10 – Fanfic 101: Understanding and Utilizing Fan Fiction in Clinical Practice

This presentation dives into the complex and often misunderstood world of fan fiction. Research is beginning to discover that both the reading and writing of fanfiction (fanfic) can have a positive impact on mental health. Authoring fanfic can be a type of journaling, where writers put their own struggles onto fictional characters, thereby reframing those issues and drawing strength and inspiration from their heroes prevailing. The extensive and uncensored variety of fiction available allows readers space to delve into any topics that resonate with them, from hurt/comfort, to processing trauma, to questioning of sexual orientation, to kink, and far beyond. The use of fan fiction as a coping skill and a means for self-reflection can be a powerful therapeutic tool to help with identification and communication of issues within session, as well as homework to encourage further exploration between sessions. In this presentation, Dr. Chrisha Anderson will explain what fan fiction is, why it’s so important to those engaged with it, and how clinicians can harness its power within the therapeutic relationship.

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