Friday Track 1: Super-Hero Therapy: Combining Evidence Based Therapy with Pop Culture Narratives to Help Clients Heal from PTSD
CE credits: 3
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:15 PM
1. Explain the concept of Superhero Therapy.
2. Demonstrate how to incorporate pop culture examples into treatment.
3. Demonstrate how to help clients to find a sense of purpose
In the age of the global pandemic and the rapidly rising mental health crisis, we need to make mental health accessible and relatable. People all across the world are struggling with PTSD and yet most either don‘t know how to process their traumatic experiences or have been shamed for trying. Many teens and adults turn to TV shows, comic books, movies, and video games initially to escape their emotional pain, only to later form meaningful social connections through these avenues.
This is where Superhero Therapy comes in. Superhero Therapy (ST) refers to incorporating popular culture into evidence-based therapy, such as CBT or ACT as a way to destigmatize the client‘s mental health experience. ST utilizes client’s passions as a way to formulate the client’s strengths that can be used to practice mindfulness (e.g., mindful gaming or Spider-Man meditation), as well as the willingness to face their emotions and better understand their painful experiences. And the best part is, you don’t have to be an expert in popular culture to use this approach. Your client is the expert. All you have to be is open minded and curious.
This training will focus on how to use ST to help teen and adult clients manage anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms, to feel understood and supported, to expand the client‘s emotional vocabulary, and to assist the client in becoming their own version of a superhero in real life (IRL), fostering posttraumatic growth. No previous experience with popular culture necessary to participate in this training. Capes are optional
About the Presenter, Janina Scarlet, Ph.D. :
Dr. Janina Scarlet is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, author, TEDx speaker, and a full-time geek. A Ukrainian-born refugee, she survived Chernobyl radiation and persecution. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 12 with her family and later, inspired by the X-Men, developed Superhero Therapy to help clients with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Dr. Scarlet is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award by the United Nations Association for her work on Superhero Therapy. Her work has been featured on Yahoo, BBC, NPR, Sunday Times, The New York Times, and many other outlets. She was also portrayed as a comic book character in Gail Simone‘s Seven Days graphic novel.