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Game Therapy UK, in partnership with Camden homelessness charities One Housing, SHP, CGL and SJOG, brings homeless clients together, once per week, and facilitates them in playing a role-playing games such as 'Dungeons & Dragons'.

This is to provide an entertaining game, a creative escape, and an opportunity for positive social interaction.

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 sign-post psychological therapies.

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Why Therapeutic Gaming
From our work with people residing in Camden homeless hostels it was noted that video game playing, and fantasy ‘genre’ books and films, are a popular pastime.
Also, RPG’s use ‘avatars’ (the in-game character) which we thought might be helpful for some clients reluctant to participate in traditional drama therapy.



Camden Game Cafe was therefore established in a Camden Hostel to see if Therapeutic Gaming might be an alternative to traditional Drama Therapy for some.

Camden Game Cafe includes a specialist homelessness doctor, a specialist homelessness recovery counsellor, a professional game designer and facilitator (Games Master) and a counselling  psychologist. 

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A weekly meeting of two small groups (3-5 clients per group) has been set up in a Camden homeless hostel in London supervised by volunteer staff from Game Therapy UK. 
The primary purpose is to reduce social isolation. Validated tools are used to collect quantative data on levels of social isolation, depression, anxiety and engagement. 

Qualatative data on the clients experience of therapeutic gaming is also recorded.

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.


Camden SHP Game Group will present its initial data at ‘Pathways From Homelessness’ International Symposium, London on the 15 March 2023.

We will also share the data from this and other
Game Therapy UK projects via this site.


We are currently seeking funding that will allow us to introduce 'education to employment' qualifications such as AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Associations) qualifications in social skills, numeracy, language skills and creativity. 

We will also share the data from this and other
Game Therapy UK projects via this site.

We are currently in talks about expanding the project into to other London locations, and also into projects in Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, and Wales. This would allow us to gather more quantitative, as well as qualitative, data. 

'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'.

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