The InterAction Collection

The Mindsetter

A game that encourages clients to SET goals and reMINDs them of their resources

Aug 29, 2023

Gesa Döringer

Come and play!

The Mindsetter Game© is an innovative solution-focused intervention Gesa Doringer has developed to apply the SF approach in therapy or coaching and teach it in workshops and training. Due to its size of 2x2m and being played on the floor, The Mindsetter literally holds space for clients and their desired future. It has also proven effective in setting the stage for new ideas and first steps towards the client’s desired outcome. There are two versions of The Mindsetter available. The FIRST version is for teaching SF. This version facilitates an active knowledge acquisition of students or practitioners learning SF or in team supervision. Practitioners invite participants to reflect on four of the basic tenets of this approach and discuss the implications of these tenets in the context of their professional environment. They do this in an SF manner:

  • “What is already working?”
  • “What would they like to see or do differently and what difference would that make?”
  • “What does ‘leading from one step behind’ look like in their diverse work settings?”
  • “What to do if something isn’t broken, but they feel they should fix it anyway?

Instead of a lecture, the game facilitates a collaborative and creative stance. By discussing and reflecting on the questions in small groups, players gain new insights, share sparkling moments, co-create metaphors and formulate their take-home message. And they decide on a first step towards their professional goal. So far, the training version has been applied and well received in diverse settings, e.g. with peer-support workers, university students, workshop and training participants and teams in various healthcare settings.

Gesa developed the SECOND version of The Mindsetter for therapy and coaching; practitioners can use it in a group(-therapy) or team setting and with individual clients. In this version, each participant starts by formulating a personal goal and defining their best hopes for how the session with The Mindsetter will be useful for achieving that goal.

The game creates a safe space for new ideas, hope and self-confidence to flourish. In a group setting it stimulates collaboration and peer support. During the game process, each player focuses on their personal goal while moving in spirals around the four quadrants of The Mindsetter. They move through the four quadrants individually, witnessing each other’s process and progress.

Answering the SF questions in each quadrant guides them to look at their goal and resources from different angles to gain new perspectives. They amplify these insights by answering aloud, sharing with and listening to each other. Quote from a participant: “The discovery of your personal and each other’s Recovery Universe.” The questions of the quadrants invite the participants to:

  • Define their best hopes (Quadrant 1)
  • Become aware of what’s already working (Quadrant 2)
  • Re-tune their behaviour (Quadrant 3)
  • Identify helpers and resources (Quadrant 4).

How can game elements enhance therapy and the teaching of Solution Focus? Play and find out…

PDF Presentation Format: Workshop Level: Introductory and Intermediate/Advanced

Gesa Döringer
Gesa Döringer
InterAction Contributor
SFiO Contributor

Gesa is an experienced SF and occupational therapist. For the past 15 years, she has been working as a jobcoach at the department for Early Onset Psychosis of Amsterdam UMC, combining her two professions with passion. Experiential learning and game elements are her secret ingredients to hold space for her clients and encourage them to gain new insights and flexible perspective taking.