Meet Janina Scarlet. Janina is a licensed clinical psychologist, self-proclaimed geek, and the leader of “Superhero Therapy.” It’s a method of self-improvement that’s based on a whole lot of in-depth psychology and pedagogy but in layman’s terms, it’s the idea that good role models help to craft good people…and the role models don’t necessarily need to be nonfictional.
Janina has proven this concept time and time again. She’s used role models like Harry Potter, Batman, and even tested her theory with Doctor Who at, you guessed it, Wizards & Warriors STEM Summer Camp with Guardian Adventures!
A few years back, we opened the Gate of Destiny for the T.A.R.D.I.S. and welcomed the good Doctor to Sidleterra. The campers were introduced to the character, his story, good deeds, and morales. The campers were then thrown into various encounters where courage, honor, and compassion were the keys to success. They wrestled with concepts like prejudice and even death, learning more about themselves and the world in the process, with help from The Doctor.
At the end of the camp session, the campers completed surveys that they had also done prior to camp. The results were overwhelming. The campers had grown more compassionate not only towards others but towards themselves. Self-worth, along with courage, honor, and compassion, had all significantly increased. This was the evidence Janina needed to prove that positive role models can be fictional, as long as their message is true. So, the next time you see a Superhero on TV, in a movie, or in a comic book, pay a little more attention to the message. You just might get a little more super yourself.
Want to get the real nitty-gritty of the experiment? You can read Janina’s write up here: http://www.superhero-therapy.com/doctor-who-helps-children-with-depression/
In the meantime, why not try your own hand at a Superhero style adventure? We’re proud to be adding the ranks of Supers to our STEM Summer Camps and School Break Adventures. This will open new doors for our young heroes to face new challenges, learn new lessons, and grow into even stronger heroes in the real world.
Don’t forget your super suit!