The healing power of tabletop role-playing games

Tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs) like Dungeons & Dragons can be a powerful therapy.

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Tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs) like Dungeons & Dragons can be a powerful therapy for neurodiverse folks, according to experts. Creating accommodations where neurodivergent players can safely express themselves can help release masking behaviors.

Keeping the lines of communication open
Masking is the imitation of neurotypicality — potentially turning a safe space to unwind into a draining one.

  • The question of how to facilitate healthy self-expression during games is still up for debate.
  • Psychologists and academics question whether using a person’s neurodivergence as a strength in TTRPGs is helpful or harmful.

Recognizing neurodivergence as a superpower
But while the idea of reframing a neurological difference may seem to empower, it might accidentally leave behind those whose uniqueness doesn’t fit neatly into the box of any TTRPG.

Kait Cunniff

Kait is a Chicago-raised, LA-based writer and NYU film grad. She created an anthology TV series for Refinery29 and worked as a development executive for John Wells Productions, Jon M. Chu, and Paramount Pictures. Her favorite color is orange.


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