10 Years of Geek Therapy
Video games? No
As a mental health counseling intern, on June 24th, 2011, Josué Cardona found a Nintendo Wii at the clinic he worked at and asked if he could use it with his clients. His supervisor said no, so Josué went home that night and created a website to collect research and stories of people using Geek culture to help others. The tagline was: Can geeky, nerdy, and techie things help save the world? Absolutely.
Let’s start a Podcast
As Josué kept developing Geek Therapy as a model, he began to reach out to people who did similar work. One of his favorite articles on the Geek Therapy website was about a clinical psychologist named Dr. Patrick O’Connor who developed a model for using comics books in therapy called Comicspedia. Josué met with Patrick and he would eventually be the first guest on the Geek Therapy Podcast. The podcast launched in July 2012 and is still in production today as GT Radio: The Geek Therapy Podcast.
San Diego Comic-Con
Josué and Patrick agreed to talk about their work at conferences and their first proposal was accepted: Comic-Con International in San Diego. They invited two colleagues and two students to join them on the panel and on July 18, 2013, presented Geek Therapy: How Superheroes Empower All of Us to a packed room.
The GT Network
The GT Library
Inspired by Patrick O’Connor’s Comicspedia, Lara Taylor and Josué Cardona decided to create a database that included more mediums, including movies, video games, and music, that was also open-sourced and created by the community. The GT Library launched in 2016 and would go through various iterations. It currently resides within the GT Forum.
In 2019 Geek Therapy was listed as an affiliated institution in a research article on gamification in community a college setting published in the Journal of Education, marking our first entry into academic research programming. Geek Therapy Books, a publishing program built on a cooperative model that gives authors more ownership when part of a multi-author book, was formed for the launch of the Geek Therapy Playbook (published in early 2020). Geek Therapy’s community spaces saw significant increases in membership and activity, realizing the vision of collaboarative, inclusive online spaces where members of the GT community could support and learn from each other.