While I prefer the term Geek Therapy for the type of work I do, The Daily Beast and others have recently used the term Superhero Therapy to talk about me and some of my colleagues. I don’t mind that at all, especially if we’re specifically talking about heroes. In fact, I’m very excited to see so many people talking about this!
Here is a video of Lawrence Rubin, one of my favorite people and the person who actually wrote the book on what could be called Superhero Therapy being interviewed on MSNBC:
Since people are talking about it, I want to take the opportunity to point out some things I think everyone should know about Superhero Therapy.
1. Superheroes are a language.
By identifying real qualities in these characters and then relating to them, we can all talk about emotionally demanding issues within a context that we feel comfortable in.
2. Superhero Therapy is therapy first.
3. Superheroes are not just for kids.
4. Media violence does not equal real violence.
In terms of media violence resulting in actual violence, that’s just not how it works. For example, seeing someone shoot a gun or do kung-fu does not make you better at either of those things (unless you already have experience with them). Media violence leading to aggression is another topic altogether since aggressive behaviors are not necessarily physical.
Responsible therapists will focus on what clients are relating to and that usually isn’t a violent act.