Geek Therapy: The Theory
Geek Therapy is an affinity-based model and the theory has three key components: Affinity (A), Resonance (R), and Understanding (U).
Which work together as a formula: Affinity + Resonance = Understanding. Or A + R = U.
Affinity + Resonance = Understanding
The goal of Geek Therapy is to facilitate reaching new insights or understanding about a person, through an affinity. It is an affinity-based model and therefore it’s worth spending some time with the word and why I prefer it to the terms such as interest, like, love, or preference. The key part is the attraction. When I say that a client has an affinity for something, I mean that they may not be able to explain why they like it or prefer it. They just do. It makes them feel something, usually positive.
An affinity can be subtle or intense. A subtle affinity might be a color preference, such as choosing to sit in the blue chair versus the green chair. An intense affinity might be a room dedicated to Star Wars memorabilia.
Once we’ve identified an affinity, we look for experiences of resonance or relatability. In other words, the client makes a connection between them and the affinity. The client sees themself in a character or situation, or is reminded about a previous experience.
Resonance can be positive or negative. Positive resonance brings up strong positive feelings like joy and excitement. If it is negative, we can refer to it as repulsion, and it also brings up emotions we can work with. We can ask why something made them angry, sad, scared, or disappointed.
The combination of the affinity and relatable experiences allows the therapist and client to explore thoughts and feelings in a comfortable and meaningful context.
The affinity provides a comfortable, safe context for exploring otherwise uncomfortable thoughts and difficult emotions.
Through reflection and exploration, thoughts and feelings may start to make more sense. New insights can help inform alternative behaviors and beliefs, as well as new potential solutions.