Working with Video Gamers and Games in Therapy moves beyond stereotypes about video game addiction and violence to consider the role that games play in psychological experiences and mental health. Chapters examine the factors that compel individual gamers to select and identify with particular games and characters, as well as the different play styles, genres, and archetypes common in video games. For clinicians looking to understand their clients’ relationships with video games or to use games as a therapeutic resource in their own practice, this is a thoughtful, comprehensive, and timely resource.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. What Are Video Games? 3. Video Game Genres 4. Video Games, Relationships, and Online Interpersonal Communication 5. Society and Video Games 6. Archetypes 7. Video Game Archetypes 8. The Importance of Play and Imagination 9. Understanding Video Gaming as Immersive 10. Working Therapeutically with Video Gamers 11. For the Families! Guiding Ideas and Resources for Therapists and Families
Anthony M. Bean, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and executive director at The Telos Project, a nonprofit mental health clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, and an adjunct professor at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. He specializes in the therapeutic implications of video games and gaming, working with children and adolescents, and the use of video-game character identification as a therapeutic technique.
"Maligned and misunderstood for decades, video games have needed a data-based book stripped of moral advocacy. They finally find it in Anthony Bean's Working with Video Gamers and Games in Therapy. This book is essential reading for anyone who works with kids or young adults, and it provides excellent resources for how to integrate video games into therapeutic environments."
—Christopher Ferguson, PhD, professor of psychology at Stetson University and coauthor of Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong
"Dr. Bean's work offers a refreshing creative, scholarly, and applied contribution to exploring how the gaming experience, like all other human endeavors, reflects multiple dimensions of human development as well as emotional or relational life. The book offers insights for many audiences—for scholars, seeking to understand the impact of interactive technologies; for clinicians, working with today's kids and adults; and for parents, who are bombarded with confusing and pathologizing messages about gaming."
—Oksana Yakushko, PhD, chair of the clinical psychology program at the Pacifica Graduate Institute
"A groundbreaking and important book for clinicians who want to harness the pixelated power of video games in their therapy."
—Patrick M. Markey, PhD, professor of psychology at Villanova University and coauthor of Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong