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13 Thoughtful Group Therapy Activities for All Ages

Updated: Apr 8

Browse group therapy games, ideas, and activities for kids, teens, and adults!

Group therapy activities can keep kids, teens, and adults engaged in learning and having fun.

If you run a lot of therapy groups, you’re familiar with the pressure. What are you going to talk about today? Will everyone show up? When will you have time to write all these notes?


I empathize, and I’m here to help. Below are 13 ideas for group therapy activities that can keep your group interested, learning, and engaged.


They can work as icebreakers for groups or as a way to promote more in-depth discussions. Most of them can be adapted to use with any group, with options appropriate for kids, teens, adults, couples, and families.



Article Highlights





1. Feelings Games

FEELOPOLY is one of the most popular group therapy board games and focuses on validation of emotions.

Everyone loves to talk about feelings! Well, maybe not everyone, but it’s usually a more comfortable topic for therapists and therapy groups who are familiar with the idea.


Feelings games can be a way to reinforce such a discussion, or to teach feelings to newer groups.


Feelings games can be helpful for all ages, but may work particularly well for groups working on naming feelings or regulating emotions.


FEELOPOLY is a game that’s actually somewhat anti-Monopoly. It’s a unique format that encourages cooperation and naming and validating emotions. You really have to see it to get a sense of the game. Visit here to check it out.


2. Jeopardy Therapy Games

Looking for a Coping Skills Jeopardy Game? This coping skills game show has a similar look and feel to therapy Jeopardy, with interactive questions.

What's more exciting than finding out that instead of doing hard work today, you get to do hard work disguised as a Jeopardy game?


Teachers have been using the Jeopardy format for decades to help students review the same concepts in a new and fun way.


Game shows can be just as effective for therapy and group therapy activities. You can create your own Jeopardy games by manually drawing categories on a board and reading your own questions.


We offer two pre-made coping skills jeopardy-style games. The CBT Coping Skills Game Show includes categories and question that are actually discussion prompts. You can use it with all ages, just modifying the depth of your discussion based on your group. It follows the basic parts of CBT therapy including mindfulness, changing thoughts, dealing with emotions and more.


Looking for a coping skills therapy Jeopardy game? This game is Jeopardy-inspired and includes discussion prompts for teen and adult groups.

A similar game, the Coping Skills Quiz Show goes beyond CBT, covering broader coping strategies for teens and adults. It's also a Jeopardy-style group therapy game and can be used in classrooms or online via screen-share through Zoom and other platforms.


There is both a Power Point and PDF version of each included, although the PPT edition includes more authentic game-show type features. Like in the other game, the teen and adult version includes discussion prompts and activities to build a coping skills plan.


Get both of our Jeopardy-inspired therapy games as well as our other game show formats in this cool game show bundle.


3. Pictionary Games

This is an infographic of the group therapy activity Feel, Act, & Draw. It's focused on understanding emotions.

There’s nothing quite as fun as drawing and guessing games, at least from my experience. The simplest version for a therapy group is to play traditional Pictionary, with the use of a theme based on your group.


For example, perhaps you use thoughts, feelings, or behaviors (for a CBT group). Or maybe you find mindfulness topics for DBT (breathing, holding ice cubes). For younger kids (and sometimes young at heart) you might choose just feelings words (ie, draw "sad" or "angry").


Some game versions combine drawing and charades. The Feel, Act, & Draw therapy game includes feelings-based prompts. It combines three categories: drawing, charades, and discussion prompts. It’s a good mix of more in-depth topics along with fun, active techniques that break the ice.



4. Family Feud Therapy Games


Looking for a fun group therapy game? The Family-Feud style coping skills game is a fun option you can project in person or online.

One of the most comforting and satisfying game show formats has made a comeback from its hey day in the 70s and 80s. Some Family Feud-inspired therapy games use the familiar style to engage kids, teens, and adult groups.


We offer a Family Feud-type game called Feud Style: Coping Skills. Discuss popular prompts such as anger management skills or practicing mindfulness within an entertaining format.


