Free Play Therapy Activity
The Feelings Chess Game

free play therapy game activity

This is an excellent way to introduce the basics of play therapy miniatures to your clients. Miniature therapy is based on the work of Carl Jung and his “Archetypes.”

However, when we discuss “Archetypes” with our clients it is often very confusing and difficult to explain and relate to.

This play therapy game is really not a game at all. It is a unique way to identify feelings and turn those feelings into miniatures.

Once we begin to identify and translate feelings into play therapy miniatures we can take the miniatures anywhere the client needs to go.

It is also important to note that identified and labeled play therapy miniatures can change and are not set in stone.

For example, I may feel “angry” and use that word to describe my feelings. Yet, I can experience different levels of anger.

When I use miniatures I can speak a language that is visually rich and offers more than just mere words.

When I think of the feeling of “anger” I visualize at least five miniatures I own that express that anger. One is a playful little devil who can get a little “pissed off” at times.

My strongest “anger” play therapy miniature is represented by a tiger figure.

The other day I was working on self-care in my sand tray. I was “mad” at something and placed a “bear” in the sand tray.

After having a meeting about the situation I was really “angry”, so I placed the tiger in the sand tray.

I took a 24 hour mental health break from the tray. I came back to find I wanted to put a baby tiger in the sand tray because my anger was “baby sized” after the 24 hour break.

Our personal play therapy miniatures can change without notice. It is not important that you always pick the same miniature.

What is important is that you identify and label a feeling and project it onto a play therapy miniature.

This projection takes the “feeling” out of us and puts it on the play therapy miniature. In doing this we can also see how this feeling really looks on the outside.

I usually go to my “Symbols Dictionary” book and translate what the symbol might stand for.

I often gain valuable insight into my own self-awareness and my clients when I research the symbol.

By working with play therapy miniatures with ourselves and our clients we begin to tap into the plethora of unconscious thoughts and images we have stored away for so long.

Play Therapy Game Directions:

Identify and log the feelings that you have felt during the week in a book or journal.

For each box on the chess game board identify a feeling you felt this week.

The feelings can be positive or negative. It is usually helpful to add both as we experience positive and negative feelings.

See the below list of feeling words to choose from (Or create your own feeling words):

Feeling Words List:

aggressive drained jealous shy

alienated discouraged lonely shocked

angry determined loving shaken

annoyed enthusiastic miserable sorry

anxious enthralled mighty stubborn

apathetic embarrassed negative surprised

alert excited optimistic suspicious

peaceful withdrawn

bashful frustrated paranoid

brilliant guilty proud

confused happy relieved

confident hopeful sad

curious helpless

depressed hurt

disappointed humiliated

disgusted hysterical

curious helpless

depressed hurt

disappointed humiliated

disgusted hysterical

Play Therapy Game Feelings Chess Game Board Printable Below:

play therapy game activity

Continue to seek training as a art / counseling therapist.

House-Tree-Person Art Therapy Technique 

What do the colors mean in Art Therapy & Color Psychology? 

Shelter House Art Therapy Technique 

Art Therapy Family Portrait Drawing 

Art Therapy Self-Portrait 

Art Therapy Interpreting Drawings 

Get More Ideas Here: Creative Counseling 101 Home 

Anger Management & Art Therapy Crinkled Paper Technique 

Art Therapy Counseling Pictionary 

Art Therapy Christmas Tree Drawing & World 

The Three Animals Art Therapy Technique

The Kinetic Family Drawing Art Therapy Technique/a> 

The Kinetic School Drawing Art Therapy Technique/a> 

String of Lights Art Therapy & Genogram Drawing Technique 

Art Therapy / Anger Mangement Angry Snowball Technique

See More Art Therapy Ideas Here:

Adult / Child Coloring Book Page Meditation: Paradise Island Technique

Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.

*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed  mental health professional immediately.

"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.

Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.

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