A Geek Therapy Presentation by Dr. Anthony Bean

Going to the American Psychological Association’s Convention in Chicago in August this year? Come say hello and listen to the presentation!

Titled: Video Gamers: Habits, Engagement, or Addiction?

At APA 2019 In Chicago, Illinois on August 11th 2019

Time: 9AM until 11AM

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Recent Events Within The Geek Therapy Community

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

For many years, I have provided therapy involving role play, video games, and other psychological interventions with great success. Two of my books on the subject have been published, as well as several articles, and I have lectured on this approach and shared it with others. Many of my colleagues have contributed extensively to the development of this type of therapy as well. It is a collective effort, and not mine alone. It is our mission to share this type of therapy and make patients and clinicians aware of its benefits. I am currently editing a manuscript of contributions from many amazing therapists and academics on this type of therapy.  Our community needs to be safe, supported, and feel as if they can reach out to one another without any hindrance or concerns.

Last month, I received a letter from Josue Cardona requesting that I stop using the designation “Geek Therapy.” I took this letter seriously because I respect other people’s intellectual property rights. However, I was also troubled that Mr. Cardona was trying to bully me, and I am concerned that he would bully the entire community of folks who offer role play therapy or other similar psychological interventions. I consulted with an intellectual property attorney because I do not wish to infringe upon Mr. Cardona’s rights, but I also wanted to know what my rights are.

Mr. Cardona operates websites and social media networks where he and others discuss various pop culture topics. He also offers t-shirts for sale and paid membership to a private network. This is very different from what I do, as a licensed therapist, which is to provide therapy. There is no overlap or infringement, and I have no intent to encroach upon or interfere with Mr. Cardona’s business. To be clear, Mr. Cardona and I are not engaged in a legal proceeding.

After making the initial determination that I am not infringing upon Mr. Cardona’s rights, I wanted to protect my use of the “Geek Therapy” designation to offer therapy and to also make that designation available to any qualified therapist. Several colleagues and I are in the process of developing standards for use of that designation and others. I recently filed for a trademark for “Geek Therapy” for the purpose of ensuring that it is available for use by all qualified, licensed therapists and to protect us all from Mr. Cardona’s bullying.

Our goal is to be open and inclusive. We will not be a private network. We will continue to respect other people’s intellectual property rights and contributions.

If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email. If you wish to receive email updates in the future or want to be involved as a contributor, please sign-up for our mailing list at this LINK.


Anthony Bean, Ph.D

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March Webinar

Please consider joining Dr. Anthony Bean as he presents on Geek Therapy.  Register here: https://networks.aamft.org/wisconsin/home

March Webinar

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Upcoming Speaking Events

OK, lots of announcements coming, they were detained by a wall of sickness and project completions. As they say in video games: INC!
First of all @WAMFT has graciously invited me to be the keynote speaker for their March Webinar on How to Therapeutically Work With Video Gamers. There will be trials and tribulations of clinical studies and much more: https://networks.aamft.org/wisconsin/home
Second, I will be presenting with the amazing @DrKowert @FusRoDoc and @silnan at @SXSWGaming on March 17th on the Discovery Stage where we will be presenting on The Psychology of The Legend of Zelda and Mental Health: https://schedule.sxsw.com/2019/events/PP102929?_ga=2.196532008.581601769.1550342131-1740912811.1532400206
Then in between podcasts and other book signings we have panels at #PAXEAST2019 @PAXEAST_2019: The first The Psychology of the Final Fantasy Series in the Albatross Theatre with @DrKowert, @silnan, @FusRoDoc, and @stephanieorme. This is one you will not want to miss!
Next panel at @PAXEAST_2019 Empowering Gamers: How Clinicians Use Video Games in the Cuttlefish Theatre with @DrRKelly, @XsarahdactylX, @KelliNDunlap, @TheeDoctorB, and @aeneiaART! It is going to be one heck of a panel with this crew!
Onto the next one!: Games for Good: How Games Make us Better in the Arachnid Theatre Hosted by @DrKowert and featuring @SparksforSharks, @DrRKelly, @TheeDoctorB, @StackUpDotOrg, and myself @PAXEAST_2019 #PAXEAST2019 Definitely going to be a super important one to attend.
This next one is going to be killer as well: Remaking or Reinventing Games? The Science behind Nostalgia in the Condor Theatre hosted by @FusRoDoc and featuring @XsarahdactylX, @silnan, @DrKowert, and @DrRKelly #PAXEAST2019 @PAXEAST_2019
And finally the last one for #PAXEAST2019 So You Want To Use Gaming In Your Career (Somehow) in the Bumblebee Theatre with @XsarahdactylX, @DrRKelly, @SparksforSharks, @DrKowert, amd @KelliNDunlap! Researchers, clinicians, and game experts!
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The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Wolf Mechanic

