There has been an overwhelming response to this game. Its natural and realistic approach makes clients less afraid to train themselves in social skills. Because they continually have to practise and train a different skill and because they do not know which skill they are going to practise beforehand, the game remains stimulating and exciting. The clients also like the fact that the instructions and points for consideration are written clearly on the cards for easy reference. Personally, I am also very enthusiastic about this game because I do not have to keep on finding my own training material - Act-it-Out provides all the exercises and material I need.
It is an instructive and user-friendly method. It can be approached in many different ways that easily allow role-playing. The game is used for the assertiveness training of psychiatric patients. The situations used in this game are familiar to our clients. The advantage of this is that the clients feel more relaxed and less anxious because they do not have to think up the situation themselves. The wide variety of questions is practical because there is always a situation described that is familiar to the clients. The questions are clear and concise. The game is especially valuable in assertiveness training.
Since June 2004, I have been playing Act-it-Out every week with the group of clients who have been admitted to the ward for young adults at the Municipal Health Services in Midden Brabant and a nurse from that ward. Training social skills is part of the basic programme. I think the game is easily accessible and it is simple to explain and to play. New clients can join in at any time and participate with the group. Clients can practise and train their skills at their own individual level by practising in situations that they themselves specifically find difficult. Since we play this game every week, most of the situation cards have been used more than once. As an alternative, some clients come up with their own situations and of course this works even more effectively.
Lenny Heuver and Marjon Lips
This is a fun way to learn social skills and it supplements our Goldstein range very well. The group is enthusiastic about its approach and enjoys playing the game. It is all so much more accessible and user-friendly. Your position as a trainer in this game is not the same as it is with the Goldstein approach. Here, it is more on a par.
The game is attractive to the eye, inviting and well structured. The design, choice of colours and shapes appeal to the clients. The role-playing situations are described clearly and the clients are able to recognise them easily, often encouraging the other members of the group to offer tips or ideas of their own.
This game is a good investment because it is a safe and fun way to work with social skills. Moreover, you can actually see that some clients are in fact learning skills while playing the game. Furthermore, certain points for discussion are no longer necessary.
Maria Chahid and Maarten Rietkerk
We have had positive experiences with the game. The clients are also enthusiastic about it. Most of the clients enjoy the fun element of the game and that stimulates them to practise and train their social skills effectively. We use this game with various groups, namely, a group for clients with anxiety and depression, a group for clients with psychoses, and a group for foreigners. The game is often used alongside the regular training programme for social skills. The advantage of this game is that all the skills are practised and trained, and not just one skill. All the clients get many turns to participate, even those clients who try to avoid doing so. A lot of people can actively participate in this game within a short time and very little time is wasted. You do not have to invent situations or topics with suitable examples yourself. For the anxiety and depression group, it serves a very useful purpose to motivate them and keep them motivated for the regular training programme. The game has also been used with the first-year pupils at a secondary school in Tilburg, the Koning Willem 2 College. The school used this game to train social skills. Here, too, their response was positively favourable.
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