Evaluating the Talking, Feeling, & Doing Game
The Talking, Feeling, & Doing Game, by Richard A. Gardner, has been utilized as an effective play therapy tool since 1973. Young children do not have the emotional nor verbal capacity to express their feelings in a traditional therapy setting. Play therapy games, such as the Talking, Feeling & Doing Game, facilitate the exchange of important psychological information from child to therapist. I recently played this game with an 8 year old boy and a 10 year old boy. They had both experienced a recent loss of a loved one. The boys were unaware of the clinical use of this game and instead, were excited to be playing a new board game with me. As we began to play the game, the boys were acting silly and not answering the questions on the cards seriously. I allowed some time for the boys to get their laughs out, and then I reiterated that they would not earn chips if they did not answer the questions appropriately. When the boys realized that the only way to win the game was to earn the most chips, their competitive sides shined and they became more serious players. Although competition is not the main purpose of the game, it certainly did provide a motivation for the players! Although not every card had a direct relation to their feelings regarding their loss, it was interesting to see how much they brought their feelings and expressions of loss into their game play. Other Talking Cards, Feeling Cards, and Doing Cards brought up other issues that the boys experienced in their daily lives related to their social and academic worlds. A lot of useful clinical information was gained and will be a great starting point for future counseling sessions. The best part was that both boys gave a big “thumbs up” for the game and expressed a desire to play The Talking, Feeling & Doing Game again.