The REThink online therapeutic game

REThink online therapeutic game was developed based on the REThink project, that was funded by the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI) through the Partnerships program (2014-2017). The project was coordinated by associate professor Oana David from Babes-Bolyai University in partnership with PixelData enterprise. The project aimed at responding to the European urge of improving children and adolescents’ access to evidence-based mental health interventions.

Based on this project, we developed the REThink online therapeutic game accessible over the Internet, meant to be used primarily as a standalone application to promote emotional resilience in children and adolescents. The REThink online game was tested in a rigorous clinical trial (Trial registration NCT03308981), part of the project, and its was found to bring significant improvements regarding emotional symptoms, depressive mood and emotion-regulation abilities (e.g., emotional awareness and emotional control) of the children and adolescents aged 10-16. Moreover, mechanisms of change were documented for improvements in the emotional symptoms, as changes in the irrational cognitions of the children.

Trailer of the REThink therapeutic game:

The game is based on the Retman character, which is belonging to tested packages of cognitive-behavioral therapy for promoting child and adolescent mental health (i.e., Rational Emotive Behavioral Education, eLLIS, 1956; rational stories and therapeutic cartoons). 

REThink therapeutic game a unique due to its prevention focus of emotional disorders in youth and evidence-based approach, being designed to reach a large number of youths especially outside of the clinical context, which is in line with recent WHO and UNICEF recommendations.

The online game has been developed to work on IOS mobile devices at the Technological Readiness Level 4, being available in Romanian. An English version of the game is in preparation, together with extending the game to function to other operating systems and populations.

Relevant research

David, O. A., Cardos, R. A. I., & Matu, S. A. (2019). Is REThink therapeutic game effective in preventing emotional disorders in children and adolescents? Outcomes of a randomized clinical trial.  European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, , 28(1), 111-122. Doi: LINK

David, O. A., Cardos, R. A. I., & Matu, S. A. (2019). Changes in irrational beliefs are
responsible for the efficacy of the REThink therapeutic game in preventing emotional disorders in children and adolescents: mechanisms of change analysis of a randomized clinical trial. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 28(3), 307-318. Doi: LINK

David, O. A. & Predatu, R. & Cardos, R. (2018). A pilot study of the REThink online video game applied for coaching emotional understanding in children and adolescents in the therapeutic video game environment: The Feeling Better resources game. Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies. 18. 57-68. DOI: 10.24193/jebp.2018.1.5. LINK

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