Game to Grow was originally founded in 2017 by Adam Davis, MAEd, and Adam Johns, LMFT. Davis and Johns met in graduate school at Antioch University Seattle and began using games to improve lives in 2011. They combined their respective training and expertise in family therapy, education, and drama therapy with their years of experience as gamers and facilitators to develop what would become the Game to Grow Method of Therapeutically Applied Role-Playing Games. For several years Davis and Johns ran a small two-person operation serving youth in the greater Seattle area. After four years running these groups, along with their respective other work in public schools and in therapeutic practice, Davis and Johns founded Game to Grow to expand the impact of the game-based methods they had developed.
Game to Grow officially launched via a successful crowdfunding campaign and was able to hire and train new facilitators to expand services. In 2020, as a response to emerging challenges related to COVID, Game to Grow shifted groups virtual. Now no longer confined by geographic regions, group services expanded to meet the need of participants worldwide. Around the same time, demand increased for training in Game to Grow’s unique approach. With the hiring of Director of Education and Training Dr. Elizabeth Kilmer, PhD, a formal training program was established to serve as a multiplier for Game to Grow’s mission. Dr. Jared Kilmer, PhD, was also brought on as Director of Counseling Services, launching the individual counseling program and clinical assessment programs at Game to Grow. Director of Groups Services Michael More has shepherded new game groups focused on additional populations, including groups targeted to meet the needs of foster youth and LGBTQ youth.