Topics covered in the group therapy game include prompts relating to anxiety, depression, self-care, and more. Project the game in-person or via screen-share options in Zoom and other online therapy platforms.




5. Therapy Bingo Games

There are various versions of therapy Bingo. The most basic ones include one Bingo card that’s more of a worksheet. Each group member gets the same card, and you circle or discuss topics like coping skills.


However, there's a printable version of a CBT-based Bingo game called CBT L-I-N-G-O. It combines the therapy version with a realistic Bingo game.


Group members get unique cards (there are 10 different cards included) that each have numerous CBT-based prompts. The group then plays the game similarly to real Bingo.


When numbers are called they match them to their cards. However, for members to claim the space they must respond to the CBT prompt first. Prompts ask questions like, What’s the difference between a thought and a feeling? Or, what type of problems can CBT help with?



6. Wheel of Fortune-Style Game

https://www.thecounselingpalette.com/product-page/wheel-challenge-mental-health-game

What's more satisfying than being the first person to solve a Wheel of Fortune puzzle? You can create your own puzzle style game on a white board or on-screen, and include prompts relating to mental health, therapy, and self-care.


I recommend including phrases and words that bring up discussion topics. Our pre-made game for PowerPoint is a Wheel of Fortune-style puzzle game that's followed by related prompts for each topic.


For example, on of the puzzles (spoiler alert!) is the movie title: A Beautiful Mind. This is followed by a discussion prompt for the group relating to mental health symptoms.


Project the therapy game "Wheel Challenge: Mental Health" via screen in-person or through telehealth platforms.


7. Grounding Activities

Grounding techniques are a great group therapy activity because they help both in the moment and later on. You can focus on one grounding technique during a group session, or practice several.


You might split the group into partners and have them each return to the group with a practice activity.


This will be familiar with DBT groups or those who’ve practiced mindfulness before.


Another cool activity involves using grounding stones. With grounding rocks you can combine the mindfulness exercise itself with a creative activity. Teach the grounding skill using rocks as an object and then have group members decorate their rocks.


You can also download this convenient grounding stone kit that includes instructions, posters, and a grounding stone worksheet that can go along with the activity. Learn more here.


8. Emotions Wheels

This is an infographic of an emotion wheel kit that includes several versions of a feelings wheel chart and worksheets that go with it.

I think emotions wheels are one of the most popular tools I’ve come across in therapy. They’re used in nearly every setting, from workplace trainings to preschool classes. You can find various versions of feelings wheels and charts online and use them to discuss or practice identifying emotions.


For a convenient kit, check out this emotions wheel download that includes a worksheet version of the wheel. It focuses on identifying not only feeling words but the physical sensations that go along with emotions.


What I like about it is that it appeals to all ages. The colorful design can make it more accessible for a younger audience, and the hands-on activities can work with any age. Download it here.


9. DBT Board Games

This is an infographic of a DBT Board Game for group therapy. It includes the board itself along with the prompt cards for DBT skills discussion.

When I used to run DBT groups I found that there are only so many ways you can teach and practice a given skill!


To mix things up a bit, consider DBT games. There are a few board games that relate to DBT, including mindfulness-based activities.


One game in particular focuses on the four skill areas of DBT including mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal skills, and distress tolerance.


The Greatest DBT Board Game (a fun theme based on carnivals or the circus) includes dozens of prompts to encourage members to review, discuss and practice DBT Skills.



10. CBT Board Games

CBT board games are a great group therapy activity. This infographic includes images from the CBT Island Quest game.

For CBT-based groups, or those who use related skills, CBT board games may also be helpful. They are a less intrusive way to prompt discussions about skills.


Rather than putting someone directly on the spot, the discussion question comes as a fun challenge.


There are several CBT games available for group therapy. One particular download is a fun and easy version that includes meaningful CBT questions, called CBT Island Quest.


The prompts cover topics like the CBT triangle, how mindfulness can be helpful, and how someone might use CBT for self-care.


You can choose which questions to include in the game. If a player is stumped, use it as a learning experience. Teach the topics as they come up.



