Specific Phobia

by Hawke Robinson published Nov 11, 2016 11:08 AM, last modified Nov 11, 2016 11:08 AM

For details on this diagnosis, see the relevant section of the Recreation Therapy Handbook of Practice, the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of the APA, and related sources.

Not currently aware of an RPG-specific program to address specific phobia, though there are a growing number of Virtual Reality (VR) programs growing that are promising.

It is possible that an RPG program could be created using a gradual exposure (or flooding) approach within the context of a role-playing game, using some of he guidelines from the Social Phobia program by Hawkes-Robinson, but instead of gradually increasing the social exposure, gradually increase the specific phobia exposure. For example with Arachnophobia, a campaign that will slowly increase the imaginary exposure to larger and more spiders, that the participant gets to slay with their character.

Potentially increase the exposure by transitioning to computer-based RPG/VR for more intense imagery. If computer-based not available, consider LARP, with stuffed large spiders or posters, as part of the increasing exposure. By having a character that is able to drive away/kill the imaginary spiders, it would be interesting to see if this helps them gain more confidence at any differential in rate from “normal” graduated exposure or flooding techniques.

Research pending.