Pro Bono Counseling Project
2021 Professional Continuing Education Online Webinar
Gaming and Gamers 101: Introduction to Utilizing Video Games for Therapeutic Outcomes
Monday, June 14, 2021, from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Online Workshop – 1.5 CE Credits
FREE for Active PBCP Volunteer Clinicians
Featured Presenter: Kelli Dunlap, MA, PsyD
Course Description: This presentation will provide a brief, theory-based overview of the intersection of gameplay and mental health interventions with a major focus on integration of games and games culture into clinical practice. First, participants will learn about leveraging a client’s interest in games for therapeutic benefit, such as rapport-building and customizing treatment plans. Second, participants will learn how to incorporate a client’s interest in games in the therapy “room without game consoles or other technology. Last, participants will be provided information and examples on playing games during session, either in person or online. While the focus of the course will be on digital games, tabletop and card games (e.g. Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering) will also be integrated.
At the end of this presentation, the participant will:
- Apply motivational and identity theories to gameplay cognition and behaviors.
- Identify and implement effective strategies for therapeutic gameplay integration with and without the aid of technology.
- Differentiate normal gameplay and gaming interest from problematic play.
This course is intended for clinicians with little to no experience or knowledge of video games and will focus on tween and adolescent populations. It is intended to support clinicians whose clients enjoy video games and/or for whom video games are an important part of their lives. The focus is on using video games to build client-clinician connections, better understand our clients, and engage with clients where they are through the lens of a hobby they enjoy. This presentation is NOT training in the assessment or treatment of problematic play behaviors.
Kelli Dunlap, M.A., PsyD is a psychologist and game designer who leverages her unique expertise to advocate for and advance the intersection of games and mental health. She has been recognized internationally for her work in the games and psychology space and is an outspoken advocate for mental health in and through games. She has presented at national and international events including the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, UNESCO MGIEP in Visakhapatnam, India, and the APA’s Technology Mind and Society conference. She is an award-winning game designer who has collaborated on games projects with the National Institute of Mental Health and the Knight Foundation and as well as developed her own digital game addressing mental health issues.
Dr. Dunlap earned her masters in game design from American University and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology. She practices clinical psychology at a Maryland-based psychotherapy clinic, is an adjunct professor of game design at the American University Game Lab, and works as the program manager for Take This, a mental health and games non-profit. Outside of work, Dr. Dunlap is a Velocity Mentor for the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)Foundation, chair of the IGDA mental health special interest group, and published author of multiple book chapters and peer-reviewed papers.
Workshop registrants will receive a code prior to the webinar to log on to Zoom and participate in the online session.