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Harnessing the power of fandom--from Game of Thrones to The Legend of Zelda--to conquer anxiety, heal from depression, and reclaim balance in mental and emotional health.
Modern mythologies are everywhere--from the Avengers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to The Wicked + The Divine. Where once geek culture was niche and hidden, fandom characters and stories have blasted their way into our cineplexes, bookstores, and consoles. They help us make sense of our daily lives--and they can also help us heal. Psychotherapists and hosts of the popular Starship Therapise podcast Larisa A. Garski and Justine Mastin offer a self-help guide to the mental health galaxy for those who have been left out of more traditional therapy spaces: geeks, nerds, gamers, cosplayers, introverts, and everyone in between.
Starship Therapise explores how narratives and play inform our lives, inviting readers to embrace radical self-care with Westworld's Maeve and Dolores, explore anxiety with Miyazaki, and leverage narrative therapy with Arya Stark. Spanning fandoms from Star Wars to The Expanse and The Legend of Zelda to Outer Wilds, readers will explore mental health and emotional wellness without conforming to mainstream social constructs.
Insights from comics like Uncanny X-Men, Black Panther, Akira, Bitch Planet, and The Wicked + The Divine offer avenues to growth and self-discovery alongside explorations of the triumphs and trials of heroes, heroines, and beloved characters from Supernatural, Wuthering Heights, The Lord of the Rings, The Broken Earth trilogy, Mass Effect, Fortnite, Minecraft, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Star Trek. Each chapter closes with a mindfulness meditation or yoga exercise to inspire reflection, growth, and the mind-body-fandom connection.
About the Author
JUSTINE MASTIN, MA, LMFT, LADC, E-RYT 200, YACEP is the owner and founder of Blue Box Counseling in Minneapolis, MN. Mastin specializes in working with clients who self-identify as being outside the mainstream--such as those in the geek, secular, and LGBTQIA+ communities. Mastin is the creator of YogaQuest, an organization that blends narratives with yoga and mindfulness. Mastin also serves on the board of the Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She proudly takes a holistic approach to healing: mind, body, and fandom.
LARISA A. GARSKI, MA, LMFT, is a psychotherapist and the clinical director at Empowered Therapy in Chicago, IL. She specializes in working with women, families, and young adults who identify as outside the mainstream--such as those in the geek and LGBTQIA+ communities.
J.Salvador Ramos is the cartoonist behind SuperEmoFriends, an ever-growing collection of satirical paintings inspired by the tragic events of popular culture. J. worked in motion graphics and animation in Hollywood, California, prior to the success of SuperEmoFriends.
“Garski and Mastin have redefined wellness! From the irreverent psychology information, to the engaging fanfiction case studies, to the narrative meditations and yoga sequences, Starship Therapise changes up the narrative about what self-care can mean. Written for folks whose voices are often silenced for thinking too far outside the box, this book reimagines the box—and it’s bigger on the inside.” —Kat Heagberg, editor-in-chief of Yoga International and coauthor of Yoga Where You Are
“Garski and Mastin seamlessly connect fandom and psychology, making caring for yourself—and rewriting the narrative of your life—a magical adventure. . . . No matter where you are on your healing journey, the Starship Therapise crew is there for you. I highly recommend this book for those who’ve felt left out of the wellness conversation in the past. I am so excited that nerds everywhere now have this resource!” —Jordan Dené Ellis, cofounder of the Sartorial Geek
“Larisa Garski and Justine Mastin have created a radical wellness resource that needed to be in the world! Starship Therapise centers geeks, gamers, introverts, and other marginalized folks who have traditionally been left out of wellness spaces. . . . [It] is full of creatively adapted teachings and tools from yoga, mindfulness, and therapy that will empower readers to find their personal agency and make change in their lives through the power of stories. If you’ve ever been intimidated to step into a yoga studio or therapist’s office, or if you think that wellness is only for skinny rich white ladies, this book was created for you. I can’t wait to recommend it to my yoga students. This book is ready when you are—to use stories to unlock the possibilities for self-discovery, acceptance, and growth in your life (on your terms).” —Amber Karnes, yoga teacher, trainer, creator of Body Positive Yoga, and cofounder of Accessible Yoga Training School
“ Justine and Larisa have created an informational, practical, and engaging resource for all geeks who are interested in a new way of looking at their mental health! Starship Therapise guides the reader through topics and terms everyone should know when entering a relationship with a therapist, while introducing tools, tricks, and methods through the lens of pop culture fandom. This book confirms to me that geeky wellness professionals and tools are necessary and here to stay!” —Robyn Warren, MSEd, founder of the wellness community Geek Girl Strong
“ A fascinating and thought-provoking read.” —Travis Langley, PhD, Henderson State University distinguished professor, psychologist, superherologist, and author of Batman and Psychology