top of page

What is Geek Therapy?

feminine-appearing tween kid of color, with glasses, in library, with black superhero t-shirt on reading a graphic novel
The term "geek" is a slang term that can have multiple definitions. It can refer to someone who is intelligent or knowledgeable about a specific topic, or who is an enthusiast or expert in a particular field. Geeks may be interested in intellectual pursuits, electronics, or other subjects, and may be known for being obsessed with the latest trends in their field. They may also be more likely to collect facts and mementos related to their interests. The term, like the word "nerd,"  is being reclaimed as positive versus negative. 
What else? Queer, Trans and/or People of Color have always existed as geeks and nerds but geek culture has often been heteronormative, androcentric (male-focused) and considered part of white culture. Here is an article that by Cecily Thomas on forging a revolution for representation.

Geek Therapy, founded by Josué Cardona an engineer turned therapist, is an approach to mental health treatment that incorporates elements of pop culture, particularly those associated with "geek" interests, into the therapeutic process. Here are ten things to know about geek therapy.

  1. Cultural relevance: It uses themes, characters, and scenarios from video games, tv shows, role play games, Dungeons & Dragons, anime, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, cosplay, and other geek-culture media as therapy tools.

  2. Connection: By tapping into interests that you are passionate about, you and your therapist can achieve a better connection.

  3. Metaphors and analogies: Geek therapy uses familiar narratives and characters to explain complex psychological concepts or situations in relatable ways. For instance, if you are into a particular Manga character, the therapist can use the character's  fictional experiences to connect with what you are dealing with.

  4. Role-playing: It may incorporate elements of role-playing games to explore personal issues, practice social skills, or work through scenarios in a safe environment.

  5. Identity exploration: If you identify as a "nerd," or "geeks," your interests may be a core part of your identity. Geek therapy allows for deeper exploration of your sense of self and can lead to personal growth. For geeks and nerds who are queer, trans, non binary or simply questioning identity, this approach can be a great way to further explore who you are and how you want to express yourself. 

  6. Coping strategies: Geek therapy can help you develop coping mechanisms by drawing parallels between fictional characters' experiences and your own challenges. You and your therapist can find new, creative tools to help you cope better.

  7. Community: It acknowledges the importance of geek communities (Eg. Discord or attending conventions).  Geek therapy can help address social issues coming up.

  8. Destigmatization: This approach can help reduce the stigma you may feel about seeking therapy as well as being a geek or nerd.

  9. ​Geek therapy isn't about replacing traditional therapy, but rather adds to it with culturally relevant tools and approaches that fit better with certain people. It's particularly effective for people who strongly identify with geek culture and may have struggled to connect with more traditional therapeutic approaches.

  10. Geek therapy is for all ages!

download-2_edited.jpg
Do you feel working with a Geek Therapist may be a good fit?  
Fill out our secure contact form to book a free, brief intro meeting with our resident Geek Therapist, Anthony Magnia AMFT, APCC. 

Information above was written by Lisette Lahana, LCSW in conjunction with ClaudeAI and parts are informed by the work of author: Bean, Dr. Anthony. (2020). Integrating Geek Culture Into Therapeutic Practice: The Clinician's Guide To Geek Therapy. 

Learn more about Geek Therapy Certification and Geek Therapy at GeekTherapeutics.com and GeekTherapy.org

Top Photo Credit: Joe Cicarelli via Unsplash.com

bottom of page