New Product: Emotion and Coping Game
Back when I started my site, there were many things I hoped to use it for. Over time, bit by bit, I've been able to add all of the different pieces together. Now, I am happy to say that the next big piece has been started: the store section. With this addition, I want to take a moment to describe my intentions with the store, and then describe the "product" in some detail.
Why the store?
When creating this site, I wanted to not only establish a central location for my online presence, but I wanted a venue to share and disseminate helpful information and tools. As I've described before, when I first put ads on the site, doing so takes a lot of time and effort. With all of the other demands that come with grad school, it is difficult for me to justify putting in that time if there is not at least some form of compensation.
However, my intention is not to make a significant profit, or to charge a lot for small things. That's why I have some helpful things, including a sticker chart template, available for free on my resources page. The store is a place for me to share products that take longer to put together, thus requiring at least the possibility of compensation for the time. Ads bring in very little money (the rate is slowly growing as I continue to develop the site, but it's still very little right now). Therefore, I needed to add something supplemental.
In a sense, it's less of a store and more of a way to donate to the work that I do. You just get something in return as a thank you for the donation. (On a side note, if anyone is interested in making a donation without purchasing a product, there's a button to do so on my About Me page; donations are not at all expected, and you can also show support by commenting on and/or sharing posts, sending me encouraging messages, and so forth).
What do buyers get?
Apart from the product itself, I currently intend to offer free "upgrades" of every product. For example, I intend to email any updated versions of the game that I'm currently selling to any buyers, entirely for free. Again, I have no intention of using the store to attempt making a big profit; it's just to make enough money to help fund the costs of the site, to assist with daily living and school expenses, and so forth.
I'm also more than happy to be flexible for those who would have difficulty paying. Fellow graduate students (or anybody else who can't afford the cost for any reason) can contact me using the button at the bottom of my site. I can create offer codes that will apply discounts, or can make the product free (which will be the case for this first product).
Now, with the explanation of the store out of the way, let's discuss the first product I'm putting up for sale:
The Emotion and Coping Game
Alright, I admit the name could be better, but it's appropriate enough for now. This is a game that I recently came up with to use with clients (generally in the 6-10 year-old age group, but it doesn't have to be exclusive to that group). After a little trial-and-error, I've come up with the first "release" of the game.
The focus of the game is to help children increase their emotion identification skills, and their knowledge/use of coping skills to handle "negative" emotions. It can be helpful for use in therapy sessions, but can also be played by parents with their kids. In fact, parents playing can offer great opportunities for modeling, and can encourage more discussion about emotions through words instead of actions or body language.
The game is meant to be flexible, so you can play it however you and the child decide. But for those who want some guidance (e.g., parents using something like this for the first time), I offer some suggested "rules" to play by. The rules and the cards are all included in a PDF that you can print out.
From my experience so far, the game is enjoyed by kids and provides incentive to discuss "negative" emotions along with practicing coping skills. It also can allow a child, who may not normally talk about emotions, to use the game as a way to discuss things on their mind in a safe way. For example, discussing recent things that made them sad.
It's a simple game that can be played for a relatively short period of time (great for kids who can only focus on a game for a short time). But the benefits and some components of the game can be incorporated into daily life (e.g., you could have a child use the cards throughout the day to build up points, outside of just a gaming context, which can then be used to "purchase" rewards). It requires some "assembly," in that you need to create a board and choose the pieces that represent each person. But that's partially intentional, as it allows the child to be involved in the making of the game and makes it more exciting for them.
Disclaimer: While this game is designed based on my clinical experience and knowledge of clinical child psychology, it is not based on any specific research studies and has not been studied. It's meant to be used as a fun resource, and its effectiveness will likely depend on how it's used.
How to buy
The game is available for a one-time $5 fee on my store page. My hope is to keep the price of this game, and other similar products I may make in the future, around this level. (Though that depends on how the Squarespace commerce system ends up working out. This is also partly a test of that system so I can make sure it will work for my purposes.)
As I mentioned above, anyone who purchases the game is eligible to receive any updated versions I create for free. There will be a spot to enter your email address during checkout just for that purpose, and future versions will be emailed to you. (And all email addresses will be kept private and secure, of course).
Some possible future updates for this product include: Additional coping skill cards, additional suggestions for use of the materials, new designs for the cards, and so on. Updates will be made based on my experience from using the materials, and any feedback buyers send; so feel free to let me know about anything you think could improve the game!
Hopefully you'll find this first product to be something helpful, whether you're a therapist, a parent, a teacher, or whatever. If you have any questions or comments about the game or the store, let me know in the comments!