| Counseling Today – Therapeutic games
Brandon Ballantyne,a member of the American Counseling Association and the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, has long advocated for an increase in creative interventions within the counseling profession. In July he was able to present this idea outside of the profession as well — to a group of pediatricians at a continuing education program provided by his place of work, the Reading Hospital Center for Mental Health. His presentation focused on managing mild mental health issues in creative ways.
“I provided both research and personal experience that suggested the importance of using creative outlets such as games as a way to not only build trust with patients but also to offer safe, nonthreatening outlets for communication,” says Ballantyne, a licensed professional counselor who works with adolescent and adult clients in the partial hospitalization program at the Reading Hospital Center for Mental Health in Wyomissing, Pa. “I also provided information suggesting that the use of creativity can be used as a way to manage hostility and escalating acting-out behaviors. Working with resistance is a critical component in any health care setting, and the use of games with clients can introduce a safe outlet to channel energy that otherwise has potential to become problematic or aggressive in nature.”