Mental health: when therapy is done with video games

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Use i video games as therapeutic, educational and rehabilitative tools. It sounds strange and yet it is on this assumption that Video Game Therapy is based, a therapeutic approach, introduced in Italy only a few years ago, which can prove useful in the treatment of various ailments.

Thinking about video games, let’s face it, the mind often runs to stereotypes by now ingrainedrelating to what could be i potential negative effectssuch as addiction, increased aggression and social withdrawal.

Yet, beyond the clichés, even video games, like other modes of expression, such as drawing, if used in the correct way and included in a treatment path, can turn into a valid support tool. For some time now, science has cleared customs duties gaming as an activity that allows you to strengthen attention, multitasking thinking and problem solving. It is now known as the classic game may prove useful in psychotherapy courses because it allows patients to express themselves and to act free from daily pressures, allowing therapists and other mental health professionals of get to the root of the disorder and thus identifying a more effective treatment.

Well, according to this new treatment method, compared to the classic game, the video game would have even greater potential given by its ability to represent a larger dimension in terms of stimulation and of variables present.

The therapeutic goals of Video Game Therapy may be different, such as that of promoting the emotional experimentation with the other, activate empathic processes, stimulate emotional literacy and social feeling and also strengthen the awareness of one’s own role.

“It’s harder and harder to be yourself. We live in a confused world, bombarded with images and structures that do not belong to us – explains the Doctor Francesco Bocci, creator of Video Game Therapy in Italy – Through the video game, you create a path that aims to allow you to focus on yourselfabout who you are deep inside, through the free expression of memories, emotions, thoughts, often repressed. All this regardless of the judgment of others. The video game is in fact a concentrate of lights, sounds, colors, music, images, which, if guided, can allow you to let off steam, to rediscover your creativityto remember who you really are ».

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 01: Janelle Grace plays “Pac-Man” which is one of the 14 video games that are part of the exhibiton “Applied Designs” during the “Applied Design” press preview at The Museum of Modern Art on March 1, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess / Getty Images)Jemal Countess

Video Game Therapy: from mood disorders to learning disorders

Video Game Therapy thus finds different applications today: it can be used in the field psychiatricin the treatments of psychosis or mood disorders, but also in a rehabilitation context, to treat, for example, i learning disabilities in children.

Source: Vanity Fair

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