Featured Technique

Featured Technique

Add to your repertoire of creative therapeutic interventions with this original technique.

Please be sure to print this page as the technique below will be replaced by a new technique each month.

Printable form of current Featured Technique can be attained here.


The Getting Along with Others
Envelope Game

Source: More Creative Interventions for Troubled Children and Youth, Lowenstein, 2002

Theme: Social Skills

Recommended Age Range: Seven and Up

Treatment Modality: Individual, Small Group

Stage of Treatment: Middle


  1. Increase pro-social behavior i.e., active listening, initiating a conversation, assertiveness
  2. Provide opportunities for skill rehearsal


  • Six envelopes (or enough for all players to have a turn)
  • Small inexpensive prizes
  • Getting Along with Others questions (see below)

Advance Preparation If the treats are a food item obtain permission from caregivers to offer food.

Photocopy the question cards sheet, cut out and fold each question. Place each question in a separate envelope. (Note: The questions can be adapted to suit the age and treatment needs of the client or group members.)

Description Explain the game as follows:

The practitioner places the 6 envelopes on a table. Players take turns pulling a card from one of the envelopes. When a player selects a question card, that player reads the question aloud and answers it. All the questions are geared to getting along with others. If a player gets a prize card, that player gets a small prize. The game continues until all the envelopes are empty. All players who participate appropriately get a prize at the end of the game.


This activity provides children with an opportunity to strengthen their social skills, using the game format as an engaging tool. Through the game format, children develop important social skills such as starting a conversation, making eye contact, listening, being assertive, dealing with bullies, compromising, and giving compliments.

To generalize the skills learned, the practitioner can ask the client/group for examples of how they can apply what they learned in the session to situations outside the therapy setting.

Questions: The Getting Along with Others Envelope Game

It can be hard to start a conversation with people you do not know well. Pretend you are invited to a birthday party and you don't know anybody, except the person who invited you. Practice going up to someone and starting a conversation. Have a one-minute conversation.
It is important to listen when someone is talking. Practice your listening skills by having someone in the group talk to you for one-minute, then summarize what that person said.
You can learn to be assertive (standing up for yourself in a respectful, non-violent way). Practice being assertive in the following situation: Someone tells you your friend is spreading rumors about you.
It hurts to be bullied but you can do something about it. Practice asserting yourself in the following situation: You are walking down the hall and another child trips you on purpose, then laughs at you.
It is important to make and keep eye contact when someone is talking to you. Have a conversation with someone in the group and keep eye contact with them for one-minute.
It feels good to receive compliments. Give a compliment to each person in the group.
Compromising means giving up something in order to reach an agreement. Tell about a time you compromised.

© Liana Lowenstein, MSW. All rights reserved.

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