Theoretical Orientation is Your Superpower


Theoretical Orientation

Effectively using Geek and Gaming culture in your work starts with relying on your theoretical orientation to conceptualize each case. Then, building on that with your geeky modality of choice.

Dr. Janina Scarlet and Josué Cardona explain why using your theoretical orientation to conceptualize every case is so important, how it helps when it feels like you're no longer making progress, and how Superhero Therapy and Geek Therapy were built on the theories of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), respectively.

Learning Objectives

  1. Brief introductions to ACT and REBT theories.

  2. Understand the role of traditional theoretical orientation in geeky interventions.

  3. How to conceptualize cases using Superhero Therapy and Geek Therapy models.




Josué Cardona, M.S.

Geek Therapy

Josué Cardona helps people understand each other. Josué is the founder of Geek Therapy, an affinity-based model therapeutic practice, on which he built the nonprofit organization Geek Therapy.

Josué's career includes roles biomedical engineering, mental health counseling, educational technology, and design research. He received clinical training in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy at the Albert Ellis Institute in New York City.

Fun fact: Josué has a Doctor Who-inspired story in Jane McGonigal's Superbetter.

Dr. Janina Scarlet

Superhero Therapy

Dr. Janina Scarlet is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, author, TEDx speaker, and a full-time geek. A Ukrainian-born refugee, she survived Chernobyl radiation and persecution. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 12 with her family and later, inspired by the X-Men, developed Superhero Therapy to help patients with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Dr. Scarlet is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award by the United Nations Association for her work on Superhero Therapy. Her work has been featured on Yahoo, BBC, NPR, Sunday Times, CNN, CW, ABC, The New York Times, Forbes, the Nerdist, BuzzFeed, and many other outlets. She was also portrayed as a comic book character in Gail Simone’s Seven Days graphic novel.

Dr. Scarlet currently works at the Center for Stress and Anxiety Management in San Diego. She authored Superhero Therapy, Harry Potter Therapy, Therapy Quest, Dark Agents, Super-Women, Supernatural Therapy, Super-Survivors, as well as numerous contributions to Star Wars Psychology, Star Trek Psychology, Wonder Woman Psychology, Supernatural Psychology and many other books.

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