Wheelhouse Workshop Launches Third Social Skills Group Using Role-Playing Games for Seattle Youth

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Counselors facilitate tabletop games to help teens and adolescents become more confident, creative, and socially capable.

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Wheelhouse Workshop

"My normally quiet and introverted son leaves this workshop smiling and excited to share out the adventures he just embarked upon. He sees how to better listen, interact, and help others. Thank you for this experience for him and our family."

Wheelhouse Workshop, a Seattle-based group helping teens and adolescents build social skills using role-playing games, is expanding into the South Seattle area this summer. Since 2013, Wheelhouse Workshop’s Kirkland and Greenwood neighborhood weekly social skills groups have used modified rules from the popular and accessible game Dungeons and Dragons to provide a safe, supportive, and fun setting in which youth build friendships and connect with others who have similar challenges and life experiences. Using their training in counseling, drama therapy, and human development, Wheelhouse Workshop founders Adam Davis and Adam Johns target real-world areas of social growth in a compelling format that makes players want to return week after week.

Wheelhouse Workshop groups serve families with teens or adolescents who have had difficulty making friends or developing social skills, either due to a mental health diagnosis or simply a lack of rewarding social experiences. Players sit around a table, rolling dice and role-playing as a team of heroes in a fantasy world that they create. Players work on frustration tolerance, leadership skills, empathy, and creative problem solving, while they are having fun and interacting directly with their peers. Wheelhouse Workshop group facilitators are additionally trained to design in-game scenarios, so that players can work on specific areas of social growth identified by a parent, therapist, teacher, or the player themself.

For enrollment or to learn more about Wheelhouse Workshop’s services, visit http://www.wheelhouse-workshop.com.

Adam Davis and Adam Johns founded Wheelhouse Workshop in 2013 while studying psychology and human development at Antioch University Seattle. Adam Johns earned his MA in psychology and is a licensed marriage and family therapist working in private practice in Kirkland. Adam Davis earned his Masters in education with a specialization in drama therapy. Adam Davis is a recognized member of the North American Drama Therapy Association, and is a contributing author to a book about the role of psychology in pop culture.

Davis and Johns have spoken around the country about their work with Wheelhouse Workshop, addressing audiences at the Penny Arcade Expos in Seattle and San Antonio; Emerald City Comicon; OrcaCon; and Save Against Fear, a convention in Pennsylvania about the therapeutic use of gaming. They have appeared on several podcasts, including Psychology in Seattle, Role Playing Public Radio, and the Cap and Ton show, and were interviewed for both d-Infinity.net and pixelkin.org. Antioch University recently contracted them to teach a Masters workshop concerning the use role playing games in clinical practice.

Wheelhouse Workshop returned as panelists to Emerald City Comicon on Friday, April 8, 2016, with a panel titled “Please Don’t Punch the GM: Adventures in Gaming Therapy.”

Adam Davis & Adam Johns
(206) 588-5523    

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