There is nothing that terrifies a parent more than the thought of losing a child.
For Elaine Uskoski that fear almost became her reality when she discovered that her son Jake was addicted to video gaming. An addiction that almost cost him his life.
With a bustling career as a successful Iridologist and nutritional expert, with her sons away at university, Elaine and her husband were enjoying their time as empty nesters.
That freedom was short lived and in 2014 her world came crashing down.
Jake had started university, living away from home for the first time. Elaine thought he was successfully managing his studies and new life, only to discover that he had been hiding a dangerous truth from her. He was carefully covering up his increasing compulsion to play video games.
With her characteristic focus and energy, Elaine threw herself into learning everything she could about video gaming addiction. Understanding the signs and symptoms so she could deduce how Jake’s gaming had turned from a fun hobby into a serious crisis.
She relied on her vast experience in social service work and 20+ years’ experience in wellness to create a holistic plan to help her son recover both his physical and emotional well-being.
In the several years it took for Jake to learn how to manage his disorder and reclaim his life, Elaine learned much about how to parent her son through his addiction. She channeled this growth into her book, “ Seeing Through the Cracks” which details her experience. In retrospect, Elaine saw many signs that Jake, was not well and now sees that her ignorance, naivety and denial had created an environment of full on enabling. Elaine’s second book, “Cyber Sober; A Caregiver’s Guide to Video Gaming Addiction” has now also been published.
Elaine speaks publicly, sharing her story and educating parents on the risk factors associated with this addiction. She has been featured on numerous media outlets including Global News, CTV W5, CBC’s The National, CBC Radio, The Wall Street Journal, CHCH Television and Rogers TV. Elaine is also a coach for parents, offering information, strategies and support in managing technology. Elaine is candid, honest and compassionate in the hope that she can inform people about the very real dangers of this 21st century problem.
Elaine is a member of the Balanced Management Technology Committee and a volunteer with Homewood Health Center in Guelph.
Elaine offers coaching that empowers parents with the information and strategies needed to deal with their child’s compulsive behavior with video gaming & digital screens.
Elaine is a Canada Clinical Partnership Specialist for Intenta Clinical Training for Gaming Disorders. This training provides a comprehensive understanding of problematic and disordered gaming allowing mental health professionals to understand the context, dynamics, mechanisms and special issues that present with gaming clients.
In 2022, Elaine joined the Game Quitters team as a Family Coach. Elaine empowers parents & families with the strategies they need to deal with their teen or child’s unhealthy gaming behavior.
Swipe sesh; Exploring the Impacts of Dating Apps on Mental Health Among Adults
Webinar presented by Center for Addiction & Mental Health – Feb 10/22
The Theory of Digital Supervision For Online Child Protection Training from AICET (ANTI-internet Child Exploitation TEAM) – November 2021
Within Us: An Introduction to Internal Family Systems
Two Day workshop presented by Suzanne Luxemberger, RSW, MSW and Elyse Heagle, RSW, MSW – October 7 & 14, 2021
Podcasts and Problem Gambling: Conversations to Support Recovery
Webinar presented by Center for Addiction & Mental Health and facilitated by Brian Hatch – August 26, 2021
Problem Technology Use in Adults
Webinar presented by Center for Addiction & Mental Health – June 17, 2021
Intenta Clinical Training for Gaming Disorder
15 hours of online training plus Gaming Zones Case Discussion, presented by Cam Adair & Jamison Wiggins, Digital Addiction Specialists – July 18, 2020
What we Know about Treating Problem Gaming
Webinar presented by Center for Addiction & Mental Health – March 20, 2021
Teens and Smartphones: Exploring Young People’s Views of Smartphone Etiquette, Addiction, and Healthy Use Habits
Webinar presented by Center for Addiction & Mental Health – March 10/21
The Hungry Ghost: A Biopsychosocial Perspective on Addiction
Full Day Workshop presented by Dr Gabor Mate and Mission Empowerment – Oct 17/19
Game Bling: when Gaming Meets Gambling
Webinar presented by YMCA of Greater Toronto – July 24/19