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Your favorite pop culture franchises can help your mental health with Geek Therapeutics

As comic conventions like New York Comic Con are the crossroads of pop culture and fans, Geek Therapeutics is the intersection of pop culture and fans' minds to help find that inner hero within all of us.

Geek Therapeutics
Image credit: Getty Images/ReedPop
Thank you to Geek Therapeutics for sponsoring this article.

If you come to a comic con, there's a good chance you are a geek. Whether it be a comic you love, a movie franchise you adore, or a TV series you're searching to find out more (or talk more about). But here as we sit on the final day of the biggest comic convention in North America, New York Comic Con, we all must realize we have to take care of ourselves, as well.

And here on the showfloor, we found a resource to help - while at the same time fitting into the things we love.

Image credit: Geek Therapeutics

Geek Therapeutics uses the world of pop culture to assist you and you mental health. Using the power of fandoms such as Star Wars, Pokémon, and other hit franchises, the PhD-owned Geek Therapeutics fosters a place to enjoy what you love while also cultivating the quality of your mental well-being.

"Geekdom has stories and narrative journeys that mirror our everyday life," Geek Therapeutics owner Dr. Anthony Bean tells Popverse. "By watching/playing them we have the ability to experience a storyline through the medium of choice. Through these experiences we can see different beliefs, see how we can accomplish different goals, and even get insight into how to handle different experiences in life."

At New York Comic Con, Geek Therapeutics is at booth #2273 on the showfloor- and already has plans to be at Seattle's Emerald City Comic Con, Chicaco's C2E2, Miami Beach's Florida SuperCon, and all three of the US PAX shows (PAX West, PAX East, and PAX Unplugged). For a complete list of Geek Therapeutics' upcoming shows, visit their website www.GeekTherapeutics.com.

Here at NYCC 2023 , Geek Therapeutics is focusing on the psychological aspects of popular games such as the Legend of Zelda, Final Fantay, Pokémon, Elden Ring, The Witcher, and the Last of Us. But outside of video games they dive into other fandoms - I even overheard them talking about the hit kids cartoon Bluey (which Charlie Cox game dressed as on Saturday) because they're looking for submissions for a The Psychology of Bluey book.

"[What we do] is similar to narrative therapy, except we get to be in the drivers seat through the medium of choice (anime, video games, RPGS, etc) making it that much more powerful and able to be integrated into our own sense of self," explains Dr. Bean. "Utilizing these different aspects of the story, narrative, and play, we can experience healing through these mediums and incorporate them into our daily lives as well."

They do that with special workshops and classes (such as Jedi mindfulness to superhero resilience training!), meet-and-greets, and unique (and in some cases) exclusive merchandise.

Geek Therapeutics at NYCC 2023
Image credit: Geek Therapeutics

"We train licensed clinicians to be able to harness the power of Geek Culture in therapy," says Dr. Bean, who owns Geek Therapeutics. "So if someone were to come to us to get therapy, they would be seen by a licensed therapist, but who is also a die hard geek at heart."

"We practice what we preach in the sense that we use geek culture in our sessions to help us manage ourselves, our stories, and make sense of the world around us," Dr. Bean continues. "For instance, one of my favorite interventions with adolescents is having them draw their emotions into a 'monster' of some sort and then we throw a pokeball at it 'to catch it'. This lets the client have control over the emotion as once it has been caught it has to listen to the trainer - giving them full control over the emotion that was causing them distress."

Walking through their booth at #2273, Geek Therapeutics has several mental health aids that double as fun - including the exclusive debut of a new book: The Psychology of Elden Ring: Arise Now, Ye Tarished. This book dives deep into several themes fo the hit video gaem - including the resilency of the female characters, the true choices faced throughout the game, gender fluidity, and the ultimate choice of becoming a hero or a villain.

"We have used anime with the concept of bravery of how brave does one have to be to accomplish a difficult task," says Dr. Bean. "RPGs have been used to flush out our own sense of self and focus on the development of our ego strength in a safe environment that feels like a game - but has important developmental aspects of who we are built into the scenarios, storyline, gameplay, and more. If it is geeky, we can turn it into an intervention to work with our clients in numerous ways."

The team's booth includes limited edition One Piece figurines, Mystery Pokeballs with mystery Pokémon inside, Dragon Scale Adventure Scrolls, and 63 different sets of metal dice (yes, we counted).

Geek Therapeutics
Image credit: Popverse

Dr. Bean, who is a licensed clinical psychologist, owns Geek Therapeutics. In addition to Dr. Bean, onsite here at NYCC were therapists (and massive geeks) Josh Wilburn, LPC; Heather Gordan, LMHC; Jeremiah Knowles, LPC; and Shane Tilton, PhD.

"We are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), Association of Play Therapy (APT), National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), and Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) for all of our continuing education material which shows our trainings are accepted by national organizations and meet educational requirements for continued educational practices."

As comic conventions like New York Comic Con are the crossroads of pop culture and fans, Geek Thereapeutics is the intersection of pop culture and fans' minds to help find that inner hero within all of us.

About NYCC 2023

North America's largest comic convention returns for four days of comic creators, movie & TV celebrities, and vendors from around the world.

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About the Author
Chris Arrant avatar

Chris Arrant

Editor-in-Chief

Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)
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