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The first research-based computer game that provides an interactive way for children of separated or divorce parents deal with their emotions is about to be launched in the U.S. The innovative game is also aimed at improving communication between children and parents about issues that kids are normally not comfortable discussing.
A group of child psychologists and therapists have spent years researching the effects divorce has on children, and specifically designed a computer game that would help children cope with their new lives.
“Everyone knows that divorce has a terrible impact on the children involved. Now, parents and psychologists have a tool that can actually interact with a child whose parents are separated or divorced, in order to help him handle the drastic changes in his life,” said Chaya Harash, a family therapist and CEO of Zipland Interactive, the company that produced the game.
“Earthquake in Zipland” may look like any other child's computer game, but experts agree that it introduces a therapeutic approach that will allow children, parents, and therapists to have an open dialogue about all emotional issues a child of a divorced family may be feeling.
“For the children, it is the first attempt at talking to them in their own ‘language,' dealing with a severe subject through humor and wit. For the parents, the game broadens their understanding of the impact of the separation on their child, and offers a way to communicate and talk about painful issues,” said Hazel Zemel, an accredited family therapist.
Zemel said that the game is also a great tool for therapists to get children more involved in the therapy process. “It can be used either in the clinic or as a home ‘assignment' allowing the child to open-up more freely without feeling intimidated,” she said.
Zipland Interactive is currently developing other unique computer programs, which combines psychology and game play to provide an entertaining and effective approach to child psychology.