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Counseling Games for Processing Emotions

Updated: Jan 1


Feelings Games: Counseling Interventions for Processing Emotions

Sometimes you need some basic games to help children understand feelings and release pent-up emotions. This post has some of my favorites! Each targets a specific issue or comes from a different angle. Some are good for little ones and others are targeting older kids. These are all under $20, most under $10, and a couple are free. Many are also available for telehealth / online therapy.


The Battle in my Brain is a CBT game about emotions and temptations

by Pathways to Peace

This one is great for teens and tweens with big emotions and temptations. It is built upon old-school cartoons that had an angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other. Kids all have temptations and the desire to do good warring within them. They will get to process many emotions, learn CBT skills to overcome challenges, and learn to rescript their thoughts.


Free printable PDF for Feelings Candy land

by Pathways to Peace

You can't go wrong with Feelings Candy Land. The kids love it, I love it. It teaches assertive communication, builds an emotional vocabulary, and allows kids to process emotions in a meaningful way. Simple and easy. And, it works for almost everyone (ages 4 and up anyway). If you do telehealth, here is my feeble attempt to create a free online Candy Land game.


Emma's Emotional Discovery is a book and game about understanding emotions

by Pathways to Peace

This book and game were designed to help children recognize the purpose of emotions and the need to listen to them to understand what they need to do to feel better. It includes aggression, somatic symptoms, and avoidance. Kids will also learn CBT skills to rescript and address self-talk. This game can also be helpful for kids with trauma, as it explains how the body is responding and the steps to begin healing.

 
Tend the Garden of Your Heart free ebook
 
I'm Feeling Bingo Print and Play game

by Drag Drop Learning Games

Kids can learn about emotional expression through this little bingo game. It comes with a bunch of cards, so it could be used for a crowd (or class).



Feelings UNO for counseling

You can play "Feelings UNO" by having each color represent an emotion. Each time a player plays a card, they tell a time they experienced the emotion. You can switch up the prompts with what you ask such as: Why would someone feel this way? What does your body feel like with this emotion? Is there a place that makes you feel this way? Are the people who trigger the emotion?


mario's emotional knot is a book and game about understanding emotions

by Pathways to Peace

The book is about a boy who is upset but doesn't know why. He discovers that all his emotions are bound up in a knot causing confusion and feeling out of sorts. He learns to connect his brain and heart by talking about how he feels. The game offers coping mechanisms, communication skills, and provides an outlet for releasing pent-up emotions. It helps to explain the uncomfortable, upset feeling you get in your gut when things are not right, which is helpful for kids with somatic symptoms.

 
School Zone: A Gme to cope with school stressors
 
Soothe Your Soul is a CBT coping game

by Pathways to Peace

This one helps children use CBT skills to calm their emotions and replace ruminating thoughts. Kids will learn to challenge thoughts and use visualization as a way to gain control over their thought lives. It uses a spa theme to set a calming, relaxing scene to let go of stressors. This game is best for upper elementary and middle school-aged children.


Seasons of the Soul is a book and game about emotional regulation

by Pathways to Peace

This book and game help kids understand the seasons and cycles of their emotions. They learn that each season has its own challenges and benefits. It normalizes the ups and downs that people go through and offers ways to gain stability. The game helps kids identify triggers to emotional challenges and helps them find ways to regulate their emotions.


Highs and Lows Free Emotions Matching Card Game

by Pathways to Peace

This is a simple game that could be used as a Go Fish or a memory game. It has 12 characters, each representing a different emotion. The characters have an anime look, making them appealing to teens and tweens.


Feelings card game to process emotions

by WholeHearted School Counselor

These are cute cards and an UNO type game to help children understand and communicate emotions. They are offered with or without words or with prompts, offering versatility in how you would like to use them.


Share Your Heart with those you love is a counseling game for communication of emotions

by Pathways to Peace

This game helps kids understand the need to be authentic and open with their loved ones. It is all about nurturing relationships and sharing freely. It also discusses the 5 love languages to help kids understand how to best send and receive love to their family and loved ones.


 
Why Play Games in Therapy?
 

Dino Stories is a story telling game to help children process emotions and trauma narratives through play and metaphor

by Pathways to Peace

This one is a little different from most of the other games. Most of the other games have kids directly process emotions. This game, on the other hand, uses acting out, storytelling, and metaphor to process emotions. This is great for little ones who struggle with emotional vocabulary and for kids who may feel overwhelmed with direct discussion of emotions due to high anxiety or trauma. It allows children to use themes, play, and creativity to tell their stories. This game also focuses heavily on safety themes, making it a great choice for kids who have a trauma history.


Grumpy Bear: A mood Boosting Game

by Pathways to Peace Counseling

Grumpy Bear is a game to help our grumpy little friends learn to think on the bright side and find ways to cope with their grumpy moods without being hurtful to others. The game addresses many different reasons kids get grumpy, such as not getting enough sleep, being hungry, social issues, and things not going their way. It includes CBT skills to help overcome negative thought patterns and coping skills to manage emotions.


I hope you enjoy these emotion-filled counseling games! Don't miss the other posts in the series to find more games to help your kiddos:



 

Helpful Resources:


Games to help children process emotions

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