Play. Mindfully.

Used by therapists, counsellors, addiction centers, schools, educators, and social workers, Cards for Calm provides prompts to help people begin to reframe their approaches to problems.

Positive Perspectives

Cards for Calm helps people find better ways to deal with negativity and anxiety.
The cards use techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help users identify inaccurate or negative thinking and respond to challenging situations in more effective ways.
They encourage people to develop pre-prepared, positive responses to stressful situations. To be ready to meet anxiety with calmness and strength.

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About the Game

Promote Positive Mental Health

Cards for Calm teaches positive thinking using mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, visualization and creative thinking. It helps people think differently about the sources of their anxiety and stress.

The deck includes over 20 pairs of Question and Answer cards. Each Question card outlines a common problem that can cause anxiety. The Answer card looks deeper into the issue, then guides the user through visualizations they can create to change their emotional response to the situation.

Cards for Calm can be used by individuals to analyze and change their behavior, as well as by counsellors and therapists to help clients reframe their approach to situations that cause them problems.

Better Thinking Through Therapy

It can be a struggle to break out of learnt patterns of thinking. Cards for Calm helps identify fun and creative visualizations that allow people to block unhelpful patterns of thinking and develop more positive responses. It helps address common problems such as confrontation, lack of motivation, trouble focusing.

Dislike confrontation?

Find alternate ways to approach confrontational circumstances.

Bored by work or school?

Create new challenges for yourself based around your passions.

Trouble focusing?

Develop new approaches to tasks that keep your attention and tune out interference.

Small enough to fit in your pocket, this standard poker size (2.5” x 3.5”) deck is made from sustainable forest paper using starched-based laminating and vegetable-based inks. American Made, Cards for Calm is designed in California and printed in Kentucky.

How To Use

Using in Therapy Sessions

The cards can be used as prompts during one-on-one or group sessions.

The Question cards present common problem people get ‘stuck’ on, with some cards focusing on similar issues but approaching them in different ways.

When a Question card resonates with the client, read side 1 of the Answer card and discuss their experience of this issue.

Consider the impact it has on their life and how it affects their happiness. Ask them to consider how they typically respond to such a situation. What is the main emotion they feel? How are they left feeling afterward?

Side 2 of the Answer card suggests visualizations they can use to think about and approach the problem differently. Read through these together and discuss how there are approaches to the problem that differ from the response they’ve had in the past.

Ask them to imagine their future self as they face this problem again. Ask them to choose one of the suggested visualizations, or to create their own. Ask them to picture their future self responding to the problem in this way.

What emotion do they feel after using the visualization to deal with the situation? How does it compare to the emotion they felt when they had experienced this in the past?

Using Cards for Calm Alone

Pick a Question card from the deck and think about the problem it presents. Have you faced this problem in the past? Do you have this problem now?

If so, read Side 1 of the Answer card and explore the problem. Remember times you’ve faced this situation in the past. What emotion did you feel when facing it? How did you react? What emotion did you feel after?

Try the suggested visualizations and see if they help you think differently. Try adapting them to your situation, or creating visualizations of your own. Don’t limit yourself to realistic responses, let your visualized response be as incredible as you can imagine.

After facing the situation with a visualization, what emotion do you feel? How does it differ from the emotion you would normally feel?

When you next face this problem in your life, take a moment to picture your visualized response so you can respond in a more positive way.

You can play a card any time during the day when you feel anxious or negative. This can be a time when you feel uneasy and want to find calm, or want to prepare against anxiety.

To start your day mindfully, put the deck on your phone before going to sleep. Instead of picking up your phone in the morning, play a card instead.

Our Story

Cards for Calm was borne out of depression.

I lived with the condition for around 18 months before I finally sought help. It then took 6 months of treatment before I was in remission. It’s a long road that must be walked with small steps.

Spirals

Depression is a distorting lens that alters your understanding of reality. With that lens removed, I realized there wasn’t one thing that caused my illness. It was a thousand tiny incidents that I didn’t address. A thousand tiny downward spiral that, together, formed the hurricane that had consumed me.

In therapy I learned ways to deal with these negative spirals individually and, with a simple twist, turn them into upward spirals. I continue to use these techniques after therapy and wanted to find a way to share them with others.

Reaching Out

I began adapting them into a card game, documenting different types of challenges we face in our daily lives and developing visualizations that would help someone change how they approach them. I created a Kickstarter to see if it was something people would like and, 100 backers later, Cards for Calm was born.

Exponential Reach

The Kickstarter led to a few decks being sold on Amazon. Then a few more. Then thousands more. And it wasn’t just individuals who were buying them to help manage their stress and anxiety. Therapists, counsellors, addiction centers, schools, and social workers were also buying them to use with patients, clients and children.

Next Steps

Cards for Calm is also available in Canada, UK, and Australia. With so much interest from educators, we’ve created a second version of the game designed for kids aged 7+. Imaginhero takes the same mindfulness and visualization techniques and encourages players to imagine they have superpowers to help them overcome the source of their anxiety.

Important Note

Cards for Calm is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It should not be used as an alternative to professional healthcare. If you feel you are struggling with anxiety, depression or another form of mental illness please consult your doctor.

If you’re having thoughts of hurting yourself or others, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ( 1‐800‐273‐8255) or dial 911 immediately. Help is available.

Know that you are loved, and that you are not alone.