THE HELPING, SHARING, AND CARING GAME
By Richard A. Gardner, M.D.
Since 1973 therapists have used Dr. Richard Gardner's The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game: A Psychotherapeutic Game for Children in the course of their treatment of children.
The therapeutic game has enjoyed worldwide utilization. The Helping, Sharing, and Caring Game is a derivative of the therapeutic instrument--specifically designed for children, their siblings, their parents, and other adults with whom children may be involved. The cards that Dr. Gardner considered most directly relevant to the therapeutic situation have been replaced with cards that are of educational value, especially with regard to ethics and values that are important to impart to children. The cards also facilitate interpersonal communication.
The newer game is designed for general distribution, though it can be extremely useful in treatment. Its primary purpose is to provide an enjoyable game in the context of which important issues are introduced, issues that can then serve as points of departure for discussion with other players. These benefits of the game can be enjoyed by all children, whether or not they are in therapy. A wide variety of issues are focused on, for example, self-esteem, manners, safety, ethics, values, health, consideration for others, interpersonal relationships, the value of learning, sympathy, empathy, and competence. The responses to the cards impart information and facilitate communication, both of which can enhance feelings of self-worth and improve interpersonal relationships. The game can be extremely useful in the treatment of children with conduct disorders because many of the cards focus on consideration for others, sympathy and empathy. Just about every card has educational value, which can be especially useful for children with learning disabilities.