Using RPGs as Tools for Player Skill Development

About this Training

We know that RPGs can impact players on a profoundly personal level. How can practitioners harness the potential of these impacts in a therapeutic context? This talk by Dr. Sarah Lynne Bowman will discuss the potential of using RPGs as tools for exploring identity, training affective skills and processing personal emotional content. The class will focus upon three broad categories: 1) Ego/self development; 2) Processing the past, emotional expression, and regulation; and 3) Group validation of personal experiences. The talk will cover several aspects pertaining to each category, including examples of how practitioners might design therapeutic containers to encourage development within each area. Dr. Bowman will include both hypothetical and personal examples from leisure virtual, tabletop, and live action role-playing (larp). Join us as we explore the potential of role-playing as a tool to explore the vast terrain of the human psyche!

Using RPGs as Tools for Player Skill Development

Learning Objectives

  • #1

    Apply different RPG theories to affective skills, emotional processing, and identity exploration.

  • #2

    Identify examples of how these applications are useful in RPG context.

  • #3

    Identify several RPGs in which these skills can be practiced with applied facilitation.



Sarah Lynne Bowman

Sarah Lynne Bowman is a professor, scholar, game designer, and event organizer. An instructor at several institutions including Austin Community College, she received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in Radio-TV-Film. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas in Arts and Humanities. Bowman publishes regularly in scholarly and popular media about the transformative power of role-playing. McFarland Press published her dissertation in 2010 as The Functions of Role-playing Games: How Participants Create Community, Solve Problems, and Explore Identity. She served as an editor for The Wyrd Con Companion Book from 2012-2015, is a coordinating editor for the International Journal of Role-playing, and is a managing editor for the magazine Bowman was the lead organizer for the Living Games Conference 2016, helped coordinate the Role-playing and Simulation in Education Conferences in 2016 and 2018, and served on several committees for Living Games 2018. Learn more at her website:

Enjoy These Further Benefits!

  • Understand Your Clients

    Learn how to understand and work with your clients using proven strategies derived from competent practice, knowledge, and culture while knowing what questions to ask them.

  • Learn From A Leader In The Field

    Presented by one of the leading experts in the field of Psychology, this training presents upon the topic using real life examples.

  • Become Knowledgeable In The Culture

    Through understanding the culture and connecting with our clients, we create meaning, relationships, and a place for new thought to birth.

Course Curriculum

  • 1

    Using RPGs as Tools for Player Skill Development Video

    • Using RPGs as Tools for Player Skill Development

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Geek Therapeutics

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