The basic concept behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is that your thoughts, feelings, and emotions are all entwined. First, you have a thought or a belief, which triggers an emotional response, which results in behavior. Therefore, negative thoughts will result in upset feelings, resulting in negative behaviors. Replacing the negative thought with a positive thought will cue a positive emotion, resulting in a positive behavior.
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Everyone has self-talk, the words we speak to ourselves in our minds. Most of the time this is a silent, automatic process. Occasionally the words will spill out of our mouths. Behind our thoughts, at the root level, are our beliefs. Most people have false beliefs of some sort, such as personal insecurities, distrust in others, assumptions we have made, or perhaps judgments we have made toward others.
Did you know a majority of our self-talk is formed in the first five years of life? In our early years of life, we are learning about the world we live in and are forming our worldview. Many of the conclusions we make at this young age are irrational and unreasonable. Just have a short conversation with a preschooler and you will quickly hear some outlandish ideas! We then spend the rest of our lives replacing these assumptions with new information we learn along the way. If we fail to be intentional about monitoring our self-talk, we hold on to irrational thinking. This is why it is so important for children to learn how to pay attention to their self-talk and to question it regularly.
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This Thought Filtering game blends Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Play Therapy to help children become aware of their thoughts and to filter out negative or irrational thoughts. To play this game, you will need a paddle, a bag of pompoms, and a bucket or box. I was able to find all of these supplies at Dollar Tree. I bought a paddle ball game and removed the ball and string before use.
This game comes with full instructions, prompts while playing the game, and discussion questions for after the game.