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Jacob Dreiling Erika Walker

Grief and Dungeons & Dragons

A presentation by Erika Walker LSCSW, LCSW, LICSW, RPT-S (she/her/hers) and Jacob Dreiling APC, NCC, MS

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About this Event

Dungeons & Dragons, as a co-created story, has the power to help clients process emotions in real time in ways that are relevant to them. Utilizing Adlerian conceptualization and treatment planning, we’ll talk together about ways we have used D&D to process our own grief and loss and also our clients.


·     Describe 3 ways in which D&D can be utilized to process grief in a play therapy setting.

·     Name 2 ways in which D&D would be a culturally sensitive way to process grief in a play therapy setting.

·     Identify 2 ways the Crucial Cs can be used to help clients process loss.

·     Identify 3 ways in which D&D can simulate grief and loss in a play therapy setting.


·     Baker, I. S., Turner, I. J., & Kotera, Y. (2022). Role-play games (rpgs) for mental health (why not?): Roll for initiative. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. Retrieved December 22, 2022, from

·     Causo, F., & Quinlan, E. (2021). Defeating dragons and demons: Consumers’ perspectives on mental health recovery in role-playing games. Australian Psychologist, 56(3), 256–267. Retrieved January 7, 2023, from

·     Deterding, S. (2017). Alibis for adult play: A Goffmanian account of escaping embarrassment in adult play. Games and Culture, 13(3), 260–279. Retrieved December 30, 2022, from

·     Henrich, S., & Worthington, R. (2021). Let your clients fight dragons: A rapid evidence assessment regarding the therapeutic utility of ‘dungeons & dragons’. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 1–19. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from

·     Sidhu, P., & Carter, M. (2021). Pivotal play: Rethinking meaningful play in games through death in dungeons & dragons. Games and Culture, 16(8), 1044–1064. Retrieved January 8, 2022, from

April 20, 2024, 11:15 PM

Applied TTRPG

11:15 PM - 12:45 AM

About The Presenters

Erika Walker

Erika Walker LSCSW, LCSW, LICSW, RPT-S (she/her/hers)

Erika Walker Therapy, LLC

I'm just a dice goblin, sitting in front of some pretties, asking them to roll well.

Jacob Dreiling

Jacob Dreiling APC, NCC, MS

The only person I would defy 117 countries and pull a helicopter out of the sky by doing a bicep curl for is my husband, and Steve Rogers would agree.