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A world of fantastic adventure is only a piece of paper, a pencil, and a few dice away. The tabletop game of Dungeons and Dragons has thrilled youths across North America for decades, and continues to grow and evolve with its players. And now, two passionate game masters in Seattle are breaking through the barriers of mental health with the mighty pen and paper.

Adam Davis and Adam Johns created the Wheelhouse Workshop, a setting for their therapeutic game sessions, focusing on helping teens become “more confident, creative, and socially capable.” Through a world filled with goblins, magic, mystery, and, yes, dungeons with dragons, the duo are able to use a combination of their training in psychology, education, and drama therapy to develop and practice skills needed by their patients (to whom they refer as ‘players’).

This wonderful program that combines two of my own passions is showing real results for kids who may be burned out on therapy, or continue to struggle with social anxiety, ADHD, or other challenges. To discuss the development of the program, the game play and mechanics of therapeutic RPGs, and why a screen-free fantasy world is giving kids real-world success, Adam and Adam joined the Everyday Fray.

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