I'd like to introduce our newest counseling game, Wanted: Positive Self-Talk. This is the perfect game if you have clients who are stuck in negative thought patterns. It would be beneficial to help children improve anger, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and social skills. Self-talk impacts all aspects of life. This game helps children identify positive traits, character qualities, things they enjoy, people they admire, etc.
I tested this game out last week and it was a hit! Several kids asked if we could play it next time. The positive self talk is woven into the game, but the concept of the game seems to be what the kids enjoy.
Related Post: How to Pop Negative Thoughts
This game is designed to be an old western with three shoot-outs they must pass. If they fail, they have to start over. I figured this aspect would frustrate them (which allows me to have them use coping skills, so it's still a win!), but they loved the challenge! They were so excited to earn their tokens that it did not seem that they were bothered by having to focus on the good things in life, even some of the kids who struggle with negativity the most.
Another aspect of this game is dealing with bullies. There are some characters in the game who call some mean names. The kids have to come up with ideas of how they would handle the situation. It was exciting to see their confidence rise as they put together game plans. The best part was that some of the kids really got into the western role and came up with some really funny responses.
After the game, we spent time discussing how our thoughts impact our lives in many different ways. They were able to identify ways to be purposeful about self-encouragement and focus on the good. With a few kids, I found some cognitive distortion themes pop up. I am now prepared to whip out my Cognitive Distortions game with those kiddos.