During my childhood, I enjoyed playing games such as Chinese checkers and Monopoly with my family and friends. However, I never thought these games, now called board games, can be used for therapy.
I had the privilege of attending a board game for therapy training in March, and would like to share what I gained from the session:
What are board games?
Board games refers to all games that are fun, played at a table yet with a clear objective. It started in Germany during the 1990s and has gained worldwide popularity since.
The 4 steps to use Board games for therapy are: observation, analysis, diagnosis and therapy.
What I gained from the training session:
1. To relax and play which by themselves can already relieve stress: we all enjoyed the games a lot during the training session. I believe the relaxation of clients during a session could already achieve a certain level of therapy.
2. To learn a new method of counselling to help children with special needs in the future. One purpose of therapeutic board games is to improve concentration and hand to eye coordination. I once played a game of building a tree with leaves and fruits (similar to the wooden blocks stacking game) which requires very steady hand movements.
3. A natural icebreaker and a great way to get to know each other. One ice-breaking activity I have used previously with field workers and volunteers had pictures with 1, 2 or 10+ matchstick people. The participants had to pick the picture which best represents the relationship they have with their families to share with the group. The group got to know each other’s family and past experiences better through this activity, and built a deeper relationship with one another.
Conclusion: Board games is a great tool to use, whether as a therapy tool or a fun activity. Come and experience it for yourself!