Table Top Role Playing Groups
Table Top Role Playing Groups use table top role playing games as their format. Most people have at least heard of the game called “Dungeons & Dragons.” This was one of the first games and is still the most popular, however, there are many more available today. They can take place in a fantasy world, a forest, a city, an apocalypse, etc.
Games use a made-up world as a setting for a story. Participants define their characters which will live in this world and band together with other participant’s characters to accomplish a goal. Usually, dice are used to add an element of chance or the unknown.
Games have a game master. This is the role the therapist takes. As a game master, the therapist controls the outline of the story and provides the goals. The therapist also plays any characters that the participants may meet during their adventure.
Before a group forms, the therapist will speak with each participant individually and collect information about what things they’d like to encounter in the game and what types of things are off-limits for them. The therapist will then use this information when guiding the game.
At the first session, a handout with all answers (anonymously compiled) will be shared with the group. Ground rules and safety measures will be explained. Characters will be chosen and their definition begun as well as setting up relationships between the characters who are on this adventure together.
Participants are encouraged to come early and chat before the group starts to help them get ready for the adventure. The game master keeps track of what happens in the story each session. There is a summary of what happened previously before each session begins. There is a check-in and process opportunity at the end of each session.
For a fictional example of how this type of game can help mental health read The Die of Destiny (Champion’s Quest).