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Clinical Psychologist Creates CBT-Based Card Game

A clinical psychologist working for Brigham Young University has created a cognitive behavioural therapy based card game designed to help children and young adults improve their coping and resilience skills.


The game, Cosmic Battle Training has been the long term project of Jon Cox, a clinical psychologist based in BYU’s Counselling and Psychological Services centre.


He wanted to create a game that helped to augment and reinforce the messages and lessons learned during therapy sessions but found that other games did not appeal to children. With that in mind, he meticulously worked to create a simple, entertaining game that integrated CBT principles.


The game takes the form of a space battle with a range of offensive and defensive cards, with each representing a concept in CBT that is displayed at the bottom of the card, that players can read and integrate into their play session.


Mr Cox worked with animation student Ivy Rich to design the sixty illustrations used as art for the game.


Whilst the art and concepts on the card are fictional and feature telepathy, spaceships and laser battles, each card is based on common mental health symptoms and tactics that have been used to help relieve specific thoughts.


For example, the concept of negative self-fulfilling predictions is depicted in a card entitled “Illusion”, which can be countered by concepts that help break the cycle of negative thinking, such as “Scientific Discovery”, which is based on pleasure prediction exercises.


Whilst the game is not seen by its creator as an alternative to therapy, he wants it to be used as an aid to help children express their concerns and find techniques to help manage them.


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