11. Therapy Dice

Therapy dice are an easy and fun activity for any therapy group.

Therapy dice are a tried and true conversation starter. Since everyone can easily play, they're a great group therapy activity. You can use any cube from tiny dice to square UPS box for this game. Members throw the dice and answer a question based on where they land.


Sometimes the dice themselves have the prompts written on them, and sometimes questions will correspond to the color or number that’s rolled.


For a fun group activity, you can make your own dice with prompts. Check out this printable therapy dice kit that includes prompts as well as a template to make your own. The pre-made prompts cover feelings, DBT, CBT, and more.


You can cut out and assemble the dice ahead of time, or make it a group activity. (If your group isn’t allowed scissors, you can bring them pre-cut and the group can finish the job with tape.)



12. Therapy Jenga

Therapy Jenga works great with kids, families, groups, and teens.

If any tool competes with emotion wheels among therapists, it would be therapy Jenga.


It’s perfect for bonding with kids, breaking the ice in a family session, and keeping a group engaged. Similar to the dice, the Jenga blocks include either prompts themselves or a color/number code.


When someone pulls out a block, they must answer a prompt before placing it on the top of the pile. There are many pre-made therapy stickers. One in particular, Feelings Jenga, includes prompts specific to emotions and coping. Check out the feelings set here.




13. Therapy Card Games

What if a therapy session could feel like family game night, but with less competition and more learning? Consider therapy flashcards and card games.


There are a variety of games that can be adapted to therapy, such as Uno. For example, therapists sometimes assign feelings to each color, so if someone plays red, they would describe a time they felt angry.


Here are some other ideas including printable cards created specifically for therapy sessions and therapy groups.


Therapy Shuffle - for Teens and Adults

Infographic of Therapy Shuffle, a coping skills card game for adults and teens.

Therapy shuffle is a printable coping skills card game loosely inspired by a game called Fluxx. Players try to match coping skill cards with goals in the game. Meanwhile, the coping cards have prompts to discuss the coping skills listed.


Example coping skills include mindfulness, taking breaks, asking for help, or distraction.


Magical Feelings Card Games - For Kids

An infographic of emotions cards, including flashcards and a kids therapy games.

This unicorn and dragon-themed deck is a great group activity. You can use the decks included as flashcards, or play actual card games.


Games include:

  • Emotions Match, similar to match game, but you match feelings words with emotion faces

  • Go Feel, based on Go Fish, but you are fishing and discussing emotional dragons and unicorns

  • Happy Dragon, based on Old Maid but the goal is to end up with the happy dragon (and to discuss feeling words).

The magical emotions games are all included in one downloadable set. Learn more and get the printables here.


Magical Coping Skills Cards

Infographic of a coping skills card deck for kids, and a great group therapy activity.

The Magical Coping Skills Card deck is in the same series as the kids feelings cards (above). It's primarily set up as flashcards, so it's not exactly a game.


You can use the cards in groups to prompt discussion, and match difficult feelings from the other deck with the best coping skills.


Like the feelings deck, the cards have a magical theme with dragons and unicorns. Get it here.


Bonus: Therapy Worksheets

For therapy groups focused on CBT, this worksheet bundle may be helpful. The images in this infographic show multiple CBT worksheets.

Therapy worksheets are generally a bit more serious than therapy games but can also be a less intimidating way to work through a topic. When it comes to groups, they may be appropriate for teens or college activities.


I’d start with a basic worksheet, give the group members time to fill out their own, and then discuss answers with the group. You might also have members work in pairs to make it a bit less intense.


Depending on your topic, there are many online worksheets available. This CBT for Anxiety and PTSD set includes 8 worksheets focused on specific strategies. You might also start with the lighter CBT triangle worksheet here.



I don’t run groups anymore, but I honestly wish I’d had more of these tools available when I did. There are so many options now to order or download unique activities. All of the above activities can be used multiple times, with different groups or often with the same one.



Meanwhile, good luck with your groups. The fact that you’ve read (or scanned) this far shows your dedication to helping those you work with. And I’m sure you deserve support for the hard work you do. Good luck and have fun!

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