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Thought Bubbles - The Card Game


Thought Bubbles is a card game created by psychologists to help kids & adults get to know their thoughts in a fun & light-hearted way!


"How does an adorable card game manage to be so confronting and affirming at the same time? As someone who's navigating a rewarding but demanding career and still relatively new at married life, I found Thought Bubbles to be a wonderful tool, helping me to take an aerial view of how I (and others) see myself - but also a close look at what these perceptions mean and how they can shift and change over time. It's easy to play but throws up deep questions along the way. I can't wait to share this with more of my friends and family." - Corrie Tan, Writer and Researcher.

"I got these cards because I think they would be a really fun and tangible way to talk about helpful and unhelpful thoughts with the kids. I already have a few clients in mind whom I can use them with!" - Alyssa, Clinical Psychologist.

Thought Bubbles is a 56-card deck featuring 7 endearing characters that represent different ways of thinking. Created by a team of psychologists, it offers:

  • a hands-on way to help children and adults notice and choose their thoughts
  • a fun activity for family and friends 
  • an excellent resource for counsellors and therapists
  • a platform for self-discovery and growth 

As psychologists, we recognise that thoughts are closely tied to the way we feel, act and respond to the situations that occur in our lives.  There are many types of helpful and unhelpful thoughts but in our line of work, we have found that the Worrier, Victim, Judge and Controller thoughts are especially salient in conditions of stress, anxiety, depression and anger, and often lead to poor self-confidence and low self-esteem. 

When helping people cope with difficult situations and the thoughts and feelings that come with them, psychologists use a range of interventions and approaches. Some of these interventions include stepping away from the situation, noticing thoughts and feelings with an open mind, considering different ways to see and approach the problem, acceptance and letting go, being kind to self and others, and viewing experiences as opportunities for learning and growth. These ideas and techniques are embodied in the Observer, Problem Solver and Healer thought profiles. 

 There are so many ways to use the cards. These are just THREE examples:

Penny for Your Thoughts

The aim of this activity is to be more aware of your current helpful and unhelpful thoughts – how they impact your life, where they may have come from, and to consider if change may be helpful.

  • From the pile of cards, pick 5 that best represent how you view the world.
  • Have a discussion with someone you trust on any of the following – (i) how these thoughts have impacted the way you deal with the world; (ii) how these thoughts came about; and (iii) to consider the possibility of substituting 1 card with another, to cope with the world in a more helpful way.
  • You can keep a representation of that card with you and notice if it impacts the way you deal with the world.  
  • You can also have another person pick 5 cards that best represents how that person views you, and then have a discussion on the difference between how you see yourself and how that person see you. However, this additional suggestion is not recommended in situations where there is some tension between yourself and that person.

Thought Swop

The aim of this game is to collect 1 card from each of the 7 thought profiles to form a set of 7 cards from different profiles. 

  • Shuffle all the cards and deal out 7 cards to each player.
  • Starting with player to the left of the dealer, each player picks a card from his hand and tells a short story that is related to the thought without showing the card. 
  • After each player's turn, other players can then request to swop that card with one of theirs.
  • The storytelling and exchange of cards continue until one player has accumulated a set of 7 cards from each of the 7 thought profiles. This player is the winner.

Spare a Thought  

The aim of this game is to be the first to clear all the cards in your hand.  

  • Shuffle all the cards.
  • Deal out 7 cards to each player. Put the rest in a deck in the centre of the table. 
  • The player to the left of the dealer starts by putting down a card. The next player puts down another card that is in a different thought profile. Subsequent players have to put down cards that are not in the same thought profiles as the ones already on the table. If a player does not have a suitable card, he has to take a card from the deck and keep it in his hand. 
  • Once thoughts from all 7 profiles have been placed on the table, the set is put aside and a new set starts. 
  • The winner is the first player who clears all the cards in his hand.

For more examples of ways to play Thought Bubbles, visit their website at