Gefuehlsmonster® cards and family counselling

“I often use the cards for circular questions, especially when working with adolescents. For example, I ask, “If your father were here now, which card do you think he would choose for you?” (Or, the question could focus on somebody’s best friend, etc.)

The choice of cards shows an adolescent’s attitude, how his/her father views him/her, and provides for an opportunity to ask follow-up questions.

Sometimes, I ask more direct questions. For example, in a family counseling session that involves a mother and her two daughters, I could ask: “Which card would you choose for yourself, for your mother or your sister?” Or, addressing the mother, “Which card would you choose for yourself and which for your two daughters?” and so on.

Sometimes, I choose a card myself in order to describe what I have witnessed. For example, if all members of the session choose a card that stands for current anger and helplessness within the family, and if I have seen tears flow throughout the session, then I choose the “Crying” card and describe how I have witnessed this emotion as well. This often facilitates positive moments.

It is also interesting that the cards can be chosen not only to express feelings, but also to describe personality types.

Sometimes, children do this very spontaneously, for example expressing that mother’s boyfriend is overbearing (choosing, for example, the card that shows a monster with lorgnette).

Or, the cards are used to talk about behavior. One small boy who had witnessed an argument between his mother and father chose the card that shows a monster peeking around the corner.”

Author: Marian Münger-v.d. Klooster