While playing bingo has always been a method to relax and enjoyably pass time, bingo can now be used for therapy. As psychologists explore creative arenas to making people explore their inner conflicts, share emotions with loved ones and to express themselves, unique bingo cards are now part of their arsenal.
An interesting example of this is a humorous “Mom guilt” and “Dad guilt” card. This game can be played by partners, facilitated by a therapist.
The cards contain reasons why either individual may experience guilt and stress in their day to day lives, and if the statement is true will be marked off. The participants are encouraged to be open and explore their emotions. Phrases like “Didn’t breastfeed them for a year”, “had an epidural” and “Used TV as a babysitter” allow them to vent the actions that are bothering them.
For the “Dad Guilt” cards, phrases like “got home late” and “forgot kids birthday” appear. The game is aimed more towards stressed out homemakers, and thus the Dad’s cards are more humorous than anything. Making funny allusions to the fact that dads rarely ever help out around the house, it contains boxes that try to make them understand the amount of work a homemaker does.
The therapist uses the bingo caller’s card and usually therapy is conducted in groups. Many couples sit together to engage in this play therapy, and the one who reaches bingo first is encouraged to talk about their experiences and share feelings.
As this is a facilitated game, the therapist encourages the couples to explore the different struggles they each face, and often husbands experience surprise at the revelations they make. A whole host of problems they never thought existed crop up.
Bingo has proven useful in many ways. In Britain, it is most popular among homemakers between the 40-50 age group. Not only does online bingo allow them entertainment and leisure, but bingo as play therapy is sure to make a positive impact on their lives.