Mario - a classic video game character
Psychotherapy is a valuable tool for addressing a wide range of mental health issues. One emerging trend in therapy is the incorporation of video games as a therapeutic tool. While video games have traditionally been associated with negative effects such as addiction and aggression, recent research has shown that video games can have positive effects on mental health. In this article, we will explore how video games can be incorporated into psychotherapy to improve mental health outcomes.
Video games have been shown to have several therapeutic benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, and enhancing cognitive skills such as attention, memory, and problem-solving. One of the most promising areas for the use of video games in therapy is in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Several studies have shown that playing video games can reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation. This is thought to be due to the immersive and engaging nature of video games, which can distract the player from their anxious thoughts and provide a sense of control over their environment.
Another area where video games can be useful in therapy is in the treatment of depression. Video games can provide a sense of accomplishment and mastery, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals struggling with feelings of worthlessness or low self-esteem. Additionally, video games can provide a social outlet for individuals who may feel isolated or lonely, which can be a common experience for those struggling with depression.
Video games can also be useful in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many video games require the player to maintain focus and attention for extended periods of time, which can help individuals with ADHD to improve their attention span and concentration. Additionally, video games can provide a structured and engaging environment that can help individuals with ADHD to stay motivated and engaged in their therapy.
When incorporating video games into therapy, it is important to consider the individual needs and preferences of the client. Some individuals may prefer more action-oriented games, while others may prefer puzzle games. Connect with me if you're interested in counselling that includes this approach.