Originally published at: https://geektherapy.org/presidents-10th-anniversary-message/
By Josué Cardona
It’s officially Geek Therapy’s 10th anniversary and I want to say thank you to everyone in our community for making the organization what it is today and to recommit, and rephrase, our mission for the next ten years.
Forgive me if you’ve heard GT’s origin story before, but here it is one more time: Ten years ago, when I was a mental health counseling intern in New Jersey, I worked at a hospital outpatient program for 6-11-year-olds. One day I was looking inside our game closet and discovered that we had a Nintendo Wii! I was so excited to find it because the kids were always talking about video games and I had lots of ideas on how to use video games in individual and group counseling.
I shared the discovery with my supervisor and she immediately shot down using the Wii as part of the program. I made my case for the potential benefits, based on research I’d collected over the years, but she was convinced that video games were harmful and shouldn’t be used in therapy. So I went home that night and built a website to share the research and news articles I had collected about the beneficial uses of Geek culture staples like comic books and video games. As many have pointed out, yes, Geek Therapy was born out of spite. That was ten years ago.
Today, we are a nonprofit organization, a community of thousands, and we’re helping newer generations of practitioners with the research and support needed to do this type of work. Which brings us to… What is that work? What does Geek Therapy do exactly?
I’m happy to share our latest mission statement, which should help us all when talking about Geek Therapy:
We advocate for the effective and meaningful use of popular media in therapeutic, educational, and community practice. We provide education and resources so helping professionals, educators, and community leaders can better understand the communities they serve, through media that matters.
Over the years, we realized that our membership represents more than mental health clinicians and we’ve embraced all of those professions and their contributions. We’ve also integrated our “media matters” motto into the mission statement to show that the type of media isn’t what’s important, it’s that the media matters to our students and clients.
Finally, it’s all about understanding. We believe that the best way to understand each other, and ourselves, is through the media we care about. So we don’t prescribe how to be a therapist or a teacher, instead we provide a method and examples that can help us understand what we’re going through, what we want and need, so then you can use your professional skills to do the hard work.
Thank you again for being a part of this community and for contributing to the shared knowledge we’re creating every day. I hope you enjoy our 10th anniversary festivities and please reach out with your GT stories as we’ll be featuring them throughout the month!
Remember to geek out and do good!