Tabletops and Therapeutic InteractionsDavid Coyle, Izdihar Jamil, Sriram Subramanian, Tabletops and Therapeutic Interactions. Surface Learning Workshop, . March 2012. PDF, 321 Kbytes.
Writing in 1957 Carl Rogers, a pioneer of person-centred therapy, identified an empowering client-therapist relationship as the essence of a therapeutic process and proposed that an empowering relationship could, in and of itself, create the necessary and sufficient conditions for successful outcomes in mental health settings . Whilst modern psychological theories no longer favour an exclusive focus on relationships, positive relationships and the dynamics of client-therapist interactions remain cornerstones for mental health intervention theories. In this paper we offer a preliminary discussion on the potential of tabletop computing in mental health settings. We focus on the use of technology to support psychological or talk-based approaches with adolescents and consider how tabletop systems could help in reshaping the dynamics of therapeutic conversations and psychoeducation. To ground this discussion, we draw on the results of previous work, which investigated the use of desktop games in clinical interventions with adolescents.