Highest Rated Comments

PerthNerdTherapist736 karma

My descriptions of violence aren't particularly gory or graphic and I strongly reward players who find non-violent solutions to problems. That's part of the goals for my sessions. We do get to do some fireballin' on some bandits or some orcs, but I try to keep it as PG as possible.

There's actually a REALLY AWESOME resource called the Monte Cook Consent in Gaming sheet, and DMs/GMs can use that to get an idea of their players' triggers and stuff, to avoid descriptions of traumatic violence. I basically don't do anything on that list anyway because ew.

I have an intake & screening form I've prepared where I ask for relevant information to therapy, so I can be prepared.

I create my campaigns from scratch and then improv the heck out of them, but they each have mental health themes and goals. Sometimes the players don't even realise that they're learning to manage anxiety while hunting a monster that feeds on fear. ;)

PerthNerdTherapist369 karma

Civ is a great tool because it's strategic when it wants to be, and provides opportunities to express yourself in how you choose to engage in the game. There's values-based exploration, as well as addressing cognitive strategies and decision-making processes. You can explore rational mind vs emotional mind - I recently had to sit down and do a Pros and Cons list about some territory I captured during a war with Trajan of Rome.

I use Civ more to empower therapeutic conversations than as the actual therapy itself. But for clients who like to be intellectually engaged it's a great game, especially because it's turn-based, and can be left alone to really dig into a conversation.

PerthNerdTherapist265 karma

Yup! For some folks, especially neurodiverse people (ADHD, Autism), sitting down and talking to someone directly can be really uncomfortable, so having games can help reduce that tension.

I'm currently looking into the logistics of how walk-and-talk is done, because I think it'd be rad to offer, and summer is coming!

PerthNerdTherapist238 karma

Minecraft is a flexible approach - it can be used simply as a shared activity to reduce tension and support engagement in the session. Many clinicians use Uno or board games for a similar effect.

Alternatively it can be used to facilitate conversations - health, hunger, safety, survival, building collaborative skills, distress tolerance, emotional regulation. There's plenty of space to practice real-world skills in Minecraft. :)

PerthNerdTherapist215 karma

I definitely run pretty loose with the rules, and seek to encourage and reward creative thinking and expression. I've got tweaks to the rules that allow players to bypass skill checks and other rolls if they can show evidence that it'd work (such as chemistry or physics knowledge), or to bypass say, a psychic attack by a vampire or other such entity, describe some resilience & mental health wellbeing strategies.

I have had one character who would have had to make a death save during his first round of combat. Thankfully it was the entire group's first session of D&D and the bandit's attack roll was done behind my screen. Instead of a crit he just hit normally, and we used that as a lesson to explain the game's mechanics on taking damage, positioning and maybe ways out of this situation they'd found themselves in.