Whenever someone mentions therapy, most people conjure up that traditional image of a therapist sitting on a couch, notebook in hand listening intently to a client sitting opposite. But get this, therapy doesn’t have to be that way! Chess therapy has just exploded onto the scene and its changing everything about traditional forms of therapy. It is a more creative form of therapy, such as art therapy and we think its sounds like a really cool idea.
Chess therapy involves the therapist and client doing a therapy session while playing chess. The idea is that chess requires analysis, visualization of consequences, focus and analysis as well as planning and executing a move. All these skills are transferable into daily life and by practicing them on the chess board, clients can learn how to appropriately translate them into real life situations.
Chess therapy first became well known in 1945 after Norman Reider published a paper titled “Observations on the Use of Chess in the Therapy of an Adolescent Boy.” The boy had difficulty expressing himself and creating real friendships and bonds. The boy was so distracted by playing chess that he was able to open up to his therapist.
Chess therapy has been particularly effective in helping people with aggressive disorders. This is probably because it allows the client to control his or her feelings within the game, which again can be translated into real life skills.
So.. if you are thinking of trying a new therapy it might be worth giving chess a shot! You’ll be able to learn a new game and let out all your feelings at the same time. Sounds good to us!