We at Real Women of Gaming are proud to celebrate the amazing sponsors of the You’re Not Alone Annual Fundraiser! Over the next week leading up to the our 1 day event on September 26th, we will giving shout-outs to people who are our partners in this endeavor!
The Bodhana Group advocates the use of tabletop games as a form of therapy, specifically in the area of play therapy. Board, card, dice, and role playing games all inherently provide the opportunity to build skills such as reading, writing, arithmetic, socialization, manual dexterity, deductive reasoning, etc. The list goes on. Role playing and storytelling games provide a nurturing and safe environment where people can work through trauma, anxiety, and other emotional issues.
The founders had an idea for a fundraiser: A role playing game convention. That first Save Against Fear convention, with 35 people, they started hearing stories. Stories about how gaming had helped people. How role playing books inspired their interest to read as a child. How the character they created in the game had traits of the character they strive to be in life. How their game group had become the most important social group they had in their life. It was inspiring. So The Bodhana Group switched gears. They had found their path: Therapeutic Tabletop Gaming. They currently have four Master’s level therapists. one Master’s level licensed therapist, multiple teachers, administrators, and direct care professionals all volunteering their time to forward Bodhana.
The Bodhana Group takes the massive library of games available and focuses on how to play these games with the intent of building skills, while keeping the fun factor. Traditionally, “therapeutic” games are often a bit too on point, focusing more on function over design. They began playing mainstream board games with teens to help during homework help groups. They were able to pick up concepts that they had been struggling with, such as applied math and resource management, and see them applied in a game. When they tried role playing games, they had kids who had refused to speak to each other and were even violent at times, now working together to keep their story going. That bonding continued into “real” life. They helped each other stay out of trouble so that one of them wouldn’t miss out on the next game session, their friendship growing.