“BE, DO, HAVE” coaching game is a part of a big family of metaphoric associative cards that are widely used by coaches, psychotherapeutists, consulting psychologists, teachers and mentors, social workers, personnel officers of large enterprises and training coaches in any field on a routine basis. Metaphoric associative cards are used for enhancement of personal development, improvement of social and situational adaptation, solving of individual and interpersonal issues, mediation, resolving of family conflicts, bringing occupational groups close together, and for many other purposes.
The feature of this game is that it is interesting, informative, and useful. It may be used for self-coaching, individual and group coaching, psychotherapy, training, and psychological counseling. This game may be used in a pair for sincere, sound, open and linking communion of, creating a feeling of true intimacy other than for the purposes of coaching, personal and general development, decision-making, goal-setting and planning. Ultimately, it may be used for entertainment by any friendly team as any other game.
Unlike other known card games associative cards suppose neither winners nor losers, neither competition as such nor need to suppress true feelings and current state of affairs. The purpose of the game is to understand yourself and others better, clarify own perception, reach a higher level of awareness, acceptance and responsibility. It features no specified values and an interpretation of cards like it occurs relative to a Tarot deck; only subjective associative array of a player really matters. Different people may find completely different clues judging upon the same card and have different impressions of images. Moreover, one and the same person at different periods of his life and in different situations considers the same card differently, and his associative insight will be unique every time.
“BE, DO, HAVE” deck features 72 cards. Each card represents one of the most popular human values with the help of images and notes. Insights start already at the stage of comparison of images and words; sometimes the association between them is rather substantive and it is difficult for a player to establish and find a link between a concept that refers to the value and an image that is chosen for demonstration. Unexpected selection of images might help a player to eschew the rational part of consciousness and bring up the layer of deep and unconscious emotions.
The deck is divided into three equal suits comprising 24 cards: the value of existence, the value of action, and the value of possession. The first part contains the values that answer the question about human existence in the life (provided answer is usually expressed with the help of an adjective). The second deck suit includes the values that answer the question about the types of activities that are valuable for a player (provided answer is usually expressed with the help of a verb). The third deck suit contains the values corresponding to the most important possessions for a person (an answer is usually expressed with the help of a noun).
Superposition of images and words may “kill two birds with one stone” when working with the cards: the image is processed by the brain’s right hemisphere that produces associations based upon visual-sensory representations, whereas words appeal to the left hemisphere that processes semantic and grammar shape of representations. Therefore, the cards stimulate the consolidation of both hemispheres cerebration that result in new ways of thinking of the same situation and insight occurrence. A player experiences inspiration and sense of sudden clarification when working with metaphoric cards.
How should you consider a card? First, you should examine the image. Ask yourself about the larger image that is formed by this visible fragment. Try to imagine and think of something that is beyond the sight of the card, what is happening in this situation, what kind of story is in the background. Pay attention to the questions raised by this image. Once your imagination to processes the image well, read the words written on card back. Try to feel your first internal response to these words. Try to keep the image that occurred to your head when reading these words. Compare your mental image with one represented by the card. Try to associate the words and the image represented by the card. Already association itself becomes your unique association.
How should you associate a card with your inner world? Your association may be a direct one, for example, the “render and accept help” card recollects cooperativeness and thoughts about self rendering and accepting some help. The association may be a backward one. The “Have Good Health” card may cast such vision like “I am healthy” for some persons and “I am unhealthy (sick)” for others. One person says that discipline helps him in his life and the other says that he cannot imagine himself being disciplined when they draw one and the same “Be Disciplined” card. “It has nothing to do with me” response also demonstrates connection with your own experience.
Sometimes image and words mean different things for you when you draw a card. Then it is up to you to decide about the way you make your association – relative to the image or verbally expressed notion. You may ignore wrong association and keep your mind on things that affect you, for example, choose a card relative only to image when ignoring the words, or vice versa, choose the notion when ignoring the image that is insignificant at the moment.
The way to play. Decide about the subject you would like to work through today or speak about and choose appropriate game version as listed below. Besides, you may invent your own different games using these cards and combine them with other decks of associative cards. Take a blank card intended for records from the set and write down the name of a player, current date, and subject of work. Draw cards from one to five and write them down on paper. Write down the insights and conclusions upon completion. Mention below the actions that you have decided to take in order to improve the situation in the chosen field covering the next few days, week, or month. Your personal responsibility for improvement of your life is a part of this game, and records help you to monitor the implementation of your intentions and its timing other than remember your insights and discoveries.
We consider only few options for using “BE, DO, HAVE” cards here – you may play either alone, or in pairs, or in groups.
“Something About Me” Draw one card randomly. Refer it to yourself – whether it’s your value and to what extent it is so. Transfer the value depicted on the card into other two categories from its own category. For example, you draw the “Have Love” card. What verbal form are you going to choose for “action” category when you are talking about yourself? To love? To take love? To feel love? What adjective are you going to choose for “existence” category relative to yourself? Beloved? Loving? Full of love?
“My life goals” Draw five cards deliberately. One of them answers the question “What kind of person do I want to be in my life?” Other two answer the question “What do I need to do to become this person?” And another two answer the question “What will I have when I become the person I want to be?” Consider the resulting model of these goals and estimate your impressions. Now let`s change the arrangement. Again, draw five cards. One of them answers the question “What do I want to have to feel that life is good”, other two answer the question “What do I need to do to get it” and another two answer the question “What kind of person may I become when I have something that is most valuable to me?” Estimate this model of your goals and your feelings when you consider it. What model do you prefer? What conclusions can you draw?
“Support and difficulties” Write down some goal you want to achieve, or some actual problem. Draw three cards deliberately. One of them represents something that helps you to achieve your goal or solve the problem, and other two represent something that prevents you from doing that. Evaluate the resulting arrangement. Now, draw two cards randomly and replace the cards representing difficulties by them. Open the cards and decide whether these new values may help or prevent you from solving the set problem.
“Past, present and future” Choose a subject for evaluation of dynamics of process through time and determination of possibility of situation potential development. Looking at cards` back, sort them according to their categories and place “be”, “do” and “have” decks separately. Draw three cards. “Be” card answers the question “What happened before?”, “do” card answers the question “What is happening now?”, and “have” card answers the question ”What is the potential?” Associate these cards together, draw conclusions, and record them. Draw the fourth card of any category randomly that correspond to the question “How should I proceed to the best case scenario” and the fifth one that correspond to the question “What can help me on my way toward that?”
“Winning and losing” Choose a subject for a fresh perspective of advantages and disadvantages of a particular situation. Draw three cards: 1. What do I get? 2. What price do I pay? 3. What conclusions can I draw?
“Relationships” Choose relationships that you would like to analyze (with a partner, spouse, friend, child, parent, colleague, boss, etc.)
Draw five cards randomly: 1. What is wrong in the relationship? 2. How do I participate in the relationship? 3. What is the way the other party participates in the relationship? 4. What is good in the relationship? 5. What should happen in order to improve the relationship?
“Fresh perspective” The game offers a fresh perspective and helps to consider a subject through different perspectives. Choose a subject that you would like to analyze (a problem, choice, incident or event, long-time process at the stage of implementation, relationship with someone). Record the chosen subject on a card. Draw five cards randomly: 1. What is the true subject of my work? 2. What does help me to make progress? What qualities are at my disposal? 3. What may stop and prevent me? 4. What do I need for decision-making? What should be considered? 5. What are my conclusions? What should I do?
© Eva Morozovsky