This presentation demonstrates the use of therapeutically designed communication games for addressing core educational competencies in communication, thinking and personal and social skills. The digital and board formats are useful to address a multitude of children’s issues, needs and educational goals. They can support emotional and social development.
The games fall under several categories of: feeling games, anger games, social issues, values and beliefs and self-esteem. Children and youth in schools today may present with a variety of educational and therapeutic issues and needs. Specific games can address some of the needs and goals. They also provide an engaging way to practice skills in valuing diversity and promoting “understanding of others and respect for all” (BC Curriculum overview, 2019). As the BC curriculum overview states “Today’s technology enables classrooms, communities, and experts around the world to share digitally in a learning experience, wherever they may be” (2019).
The nine games provide an engaging focus to address the educational goals of developing personal and social competencies. Situation cards and the inherent structure of the games function to increase the opportunity for students to explore their identity in the community and relationship to being in the world. For example, the Hopscotch game has many cards to promote discussion regarding feelings and brainstorming potential responses to challenging social situations. The digital games have been designed with a special feature to easily enter new situations that would pertain to current concerns in the classroom or school. Auxilium Horizons is also in an ongoing process of developing more sets of cards that would address various emerging issues such as cyber bullying. Personal and social competency encompasses the abilities students need to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world.
Monica Carpendale, BFA, DVATI, RCAT, HLM, BCATR, is the founder and academic dean of the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute, Nelson, BC. Monica is an art therapist, educator, supervisor, author, film producer, researcher and designer of nine therapeutic games for use in educational, therapeutic and medical environments. She has written 2 books: Essence and Praxis in the Art Therapy Studio (2009) and A Traveler’s Guide to Art Therapy Supervision (2011). She is an international presenter on supervision, art therapy research, indigenous methodologies, art, poetry and play therapy.
Jason Carter is a computer programmer with some 30 years of experience, particularly working in the fields of imaging and video. A professional developer with a reputation for detail his technical interests include neural networks, AI and logic programming. Jason is to be Auxilium’s Technical Lead and developer of the digital content.