The Horrible Thing that Happened is a therapy game to address trauma in children. It incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy to confront thoughts and beliefs behind their experience. This game allows children to implement coping skills as they vocalize their thoughts and feelings about trauma. The game uses situation cards highlighting many trauma situations to help normalize feelings and discover if maladaptive thinking is present. It is a useful tool in developing a trauma narrative as part of TF-CBT. Due to the intense nature of treating trauma, the game allows for some comic relief. The “Laugh a Little” cards have children tell a joke or do something funny to lighten the mood and to give a break after discussing heavy topics.
This game is intended to be used by licensed mental health professionals. Training in TF-CBT is highly recommended before using in practice.