This choose-your-own-adventure fantasy book is designed to help with anxiety and depression, and we needed this yesterday
Although mental illness is still often stigmatized, society is finally starting to accept that there’s no shame in going to therapy and working on your mental health. Seeing a therapist and reading books by trained professionals can teach you important coping mechanisms, and now, you can learn these skills via an epic fantasy choose-your-own adventure. Yep. You heard us. Therapy Quest, a book from clinical psychologist Janina Scarlet, teaches you how to cope with things like anxiety, depression, and trauma by making you the literal and figurative hero of your own journey.
According to its Amazon listing, Therapy Quest opens with a call to adventure from a seer named Anka: You’re the Chosen One, and you must defeat the evil sorceress Mallena. As you continue on your journey, you learn the building blocks of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), which can be used to treat conditions ranging from test anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
As one official Amazon review notes,
"Dr. Scarlet's Therapy Quest is an innovative and fresh approach to taking care of your mental health. It's interactive, insightful and genuinely fun. Readers will be reminded of the choose-your-own-adventure books of their youths, allowing them to be proactive in their quest for self-help, and to be part of a story that promotes healing. I cannot recommend this book enough!"
And as Scarlet explains in the Therapy Quest book trailer, to advance through the adventure, you’ll have to make psychologically adaptive choices. Each choice you make will earn you points, and once you have enough points, you can battle the sorceress.
This isn’t the first time that Scarlet has used fantasy to help patients. Her website, Superhero Therapy, notes that she was inspired by superheroes and icons in “geek culture” after experiencing trauma as a child and teen. She later went on to incorporate these stories and characters in her treatment programs as a therapist. She has written several other self-help books, including Harry Potter Therapy, Superhero Therapy, and Dark Agents—a graphic novel about a young witch dealing with trauma—and also contributed to books like Game of Thrones Psychology and Star Wars Psychology.
Therapy Quest will be available for purchase starting on May 7th, with the paperback edition being sold on Amazon here for $10.99 starting on June 4th (and is currently available for pre-order).