Geek Out! : Exploring the Connection between Geek Culture and Psychology (6 CE’s)

Presented by Joseph Serrano, Psy.D., LPC
July 15th, 2021
  8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Instructional Level

Introductory — Designed for psychologists who may have little to no background in a specialized skill or content area. The learner can become acquainted with the theoretical underpinnings, principles, methods, and perspectives of a content area. Although it can be used as a foundation for more advanced learning, a program may simply focus on breadth, enrichment or general knowledge.

Course Description and Target Audience

This presentation provides a broad discussion about the ways in which geek and nerd culture can be used to understand diversity, effectively treat mental illness, and address various societal psychological principles. Specifically, this presentation will highlight comic books, Harry Potter, cosplay, and video games.

Clinicians will be able to utilize the presented material to therapeutically assist clients and patients in the treatment of mental health issues. Attendees will be provided with concrete tools, resources, and interventions framed within a geek-themed context. These methods of addressing difficult topics may provide effective ways of connecting with those who identify with nerd and geek culture. While the potential risk for this presentation is expected to be minimal, attendees may experience some emotional discomfort as they reflect on potentially sensitive topics such as their role models, previous experiences, or current status as clinicians. The target audience is mental health providers (advanced doctoral level psychology trainees, psychologists in practice, master’s level clinicians etc).

Learning Objectives

  • Attendees will be able to explain the theory and efficacy of narrative therapy and bibliotherapy.
  • Attendees will be able to identify how geek culture can address the psychological concepts of individuality, inclusion, diversity, and role models.
  • Attendees will be able to discuss how comic books, Harry Potter, cosplay, and video games can be used to address clinical challenges with clients.
  • Attendees will be able to practice integrating geek culture into therapeutic techniques and interventions.
  • Attendees will be able to demonstrate the benefit of fantasy, fiction, and role-play for clinical use and identity development.

Presenter Information

Dr. Serrano is a mental health clinician with over 14 years of varied clinical experiences in community mental health counseling centers, private practice, and inpatient facilities in rural, suburban, and urban areas within the Midwest. Dr. Serrano attended Northern Illinois University and received his bachelor’s degree in psychology. Then, after completing his master’s degree in counseling from Indiana’s Ball State University in 2008, he served as a therapist to the Southside of Chicago for over three and a half years. In 2012, he began his doctoral program in clinical psychology from Adler University in Chicago and graduated in 2017. Upon completion of his doctorate, he returned as a clinician to the Southside Chicago community while simultaneously working as the clinical director of a group practice in the Northwest Illinois suburbs. Dr. Serrano has an emphasis in treating behavioral challenges, mood and anxiety disorders, and relational difficulties amongst individuals, families, and couples ranging from childhood to geriatrics.

Dr. Serrano also has clinical experience and interest in incorporating art, humor, and comic culture into therapy to promote growth and achievement of clinical goals. He is an avid comic book fan and has presented his research on the influence of comic books on moral development to various nationwide cities and audiences. He is also a founding member of a team that studies and nationally presents on the interconnectedness between comic books and their psychological significance to people and society. Lastly, he is a mixed media artist whose work has been displayed in books, events, and in various public locations around the United States.

Location and Costs

$100.00 - Regular Registration Fee
$75.00 - Consortium Affiliate (staff of member site and not currently providing supervision)
No Charge - NPTC Director or Supervisor (provided supervision in the past year or is about to provide supervision)

*Credit card charges are subject to an additional fee.
** Group rates may be available; contact Katherine Dixon to request consideration.
***Refund/Cancellation: Please give 24-hour notice to receive a full refund of the CE cost.

This presentation will be held via Zoom.

*National Psychology Training Consortium (NPTC) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NPTC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.