‘Geek therapy’ improves students’ mental health
Students in Northampton Area School District are gaining emotional support from “geek therapy” — a technique sanctioned by the American Psychological Association that includes the use of pop culture resources to benefit students’ mental health. According to an article in the Allentown Morning Call, therapist Jason Frei, stationed at the district’s middle school, has seen great results using the method to talk with students about anger, anxiety and other barriers students typically face in the adolescent years. The strategy is part of Your Emotional Strength Supported! (YESS!), a school-based therapy program launched last year by his employer, St. Luke’s University Health Network. Frei discusses the ethical and moral underpinnings of superhero stories such as the Hulk, to reach students in a way they can relate to and help them develop effective plans to improve their mental health.
The YESS! program is currently in six Lehigh Valley school districts, including Northampton, with more expected to join.