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Meet Jessica Medina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Medina.

Hi Jessica, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started out as an elementary-age school-based counselor during my last semester of grad school, in 2018. I had no experience or training working with kids and I only had 30 minutes to quickly get them interested, talk about the hard stuff, and wrap it in a pretty package; before sending them back to class. Understandably, trying to do that and not send the kiddo back a sobbing mess was a challenge. I started using board games like Monopoly or Life to talk about things like divorce, depression, and emotions as a whole. Things were going so well!…. until the pandemic hit and 2020 happened. I quickly transitioned to completely virtual through telehealth and was at a loss for how to keep the connection with my clients.

I had one very young child client with selective mutism who hadn’t spoken a word at school for two years. The only thing they were interested in was Roblox, so I leaned into it. Typically their caregiver would pick a game for them and we’d play together in session but one day, the parents both had a meeting. This was the first time the kiddo whispered a single word to me when telling me what they wanted to play. This quickly progressed to 200 words a session at full volume, all because I joined his virtual world in Roblox. I leaned into this world of geek therapy and discovered my adult clients were using Animal Crossing to cope.

Fast forward to now, I specialize in geek therapy and I use the games themselves, along with pop culture, to join in with my clients. I train clinicians in how to run geek therapy sessions and have spoken on many panels on things like using Animal Crossing for grief or how to connect to your gamer child. I’ll play games in the session and use that as the modality for interventions. Frustrated? Let’s play some Call of Duty and work through that frustration. Feeling lonely? Let’s play an MMORPG. Therapy doesn’t have to be boring and I”m here to help make therapy fun.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It absolutely has not been a smooth road. I navigated through grad school completely misdiagnosed and unmedicated. It wasn’t until just shy of being licensed that I was diagnosed with autism. Now as a therapist, I embrace my authenticity and uniqueness and use this new lense to explore those areas with my clients as well. I’ve also had my fair share of abusive and toxic supervisors and not-so-ethical colleagues who made the back-end side rough. What helped me through was holding space for myself to be unapologetically me.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I specialize in making therapy fun, primarily through geek and pop culture. As a geek therapist, geek therapy is home to me. It’s my language, my self-care, and my passion. To be able to explore the virtual worlds of my clients in session is so rewarding and fulfilling. Being able to game with my clients and use video games and pop culture not just to build rapport but as an intervention itself is the best type of job for me. I’ve used geek therapy such as video games (Fortnite, Roblox, Among Us, Animal Crossing) and pop culture (Marvel, DC, Cosplay, Anime) with clients both young and old, in family sessions, couples, and I even teach clinicians how to use them. ⁠My superpower is taking geek and pop culture (i.e. Marvel, Disney, video games) and making them therapeutic. Not only do I discuss these in therapy, I join my clients in gaming in session and we use geek therapy to explore it together. My biggest takeaway is that we are all human – therapists included. All clients: kids, teens, adults are human beings going through the human experience. Sometimes we forget the humanity in what we do, that everyone just wants to be heard and accepted. Part of this is acknowledging the human in me and doing my own work through therapy too. I have extensive experience working with children/teens/adults, school-based counseling, trauma, anxiety, divorce, depression, OCD, grief, LGBTQIA+, alternative lifestyles, suicide ideation, self-harm, and healing from difficult family dynamics. I also have experience creating curriculum for and facilitating an anxiety and survivors of sexual assault group.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
My favorite childhood memory is the nostalgia of the 90’s. Running home and playing Zelda on my Nintendo 64 or long car rides where I got to bring my gameboy. My childhood memories are so intertwined with the serotonin I got from defeating a boss, finding cool hidden trinkets, and leveling up.

Pricing:

  • ESA Assessment – One Animal – $150/session (4 sessions minimum)
  • Individual Session – Telehealth – $185/60min
  • Family Gaming – Telehealth – $210/60min
  • EMDR Session – Telehealth – $275/60min

Contact Info:

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