From Purple Pawn comes the brief but positive story about an organization called Romach in Raanan, Israel that uses role-playing games as a form of therapy for troubled youth:
The organizers have enlisted a psychiatrist and some therapists for the project. They trained them as to how RPGs work (their RPG of choice is Warhammer Fantasy; 4e is too combat oriented) and they received training on how to run the sessions to ensure that each child encounters situations that can help them work through issues. The sessions, and the club, look nothing like therapy, which is the point.
This is refreshing news coming from Israel - some of you may remember an article from 2005
about how the Israeli Defense Force considers roleplayers a security risk, and how soldiers who admit to playing Dungeons & Dragons
are "sent to a professional for an evaluation, usually a psychologist."
It seems like Romach is sort of a logical response to this sort of ignorance - especially since, as the Purple Pawn article suggests, there are plans to expand the program to give leadership training to the military.
Read the full article here
- and here's hoping we'll see a lot more about this!