Updated: Jun 17
You can change the Game of Life into a counseling game by simply swapping out the "action" cards with these counseling prompts that explore values, goals, and career exploration. The cards allow the client to give voice to their opinions on matters of marriage, having children, and career options. This game works well with kids in grade 3 (8 or 9 years old) and up.
The best approach that I have found for this game is to offer a non-judgmental client-centered approach. If the child wants to look through all of the careers to pick out a specific one, I allow it. If the child does not want to get married, no problem. Some kids will decide half way through the game to change their mind about getting married or wanting to add extra kids. Some kids will say "nope" when landing on a baby spot. Roll with it and allow them to process their choices if they would like to.
I have added blank career cards and house cards so that kids can customize the game to fit their desires. Some kids come in with a very specific plan for their future and want to play it out in the game. I've seen kids come up with some really great ideas!
As with most games, this will allow you as a therapist many avenues to explore. You can use it as a diagnostic tool to listen for strong opinions, worries, or apathy. These questions are designed to start a discussion about basic values and goals for the future. When discussing how they envision their future family life, it will open the door to discuss how their current family situation has led to those desires. It can also flag possible triggers that may need to be addressed.
Related Post: The Wishing Well Game
One goal I had in mind when making this game it to help clients develop an internal locus of control. I hear so frequently how they feel out of control and believe they are at the mercy of others. The questions in this game will help them identify how they can gain control through their everyday decisions.