“Choose Your Own Adventure” games are pretty new to me, especially when they are in the form of a book! And what a more cleaver way to combine RPG game style with mental health therapy! Dr. Janina Scarlet author of “Superhero Therapy” and “Harry Potter Therapy” writes “Therapy Quest: An Interactive Quest Through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.” You’re spirited away to the magical land of “Here” and befriend the inhabitants of there and go on a quest to defeat the sorceress, Malena from destroying the world. With some spells, potions and a little help from your friends you go on the quest to stop her, but it up to you the hero to restore “Here” from Malena’s grasp.
I had a ton of fun with this book! There was always a suspense while reading because whatever decision I made, determined the outcome of the outlook of the quest. However inspite of the decision I made throughout the book, I’d be given ways to increase already existing good quality or trait or I’d be given ways to identify and better handling of a negative quality. Each time you make a good decision, you recieved points. However if you made a poor decision you were deducted points. In the beginning of the book you are given 50 points start off with and the points are divided into three categories:
Courage Inner Strength Wisdom
The rules are simple…you gain more points you go on and gain more spells and potions. Lose points and you have start all over again. I’ve only done that once in the book at you see below:
Whenever you make a good decision you turn to a page where you learn a new spell or potion. These are in the forms of skills from ACT (Acceptence and Commitment Therapy) which has been shown through research to help people overcome depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, addiction disorders and many other common problems. Here’s a short excerpt on the vulnerability spell:
One of the most magical, though the hardest, spells is the Vulnerability Spell. Vulernability is the willingness to be authentic with yourself and others. The Vulnerability Spell might feel bittersweet because you are opening yourself to other. Take the chance with a possibility that you might get hurt. For example, telling someone that you love is a vulnerable action. It involves taking a chance, risking rejection and hurt, because the possibility of love and connection is THAT important. Although poeple who drink the vulnerablility spell are more likely to get hurt compared to people who are unwilling to share themselves with others, they might experience more love and happiness.
She has awesome advice that you too can use in your own everyday adventures in your own life. In addition to skills you acquire in the book, you also develop connection with the characters throughout the quest and even they embody the everyday struggles that people go through such as an eating disorder and the loss of a loved one as well as learning to accept people physical appeariences, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. So it was kinda hard to leave the world of “Here” once I finished reading “Therapy Quest” , but I have to say I kinda grew there too.
“Therapy Quest” is now available now in the U.S. at your favorite bookshop.
About the Author:
Janina Scarlet, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, a scientist, 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. She has written multiple publications on this topic and has given talks domestically and internationally. She authored Superhero Therapy, Harry Potter Therapy, Therapy Quest, and has contributed to a number of pop culture psychology books, such as Star Wars Psychology, Wonder Woman Psychology, Game of Thrones Psychology, and many others. Scarlet currently works as a clinical psychologist at the Center for Stress and Anxiety Management in San Diego, CA.
Books.(2018) Superhero Therapy. Retrieved from: http://www.superhero-therapy.com/2017/12/therapy-quest/
For information on Dr. Janina Scarlet find her at her website at Superhero Therapy.
You can also find her on Twitter under the name @Shadow Quill and on Superhero Therapy Facebook Page.
I also wrote some posts about her and her podcast also named “Superhero Therapy” as shown below:
It includes a link where you can download as a PDF, on your kindle or on any ebook.