Have you ever wanted to be a Superhero? Me too.
I was 3 years old when my family and I were exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, which permanently affected my health. As I laid in my hospital bed, I found myself wishing that I could have superpowers, strength, and amazing abilities, just like the characters I was reading about.
When my family and I immigrated to the United States as refugees, I was 12 years old. I was severely bullied for being different, for having been exposed to radiation. I was called “a freak.”
All that changed when I saw the first X-Men movie. That was when I realized that I was not a victim of my circumstances. I was a survivor.
Years later after receiving my doctoral degree I started working with service members with PTSD. I saw the value of connecting with superheroes and other fictional characters in order to promote healing and recovery, as well as to remind us that no matter what we are struggling with, we can always be heroes.
Superhero Therapy is more than a book. It’s a movement, a movement that is not only set to reduce mental health stigma but is also there to remind us that we can be heroes. Every moment is an opportunity for us to connect with other people, who might love superheroes, Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Doctor Who, just like us. It’s an opportunity to establish a community around us, to help ourselves and others, and really make a difference.
So keep superheroing and don’t forget your cape!
Get your copy of Superhero Therapy by Janina Scarlet, PhD by clicking here – and stay tuned to Nerdy Minds Magazine for exclusive writings from Dr. Scarlet in the coming months (incl. The Psychology of Supernatural)!
Dr. Janina Scarlet is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, a scientist, and a full-time geek. A Ukrainian-born refugee, she survived Chernobyl radiation and persecution. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 12 with her family and later, inspired by the X-Men, developed Superhero Therapy to help patients with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. She has written multiple publications on this topic and has given talks domestically and internationally. She is also a member of Pop Culture Hero Coalition. Her book, “Superhero Therapy” released on December 1, 2016 in the U.K. and on August 1, 2017 in the U.S. If you would like to learn more about Superhero Therapy, contact Dr. Janina Scarlet via @shadowquill on Twitter, Shadow.Scarletl on Facebook, or visit her website at www.superhero-therapy.com or Patreon at www.patreon.com/. "got a nerdy mind?" Keep up with Nerdy Minds Magazine on Facebook and @NerdyMindsMag on Twitter.