TF-CBT Triangle of Life: A Game to Help With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This is an academic research paper I wrote in conjunction with Eric Chang, Seungsuk Cho, Vivek Kotecha, Bing Liu, Hannah Turner, Yan Zhang, Michael G. Christel, and Scott M. Stevens at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University. It was published in CHI PLAY ’14: Proceedings of the First ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-human Interaction in Play.

Under direction of medical professionals associated with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a mobile game was developed for children ages 10-12 to teach the Cognitive Triangle concept of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. This triangle is an essential component of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). A storybook experience with minigames was quickly prototyped, but first playtests showed a lack of engagement with children. The game was revised to emphasize side- scroller platform advancement where success in a level was tied intrinsically to cognitive triangle classification. Children rated the game highly across a series of playtests. The game has potential to be used by clinicians delivering TF-CBT as an appealing exercise for children.

Full paper available in Association for Computing Machinery’s Digital Library.


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