tell more about themselves and their pain in pictures than aloud.

Teenagers are able to tell me [when they create their avatar] that they created themselves the way their mothers wanted them to be. Anorexics create obese avatars…

“We can change things, it’s great. You can’t change in the mirror.”

“I’m less hung-up than a few years ago, but I’d still like to be a little skinnier.” The young woman likes the idea of the avatar. “In therapy you feel you are observed, so our words are evasive. We say nothing but yet they [the shrinks] write down like 4 pages. We no longer dare make any move! But [with the avatar] we’re playing, the shrink’s look upon us is less oppressive.”

The avatars enable suicidal people to show the wounds they inflict upon them, ignoring they are only the reflection of their inner wounds. We allow them to represent their scarifications. When the teens see their avatar, their detachment enables them to give another meaning to these scarifications and they start talking abundantly with the nurse.


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