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The Horrible Thing that Happened is a therapy game to address trauma in children.  It incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy to confront thoughts and beliefs behind their experience.  This game allows children to implement coping skills as they vocalize their thoughts and feelings about trauma.  The game uses situation cards highlighting many trauma situations to help normalize feelings and discover if maladaptive thinking is present. It is a useful tool in developing a trauma narrative.  


Card Topics:

Horrible Things: These cards are situations of traumatic events to help open discussion of what the child would feel or do in the given situation.  *It is important to vet these cards with each child. There is one that indicates sexual abuse.

I Believe: A traumatic event will trigger a person to form a belief about what happened. Sometimes these beliefs can lead to distress, guilt, and avoidance. These cards help children identify their beliefs and offer an opportunity to rescript or challenge irrational beliefs.

Coping Skills: Many coping strategies are offered to help children cope with trauma. They will learn ways to regain control of their bodies when triggered.

Laugh a Little: Trauma work is hard and emotionally taxing. It can quickly get heavy and overwhelming. These cards lighten the mood by allowing jokes, silliness, and comic relief to counterbalance the heaviness of the trauma work.


Due to the intense nature of treating trauma, the game allows for some comic relief.  The “Laugh a Little” cards have children tell a joke or do something funny to lighten the mood and to give a break after discussing heavy topics.

This game is intended to be used by licensed mental health professionals.  Training in TF-CBT is highly recommended before using it in practice.


This game is also available as a PDF download and for telehealth.

The Horrible Thing that Happened - Pre-Printed

  • Shipping within the United States is a flat rate of $5.  Orders over $30 (of hard copy products) will ship for free. 

    International shipping is no longer available. Please enjoy our digital downloads or telehealth versions.


    You can view our return policy here

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