From Eric Terry, Psy.D., RPT-S, the Creator of Peacetown: A Conflict Resolution Board Game Comes
Family Quest: A Family Therapy Board Game!
There are many ways to conduct family therapy. The best ways usually allow the family to engage in some type of activity so that the therapist is able to see how the different family members interact and can observe all the subtle nuances of the family. Fun activities, such as games, are excellent for this because the family members are engrossed in the activity and their natural interactions will shine through. Family Quest: A Family Therapy Board Game was designed for just that purpose. The game not only allows them to interact, but builds in opportunities for them to communicate, listen to one another, get to know one another better, gain more respect for one another, and, hopefully, grow closer as a family.
Family Quest is a game that follows one particular family and several other individuals as they try to make their way through a jungle environment. On the board, there are children and adults of various genders and ethnicities working together to traverse the jungle and its various dangers. The players follow a path along the outside of the board that winds its way to the center, where they come to a clearing. In the clearing is the final destination, the outline of a home. The players must work together to construct the home by placing puzzle pieces within the outline in the clearing on the board. Once the puzzle is put together and the home is complete, the game is finished.
There are three types of questions the players will be answering during the game. First, there are Family Discussion Questions, which are designed to allow the individual family members to tell about themselves and how they feel about certain topics. These questions are written to try and evoke responses that will give the rest of the family a glimpse of the internal thought processes of the individual family members regarding how they think and feel about the various questions. It also gives the family a chance to see how the individual family members feel about their family. In addition, it can allow for discussion and for other family members to get to know the person answering the questions a little better. Next, Family Trivia Questions give family members a chance to see how well they know the other members of their family. Once one of these questions is chosen, every player has to answer the question for the player on their right. The questions are about family members’ likes, dislikes, and general information about them. These questions are designed not only to test general knowledge of family members, but also reveals information about family dynamics, family roles, and helps the family learn things about each other that they might not have known before playing this game. Finally, Family Team-Up Questions require family members to work together with another family member to try and answer questions. Some of the questions require players to make statements about the family member they are teamed up with and other questions require the players to work together to answer questions about their family. These questions are designed to have family members work together and they also pull for knowledge of family dynamics, family roles, and family members. The goal of all of these questions is to allow the family members to talk about how they feel about various topics, listen to one another, see how well they know each other, and learn new things about one another.
For the therapist, Family Quest allows them the opportunity to observe how the family members interact and assess what types of interventions are required in therapy. The therapist is also able to help the family build their skills in communication and general interaction as s/he coaches them through the game. Just with every other aspect of therapy, the modeling the therapist does while praising the family members for their responses, commenting on a family member’s behavior, helping the family make a connection between a family member’s response on a question and their recent behavior, etc., helps the family become more attuned to one another and better equipped to interact positively.
Family Quest is designed to be used as an introductory intervention with families, but can be used at any point during treatment. In fact, it could be used initially and then used periodically as a barometer of how much progress the family is making in terms of their communication, knowledge of each other, and gelling as a family unit. Family Quest can be used with all types of families (blended families, families with adopted children, families with foster children, single parent families, families with two parents of the same sex, etc.). Therefore, there can be various numbers of players and adult to child configurations. While game play moves more smoothly with a maximum of six players, if the therapist has a family with more than six members and wants to utilize Family Quest, it is possible.
Each box of Family Quest: A Family Therapy Board Game comes with 6 game tokens, 1 die, 1 game board, 86 Family Discussion Cards, 85 Family Trivia Cards, 53 Family Team-Up Cards, 100 Compass Points, 5 House Puzzle Pieces, 30 Family Trivia Card Answer Sheets, and 6 pencils. The cost of the game is $49.95.
As mentioned above, the maximum number of players is six. However, Family Quest can be played with a minimum of two players or more than six, if necessary. The game is designed for players ages 7 and up.