A recent email came through which I think asked a really important question overall.  In fact, it was such a good question, I figured I would share it here with the response I gave back to the individual.


“Hello Dr. Bean! 

I attended the Psychology of the Legend of Zelda panel. First, I wanted to say thank you so much for all of you doing that panel! I had a great time, and it was so interesting. I wanted to hear more! I loved how you were all so well versed in your field and still so engaging with the audience. If I weren’t trying to get a degree in calculus, that panel would have definitely convinced me that psychology would be the way to go.
Second, I would have asked this at the panel or afterward but I had to write it down to make sure I asked it right! Anyway, have you played or have any experience with Twilight Princess? It’s my favorite game of the franchise for many reasons. It’s so DIFFERENT. My question for you is, if you have, what do you think is the psychological significance of the wolf mechanic and the dark versus light aspect? It’s definitely the darkest LoZ game aesthetically, and the wolf mechanic was so interesting. Do you think there was a psychological reasoning behind it? Or if not, what do you think was the effect it had for that game in particular on its audience/player base? It’s not the most favored of the games; maybe that’s the reason why?
If you are able to respond, thank you so much in advance! I really appreciate it :)”
What a great question!  Here is my response!

Thanks for reaching out!
Calculus is definitely a different program than Psychology!  I am glad you are still going to go for it though, we all need good mathematicians in ours lives.
As of now, I have played every LoZ game that has come out in some form or another so Twilight Princess is in my wheelhouse.  You are definitely correct when you say it is different, it is one of the more unique games within the franchise.  LoZ has always had a light and dark component to itself which is one of the franchise’s signature moments within all of the games.  Twilight Princess brings out a different form of the shadow that Link has to get rid of by progressing through the game.  With getting rid of this shadow, he cleanses not just the land, but himself as well – which is needed for the Triforce as well.  The wolf mechanic is a beautiful play on the literalization of the shadow portion found within all of us – it comes out in a nasty and snarling wolf if we don’t keep it in check or become aware of it.  By catching the lights within the darkness Link is able to harness the light in new areas of the game and learn more about himself and the world around him.  Think of it as he is discovering himself more throughout the game which unlocks the different parts along with creating a sense of understanding for himself in which to continue building off of.
When we become transfixed by the darkness in ourselves, we have a difficult time being able to represent it well and sometimes fall upon those primal instincts, in this case the wolf mechanic.  Japanese culture has always been in more touch with these symbolic figures than we have here in the US, that is usually why their games have a much deeper storyline and capture the attention of millions.
Here is a little more about what I mean:
The idea of Yin and Yang, light and dark, and good versus evil is commonly found throughout history and mythology.  In Chinese philosophy, the concept purports that these two portions, light and dark, negative and positive, or even hero and villain, appear to be opposites, yet, complementary and interconnected on a much deeper level.  These archetypes are interdependent upon each other and relate on a deeper and archetypal realm: one cannot live or exist without the other.  There exists a dichotomy within opposites: to know darkness we must know light and realize that darkness comes with the absence of light, thus resulting in the hero and villain dichotomy.  For one to be identified, both must exist.
There will be multiple chapters talking about this a bit more in depth in the book which I would encourage you to take a look as it is really a marvelous work with so many great authors.
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