Therapeutic Games

Therapeutic Games

Healing, therapeutic interventions can happen in a variety of ways. One of these ways is through therapeutic game-like activities. If an appropriate activity is used with a person, their defenses are lowered, they gain a sense of safety, therapeutic change can become fun instead of dreaded question and answer sessions, and they are free to “play” with new ways to think and act. Many adults have stopped playing, which is unfortunate, for them and for people around them. The brain activity that occurs during creative play can be inventive, freeing, and healing.

Many of the “therapeutic games” available on the market now are simple games played by rigid rules, and help people on a cognitive level. Over the years, I have modified or invented various “games” that can be used to facilitate new experiences and healing – I strive to impact many more levels in a person than the cognitive. The other levels often include the emotional, values, behavioral, and relational levels. A few of these games are mentioned below.

Make-A-Match is a relationship game developed by Dr. Shawna Roberts and myself. It is a deceivingly simple “game”.  It facilitates communication, sharing, cooperation, a little risk taking, healing, and bonding.

Journey Beyond Addiction is a floor journey/”game” designed by Dr. Justin Lincoln and myself, to help children in families of addiction learn about addiction, gain a healthier understanding of responsibility, as well as enabling, deal with emotions, let go of secrets, understand basic human rights, heal, and develop some resistance to future addictions.

Journey Beyond Family Conflict is a floor journey/”game” I invented many years ago to help children (and adults in a family who would play the game), understand abuse, domestic violence, basic human rights, deal with emotions, problem solve, develop some social skills, let go of inappropriate guilt and responsibility, heal, and be able to have a healthier childhood or family.

Therapeutic Jenga-like challenge:  There are some modifications to Jenga that transform it into a therapeutic exercise.  One form I call Constructivist Life Building Blocks.

Therapeutic Hacky Sack: This is a fairly simple looking tossing and catching game at the outset; it can be used to break the ice and get some therapeutic communication started. However, it also can be modified to help people develop better attention, and/or executive functioning skills, learn about and express emotions, communicate with others, and problem solve.

Balloon Vision:  I have developed many ways to use balloons to help people, including:  to break the ice, better understand emotions, develop cognitive flexibility, see the connection between thoughts & feelings, & use as calming tools.

I am available to assist other professionals in developing or refining their therapeutic “games” for maximum impact on human beings’ healing.