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3 Must Have Therapy Games for Kids & Teens

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Therapy games are essential for building rapport, expressing and exploring ideas, and skill building with kids and teens. The information gained while playing also helps provide diagnostic insights into the child’s emotions and thought processes. Here are three tried and tested must have therapy games for kids and teens. 

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The Talking, Feeling & Doing Game 

The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game is played like a standard board game where players move their pawn along a path, answer prompts from selected cards, and receive chips for their participation. The player with the most chips at the end is deemed the winner. 

This game is great for engagement and building rapport with a new client or when the client doesn’t seem to want to talk about anything. The cards touch on a variety of topics and help guarded clients to open up. Some of the information gained from playing this game also helps therapists to understand client’s understanding and problem solving skills. 

My tip for this game is that you make sure to go through the cards and separate out the ones that are geared towards older kids as well as remove any that might seem inappropriate for the client. For example, there are a couple of cards that ask about private parts and sexual abuse. I highly recommend this game for ages 7 and up. 

Playing CBT 

The Playing CBT game teaches children Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) concepts. The aim is to teach children and teens about how events lead to automatic thoughts, which evoke emotions and generate behavioral reactions. While playing, children learn about various emotional experiences, practice flexibility with their thinking and behaviors, and identify alternative ways of coping with different situations they encounter in their school, social, and home lives. The aim of the Playing CBT game is to teach children about emotional regulation and self-control to help reduce impulsive behavior. 

This game is unique because it’s more than just a game board. The kit contains cards, game boards, and other pieces that can all be utilized to to play a variety of different games that teach related concepts. All of the games are explained in a helpful and detailed booklet that explains how to teach related CBT concepts and skills. There are so many game ideas included that I have used it with clients over several sessions. It’s also fun to play with both the child and the parent because they are able to learn the concepts together.  

My one tip is that you review the booklet before sessions because it’s definitely not a game that you can just pick out and easily figure out how to play. I highly recommend this game for ages 8 and up. 

Emotional Rollercoaster

The Emotional Rollercoaster game is aimed at getting players to explore and identify their emotions, practice problem solving skills, and learn and practice coping strategies. It is similar to Chutes and Ladders where you select a card based on the space where you land. The coping skills cards are fun because the players have to act them out. It is also helpful for family sessions with parents because the family gets to learn and practice their skills together. 

My tips for this game are that you play it several times as it can go by quickly and also make up your own rules together with the client to make it more creative and fun. I highly recommend this game for ages 6 and up. 

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Hi, I’m Jessica! I’m a licensed clinical social worker, entrepreneur, and wellness expert with a passion for helping others thrive. Join me as I offer practical tips and resources for fellow students, professionals, and anyone seeking wisdom on improving their well-being.



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