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Claudia Black

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The Stamp Game
by Claudia Black   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, November 19, 2004
Posted: Friday, November 19, 2004

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Claudia Black

Straight Talk from Claudia Black
Disclosure to Children: Hearing the Child's Experience
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How The Stamp Game was created.

Many years ago when I was working with children affected by addiction in the family, a 9 year old girl explained denial as “pretending things are different than they are.” I came to learn the denial she was speaking of had more to do with her feelings than her thinking. When she felt sad, she told herself she had nothing to be sad about; when she was afraid, she told herself she didn’t need to be scared; when embarrassed, she told herself it wasn’t that bad; and when she was angry, she told herself there was enough anger in her house and it didn’t need her anger too.

At the time I was working in a residential treatment program and I witnessed that adult family members and children were as stifled as the addict in their ability to share feelings. Being influenced by the work of Eric Berne, I created what came to be known as The Stamp Game. The game is an educational and therapy tool to help people of any age be more effective in identifying and expressing feelings through the use of colored cards called stamps, and can be used to discuss emotional patterns that occur in the daily life of a child or adult, leading to constructive problem solving, to an emotional sociogram demonstrating emotional connections within the family, to identifying immediate feelings. The game is a creative and fun way to talk about feelings and assist in dialoging emotional intelligence.

While originally I created the game to be played with a facilitator, it is also a great tool for families in recovery. A big part of what I like about the game is it offers structure but allows a facilitator or family to be creative as to how to use it. For several years, the game was unavailable while I searched for a manufacturer. I am so pleased to be able to offer it again.

If you would like information about The Stamp Game go to or call my office 800.698.0148.
Claudia Black

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