Make the Invisible Visible

The idea behind this little game is to make our invisible thoughts visible and to practice a way of dialogue that makes us know more about each other and ourselves, thus preventing misunderstandings and conflicts. The game takes place in small groups (maximum of 4-5 persons in a group).

Draw/cut 8-10 thougnt bubbles out of paper (A5-A4 size). Choose a “Thought Theme” for the exercise, which is relevant to the participants and write/draw the theme on a thought bubble. Themes could be for example: friends, family, feelings (eg. joy, anger, etc.), violence, abuse, society, future, and so on.

Put this thought bubble with the chosen theme in the middle of a table.

Each participant now uses 1-2 minutes to think about the theme – and to write down key words or draw his or her thoughts on a blank thought bubble. This is thinking round 1. Everybody then presents simultaneously their thought bubbles around the ‘Theme bubble’.

Participant take turns and describe (maximum 1 minute) their thoughts around the theme This is talking Round 1. Afterwards the others are invited to ask questions:

  • Tell a bit more about ….
  • What do you think is the cause behind…?
  • What do you think we can do … right now … later …?
  • What would make sense for you to do …?

After this round every participant again uses 1-2 minutes to think about the theme, including what the others have talked about, and writes key words or draw their (new) thoughts on a new paper-thought bubble (Thinking Round 2). Everybody then simultaneously presents their thought bubbles by placing them on the table outside the first thought bubble circle.

Then run a ‘Talking Round 2’ – in exactly the same way as the first round.

It’s a good idea to invite participants to reflect briefly on the group’s review of the theme as a whole and express how they felt during the exercise.

If you really want to practice this type of dialogue, it´s recommended to repeat the game 1-2 times a week for 8-12 weeks with different themes that are relevant to the participants at that particular time.