Leveling Up: Introducing a Wellness Evaluation for Mental Health Professionals to Better Support Gamer Clients


Leveling Up

Gamers are a 2.6 billion-person community. Counselors may not recognize that many of their clients, family, friends, and peers are active gamers, and likely do not understand this facet of their lives. Gaming has historically been blamed for negative behaviors, however the literature increasingly supports benefits when it is used in healthy ways.

This session will provide a framework for what others need to know about the gamer culture. It will present a new wellness evaluation that can be used to help the uninitiated better understand the gamers in their lives.

Learning Objectives

  1. This presentation will provide an overview of the gamer culture, and provide a model to help others understand the underpinnings of this culture.
  2. This presentation will explore the importance of mental health assessments, particularly as they relate to providing quality mental health service.
  3. This presentation will introduce a new gamer assessment tool, based on the wellness model, that can help mental health counselors to better understand the gamers in their lives.

Dr. David Delmonico

Professor of Counseling
Duquesne University

Professor of Counseling at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Over 30 year of experience working with online problematic sexual behavior, including forensic counselor for child pornography and sting operation cases.

Trained at Kent State University with a doctoral degree in Counseling and Human Development Services.

Owner of Internet Behavior Consulting, LLC (www.internetbehavior.com) and director of the Online Behavior, Research, and Education Center at Duquesne University.

Dr. Stephen Kuniak, PhD, LPC (He|Him)

Executive Director
Experience Points

Dr. Steve Kuniak has been collaborating with the Geek Therapy community since its start 10 years ago. He is a licensed professional counselor, university professor, clinical supervisor and lifelong geek and gamer.

Dr. Kuniak earned his PhD through his dissertation focusing on an exploration of the gamer culture and mental health variables. The data for this dissertation was gathered at PAX East.

He has been published a number of times in mental health literature, interviewed on the topic of gaming and mental health, and has been incorporating all sorts of gaming, comic books, science fiction, and fantasy literature into his counseling practice throughout his entire career.

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