International Men’s Day: Using Dungeons and Dragons therapeutically
S* is a SurvivorsUK client who receives help through the Dungeons and Dragons therapy group. Here, he explains how he came to find out about the group.
‘D&D at SurvivorsUK – what’s that?’ I ask a typically friendly SurvivorsUK staff facilitator.
‘Dungeons and Dragons. Have you heard of it?’
‘Err, no, I don’t think so…’
‘It’s a role-playing game.’ I notice a youthful brightness in his response.
‘Oh, but I don’t know it and don’t think I’d be much good anyway, so maybe not for me?’
‘You don’t have to be good and there are others who will help you, if you want.’
…and so it began – my fortnightly fantastical Zoom-adventure into the brilliantly narrated storyline of a world I had never previously imagined!
‘But wait, is this SAFE? I mean, fantasy is fine, when it is just in MY head, but it’s a different experience when others are involved! How can I be sure I won’t get upset by others?
What are the boundaries and safeguards compared to open/public D&D?
This is where I thought my fun was over, but NOT in D&D run by SurvivorsUK. I have thoroughly enjoyed the company of all the other Survivors as we play together with a SurvivorsUK staff facilitator, who is always there for any of us who feel we need to chat about feelings or anything, really. I feel safe and able to allow the childlike part of me to play with reassured freedom – unafraid and full of fun!