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Camden CGL Game Group, in partnership with Change Grow Live (CGL) and One Housing Arlington Rd, brings clients on the pathway to recovery together, once per week, and facilitates them in playing an RPG of our own design (a bit like a simplified Dungeons & Dragons) with the intention of providing an entertaining game, a creative escape, and an opportunity for positive social interaction. The project is a co-creation between the clients in the recovery group and Games Therapy UK.
Whilst the clients are engaging with the game, we also take the opportunity to intervene and provide training in social skills, support drug and alcohol recovery, and offer psychological therapies.
Why Game Therapy?
From our initial discussions with clients attending CGL it was felt that there would be an interest in setting up both mixed, and female only game groups to play RPGs.
Also, RPG’s use ‘avatars’ (the in-game character) which we thought might be helpful for some clients reluctant to participate in traditional therapies, such as drama therapy.
Camden CGL Game Group was therefore established to see if RPG Therapy might be a more acceptable alternative to traditional Drama Therapy for some.
Camden CGL Game Group includes a specialist homelessness doctor, a specialist homelessness recovery counsellor, a professional game designer and facilitator (Games Master) and a psychologist.
Initially two small groups (4-6 clients per group) were set up in a Camden location, under psychologist supervision. One group, whilst psychologically informed, offers no formal psychological therapy (as a control) whilst the other group does.
Quantifiable and measurable outcomes are measured in both groups and include levels of enjoyment and participation and improvement in social skills (AQA- Assessment and Qualifications Associations). Engagement with Therapeutic Treatment Plans are also measured in the formal psychological therapy group.
The approach is evidence-based, and our aim is for this project to be scaled-up and run at other services across the country. We are already in contact with other services interested in replicating this model.
'The use of RPGs activities to help the clients model communication skills, and emotional self-regulation could be invaluable in preparing the clients for more conventional therapeutic interventions'.
Camden CGL Game Group will present its initial data at ‘Pathways From Homelessness’ International Symposium, London on the March 2023.
We will also share the data from this and other Game Therapy UK projects via this site.
As a resource we will also collate and share the data and published results of other psychologists, sociologists and Universities working in this field. If you have any links to publications please let us know via the contact form below.
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