THERAGAMES is a series of 15 therapeutic boardgames designed to support the social and emotional resilience of students aged 5 to 15 years. The natural appeal of boardgames to kids make them a great way to teach psychological skills like social and emotional literacy, resilience, assertiveness, humour, cognitive behaviour therapy, problem solving and character development. The games progress in skill and complexity and cover things kids deal with like friendship problems, teasing, bullying, anger, anxiety, success at school, happiness and character development.

 

The semi-naturalistic setting of a boardgame creates a ‘life-space’ in which the facilitator guides discussion of psychologically sounds ways to solve problems and develop resilience to the ups and downs of life.

THERACOMICS use the engaging characteristics of comics to teach social and emotional skills to kids. Being both visual and verbal comics quickly present social situations from several angles, inviting readers to develop perspective and understanding. Kids get to ‘try out’ different responses through the characters while making connections with their own life challenges. Theracomics tell stories about the things kids deal with and think about, like friendships, anxiety, anger management, bullying, resilience, success at school, happiness, character development.

 

The comics come with a set suggestions for parents, mentors or teachers Reading a comic with a mentor/teacher/parent invites guided discussion and reflection. Kids just like to read them for fun – and they learn things!

Robyn Hromek works as an educational psychologist in Australian schools with students, parents and teachers - Kindergarten to Year 12. She is also an experienced primary school teacher.

 

Her career in education began in 1983 and covers a wide range of educational settings, including inner city, rural, special education (emotional and learning difficulties), distance education and gifted and talented students.

 

Robyn has a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Newcastle, NSW Australia. Her research was on a peer based program to reduce harassment amongst students. She has spoken at national and international conferences including:

  • 3rd Educational Games Competition Steinkjer Norway 2015. The game Dragons Paragons and Shadows was shortlisted 

  • Australian Guidance & Counselling Association National Conference -Sydney 2013

  • 7th European Conference Games Based Learning Porto Portugal 2013

  • International Conference Moral Education Nanjing 2011

  • 5th International Conference Positive Psychology Copenhagen 2010

  • 2nd European Conference Games Based Learning - Barcelona 2008

The social and emotional development of children was a particular interest for Robyn who developed a set of 15 boardgames to help teach these skills to children and young people. Her underlying philosophy is that children are a work in progress and that they learn most by watching us, the adults and their peers around them. She draws from the ideas of Seligman, Gardner, Vygotsky, Bandura, Goldman and Goldstein to produce innovative and experiential strategies that readily engage children in the process of becoming the best they may be.

 

THE AUTHOR

Other publications available in Australia from www.footprint.com.au or www.paulchapmanpublishing.co.uk

 

  1. Planting the Peace Virus: Early Intervention to Prevent Violence in Schools, 2004 (Luck Duck Publications). This book is about how one school worked together to substantially reduce violence and harassment in their school.

  2. Game Time: Games to promote Social and Emotional Resilience, 2005 (Paul Chapman: Sage Publications). This book comes with a CD to print 9 board games and cards. These games are the same as 9 of the games on this website.

  3. A Training Framework: Planting the peace virus – in ‘Violence Reduction in Schools – How to Make a Difference: A Handbook’ 2006 (Ed C Gittins, Publisher Council of Europe)

  4. Emotional Coaching: A practical programme to support young people, 2007 (Paul Chapman: Sage Publications). This book presents a mentoring program for teachers, aides and therapists who wish to coach young people with mild to moderate emotional difficulties. The book comes with a CD to print reflection sheets and therapeutic games.

  5. Promoting Social and Emotional Learning with Games; “It’s Fun and We Learn Things” Simulation and Gaming. October 2009 (Co-author Dr Sue Roffey)

  6. Peaceful and Compassionate Futures in ‘Positive Relationships: Evidence Based Practice across the World’, 2012 (Co-author A White, Ed S Roffey, Publisher: Springer)

  7. Facilitation of Trust in Gaming Situations in 'Student Usability in Educational Software and Games: Improving Student Experience’ 2013 (Ed C Gonzalez. Publisher IGI Global)