Updated: Jun 17
The Trail of Fears has been available for several years now, but it has been redesigned with more questions added. This is a cognitive behavioral counseling game to confront fears, phobias, and general anxiety. The cards teach visualization, thought stopping and replacement techniques, discuss rumination, and worry. Coping skills like progressive relaxation, grounding techniques, breathing exercises, and several other skills are provided to help children learn to calm self.
Related Post: Interventions for Children with Anxiety
Cognitive behavioral therapy has been researched extensively and has been found to be quite effective in the treatment of anxiety. Teaching children, especially young children, can be challenging. Children are naturally drawn towards play and will engage in a game much easier than attempting a conversation-based method. It is exciting to see the dramatic changes in behavior and confidence in children as they learn these concepts and confront their fears. I have been using this game for several years and have seen many children blossom as they are able to overcome their anxiety.
When working with children who have anxiety, one of my first goals is to help them understand the fight/fight/freeze response. As they learn about their body and how it responds to anxiety, they are able to use coping skills early on to avoid a panic attack. They discover they can turn off this response by implementing their coping skills. Through body awareness, controlling their thoughts, and having a plan to cope with challenging situations, children are able to feel in control over their situation.