Positive Psychology and the World of Gaming


Positive Psychology

Positive psychology has its roots in ancient philosophical concepts, planted in conversations centered on life’s meaning, what it means to be human, and our relationships. Interestingly enough, the origin story of gaming is woven within those same philosophies, with the first written account by Herodotus as he discussed the use of games to help people cope with famine and war. Despite criticism and negative remarks like “you’ll rot your brain,” video games provide a source for meeting psychological needs during a time when reality has appeared to fall short. In this training, we will examine the appeal of video games as well as the potential benefits - discussing the research which supports the inherent value of gaming to our growth and survival. Participants will delve into the theory and concepts of Positive Psychology through the lens of video games and learn strategies for its clinical application. Positive psychology is an approach well-suited to the gamers of the world, and video games offer a natural environment for understanding the PERMA Model of positive emotions, relationships, engagement, meaning, and accomplishment. After all, who else is more familiar with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow, created within the context of Positive Psychology, than gamers and game developers.

1 Discuss the 5 elements of the PERMA model through video games.

2 Identify at least 5 strategies for incorporating video games into clinical practice using a Positive Psychology approach.

3 Examine the 24 Character Strengths and how video games can help in building strengths.

Christina Scott, MEd, LPCC-S, RPT (She|Her)

Rising Action Counseling
Two Nerdy Cousnelors

Christina Scott graduated from Lindsey Wilson College with a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling and Human Development. Christina is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Supervisor in Ohio. With a history in school-based therapy, she has been providing telecounseling and teleplay therapy since March 2020. Christina is a Registered Play Therapist, certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and she is a Nationally Certified Counselor. A proud geek therapist, Christina co-authored a chapter in the book, “Using Superheroes and Villains in Counseling and Play Therapy: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals” (edited by Lawrence C. Rubin).

Her newest ventures include starting an online solo private practice and teaming up with her pal Elise Gambill in starting the Two Nerdy Counselors YouTube channel where they share free interventions. Christina strives to help her fellow geeks reach their full potential.

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