Innovation That Matters

Game helps treat traumatized youngsters

Sport & Fitness

Triangle of Life is a mobile app which enables young trauma patients to practice the life skills they have learnt in therapy.

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Treating traumatized children is a complex task, which depends greatly on the skill and care of therapists. Hoping to supplement that vital work, Triangle of Life is an app developed by students at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with mental heath professionals from Allegheny Health Network. The mobile app engages young patients by gamifying their recovery: enabling them to practice the life skills they have learnt with their therapist on their smartphone or tablet between sessions.

We have seen numerous instances of technology and play being combined to encourage young patients to complete essential treatment. The Jordi-Stick, which gamifies essential breathing exercises that can vastly improve the lives of young cystic fibrosis sufferers is one such example. Triangle of Life is based on Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy — and is designed to help children aged 8-12 who have suffered from traumatic experiences such as physical or sexual abuse, the death of a loved one or community violence.


During the game, patients explore a jungle story, playing as a lion who interacts with other animals in scenarios which help them to better understand their thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It teaches them healthy cognitive coping skills, helps them to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and reinforces the progress they have made in therapy sessions.

Are there other smartphone games which could supplement therapy?



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