The Storytelling Card Game

For ages 4–14
An Instrument for Eliciting Unconscious Material at a Predictably High Frequency


  • Facilitates elicitation of self-created stories & unconsciously derived material
  • Used alone figurines are excellent alternative to CAT & TAT cards
  • An excellent companion to The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game

Children’s self-created stories provide therapists with valuable insights into their patients’ problems. Since many children, however, are hesitant to reveal themselves through the storytelling medium, The Storytelling Card Game enhances motivation to tell a story via a game format in which reward chips and prizes are given.

The game begins with the child’s spinning the spinner. Ten positions provide winning and losing chips. Six positions instruct the player to select four specific cards from a stack of twenty-four. Twenty cards depict a scene that is free from either humans or animals and four are blank. The child chooses one from the set of four cards and then throws the die, which indicates the maximum number of figurines (including 15 Caucasian, 6 African-Americans, 6 Hispanic and 3 Asian adults and children) the child may select. These are placed on the picture and a reward chip given. The child may then obtain two more chips for relating a self-created story about the picture and one more for providing the lesson or the moral of the story. The therapist then uses the child’s story as a point of departure for a variety of therapeutic interventions, e.g., responding story, discussion at the symbolic level, or analytic inquiry. When the play time has ended the player with the most chips is declared the winner and receives a prize (provided by the therapist). Dr. Gardner considers The Storytelling Card Game to be the most valuable he has devised for eliciting self-created stories from children. This game serves as an excellent companion to The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game. Used alternatively they enable the therapist to derive information over a wide range of psychological levels—from the most superficial and conscious to the deepest and unconscious.

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