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Minecraft: A Therapeutic Tool for Childhood Trauma

» Mental Health Library » Treatment Approaches » Sandplay Therapy » Featured Article

By: Steven Lecce, LMHC

Steven Lecce, LMHC


Minecraft, a popular sandbox game, has found a place in therapeutic settings, aiding in the treatment of childhood trauma. This article explores the applications of Minecraft in therapy, supported by peer-reviewed research.

The Role of Play in Therapy

Play therapy is a cornerstone of psychological treatment for children, offering a safe space for expression and healing. Minecraft’s open-world gameplay aligns perfectly with this therapeutic approach, providing a versatile environment for children to navigate their emotions and experiences1.

Minecraft in Play Therapy

Incorporating Minecraft into play therapy allows children to construct and control their virtual experiences, empowering them in ways that may be limited in their real-world interactions. This method has shown promise in helping children with PTSD communicate their feelings more freely2.

Empirical Evidence

Studies have documented the effectiveness of Minecraft in therapeutic settings. For instance, children can project their emotions onto the game’s elements, facilitating a deeper understanding of their internal states1. Gameplay further allows players to develop and utize problem sovling and regulation skills.

Enhancing Social Skills

Minecraft’s multiplayer capability fosters social interaction, which is beneficial for children dealing with trauma. Group therapy sessions utilizing Minecraft have led to observed improvements in social skills and reduced feelings of isolation2.

Supporting Research

A body of peer-reviewed research supports the use of Minecraft in educational and therapeutic contexts. These studies highlight the game’s potential to promote social connectedness and emotional regulation, crucial components in trauma therapy3.


Minecraft’s application in treating childhood trauma illustrates the intersection of technology and therapeutic practice. It offers a creative and effective avenue for mental health professionals to engage with young clients.


  1. Minecraft Education. (2022). Therapeutic Tool. Retrieved from
  2. Verywell Mind. (2021). Video Games Could Treat Mental Illness, Study Shows. Retrieved from
  3. ERIC. (2021). Minecraft in Education Benefits Learning and Social Engagement. Retrieved from

About the Author...

Steven Lecce is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York and a trauma informed play therapist who specializes in working with kids and teens. Steven has significant training in play therapy and EMDR, and he is a certified DBT therapist.

Click here to contact or learn more about Steven Lecce

Last Update: 4/2/2024

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