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Wheelhouse Workshop to help teens develop social skills through role-playing games

Wheelhouse Workshop is back in our neighborhood this summer, trying to help teens develop social skills through fantasy role-playing games.

Part recreation and part social support, our groups may be of interest to families in Seattle looking for additional social experiences for their teens, especially during the summer when solo video games can be so compelling.

In Wheelhouse Workshop groups, teens and adolescents access their inner heroes, collaborate as a team, and save the world.

Our groups help teens develop perspective-taking, develop flexibility and conflict resolution, and cultivate their creative problem solving skills…

…all while rolling dice from the safety of a table.

Wheelhouse Workshop groups use modified rules from the popular and accessible game Dungeons and Dragons. What makes Wheelhouse Workshop unique is that in-game scenarios are designed to target players’ real-world areas of social growth and players are given a safe and rewarding space to practice real-world skills. For example, two players in our group who were specifically working on conflict resolution skills met a creature in our fantasy game that had two heads with opposing and conflicting personalities. The players wanted to befriend this creature to assist them in their adventure, but in order to do so needed to help the two personalities (role-played by a drama therapist) better understand their opposing viewpoints. The two players who started off the quarter as rivals eventually exchanged phone numbers and became friends outside of our weekly group!

Even though our facilitators are trained Masters level therapists and educators, the players never feel like they are in a “therapy” group. A parent even said, “This is the only time my child actually looks forward to leaving the house!”

Wheelhouse Workshops will be at The Pocket Theater, 8312 Greenwood Ave. N., on Wednesdays from 5:15-6:45 p.m. beginning July 15 through Sept. 16. To register, call 206-588-5523 or email [email protected].