Own business: conducting psychological games

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Your own business on psychological games is a new niche in which you can make good money even alone. The main thing is to stock up on a good technique that will allow you to acquire regular customers.

Recently, the so-called psychological games are gaining popularity. They allow you to have fun in a fun company, diversify and enliven corporate training, relieve tension in the work of a client with a psychologist. In addition, they are a great idea for your own small business, which does not require large expenses for its organization or special knowledge. If you have free time, organizational skills and an interest in psychology, psychological games can be a source of additional or main income, as well as the first step towards opening your own training center.

Psychological games are a popular trend

Although psychological games are not a new phenomenon for our country, however, the very definition of psychological games is still unfamiliar to most people who are far from psychology. As the name implies, such entertainment must meet two conditions at once: firstly, it must be of a game (usually competitive) nature, and secondly, it has a certain semantic load, “added value” in the form of psychological “self-help” . 

There are a large number of various psychological games, but the most famous of them is the “Mafia”, which is already rather boring to everyone. This is an intellectual role-playing game based on a detective story about a struggle for power between civilians and representatives of a mafia clan in one city. Each of the participants receives a random role that he will have to perform during the game. The goal of the game is to survive yourself and help your team win by identifying or getting rid of members of the warring faction. The game “Mafia” has long become a favorite entertainment in friendly companies, and its elements are used in various professional trainings. However, the list of psychological games is by no means limited to Mafia, but most of them are intended rather for passing time in a fun company, than for serious work and introspection. Some compare such games with psychological tests, but this comparison can hardly be considered successful, since a person who does not have a special education or at least a relative “scale” for evaluating the results of such a game test-experiment will not be able to draw correct conclusions about himself and other participants. games.

However, there are psychological games that allow you not only to entertain, but also to better study yourself and your friends, learn to recognize and analyze your feelings and reactions to certain situations, find new ways to overcome difficulties, look at the problem situation from the outside. It is possible to combine introspection and play only with the use of additional stimulus materials, which, as a rule, are metaphorical associative cards (MACs). 

Metaphorical mind maps are a relatively new phenomenon. They first appeared less than 40 years ago, and in our country these cards, which are also called therapeutic, mental or projective, have been known since the mid-2000s. Initially, they were created not for psychological work, but as an object of art. But soon psychologists saw their potential and began to use them in individual and group work with clients. In simple terms, metaphorical cards are a set of non-standard pictures that evoke associations in a person related to personal life. They usually look like this:

The problem with classical MACs is that there is still no detailed guidance on how to use them, which makes it difficult for professionals to work with them and significantly limits their potential to work with non-specialists. But there are various versions of projective cards that contain not only a picture or one word (as in traditional Oh-type cards), but detailed explanatory texts. These include, for example, the development of the training center of the company “1000 ideas” – metaphorical associative cards “1000 ideas”, “1000 lives” and “1000 roads”. 

These materials are easy to use, intuitive and as complete as possible. Although, like regular MACs, they are also intended for psychologists and professional trainers, they are also successfully used by people who do not have special education and experience. The card form initially sets the game motive, so the projective cards of the 1000 Ideas series are used to conduct psychological games, which, on the one hand, are a way to diagnose participants, and on the other, a means of therapy. Psychological games allow you to increase your own self-esteem, learn to analyze your life situations and solve problems safely, make individual and group decisions, develop openness to others, overcome your own fears and complexes, etc.

Psychological games as a business

The main advantage of psychological games is that even people who are not psychologists or coaches themselves can conduct them. The leader in this case only acquaints the participants with the rules of the game and makes sure that they observe them. Of course, ideally, he should have some knowledge of psychology, be able to captivate other people and organize them, help if they experience any difficulties and get around sharp points that can cause tension. However, in such a business, as a rule, other people do not come.

The second big plus of this line of work is the absence of significant costs at the first stage. To hold the games, you will need a place, the necessary materials and a program, as well as the participants themselves. As for the place, traditionally, game libraries with psychological or familiar board games are held on neutral territory. Usually this is a cafe or office. 

One meeting takes about two to three hours, so coffee breaks will not be superfluous. But many cafes put certain conditions before the organizers of such events. As a rule, they concern the minimum amount of the order from each participant. It can be 300-500 rubles per person. For some participants, such a restriction causes inconvenience, so anticafes are more and more often chosen for holding game libraries. Here, payment is not for food, but for staying on the territory of the institution. An hour of staying in an anti-cafe will cost, on average, 100-150 rubles (the first hour, as a rule, is more expensive than subsequent ones). At the same time, tea, coffee and cookies for a snack are usually included in the per-minute cost of renting a place. Additional advantages of the anti-cafe compared to a regular cafe are the availability of all conditions for games (large tables, comfortable chairs and sofas, writing boards, silence, absence of curious onlookers, etc.). Each participant pays in anticafe for himself. When your meetings become regular, you can try to negotiate with the owner of the establishment for a personal discount for yourself or even a free stay in exchange for advertising and attracting new customers. It is even easier and cheaper, of course, to organize meetings at home, but in this case it is worthwhile to approach the issue of positioning your services differently and it is better to consider the option psychological salon .

In addition to the place, you will need material for playing games. If you are going to use metaphorical mind cards for this, it is advisable that you can provide one working deck per person. The maximum number of participants in one group is seven people, not counting the leader. Keep in mind that during one game session, not one, but two or even three decks (sometimes simultaneously) can be used. If you are not confident in your abilities, cannot assess the demand for the services offered, or just want to try yourself in a new direction, you can sign up for a training course on working with psychological maps , which tells all the subtleties of working with them.

The cost of participation in games directly depends on the region and your self-confidence. For small towns, the “entry ticket” to the game will cost 300-500 rubles per person. In large cities, participants pay about 1,000 rubles for entrance to the game library.

You can search for those who want to have a pleasant and useful time, learning a lot about yourself and solving your problems, using the Internet and traditional advertising methods. The main requirement is minimum costs. For example, you can post ads on local sites, search for like-minded people on forums and social networks, create your own website and post photos from past meetings there. Psychological games are very popular among students and recent university graduates, so it is worth negotiating with educational institutions to place announcements of upcoming meetings on their territory.

Additional business development opportunities

Projective maps are suitable not only for group work, but also for individual, independent work. Despite their popularity, finding them for sale is quite difficult. Of course, you can order psychological cards in the online store, but this option is not suitable for everyone due to the need to make an advance payment, a long wait and other nuances. As the experience of trainers and organizers who use cards in their work shows, at least 40% of participants in such trainings or toy libraries express a desire to purchase at least one deck of cards from those that they used in the lesson. Thus, the sale of projective maps can become an additional (and sometimes independent) direction of your work. In this case, the initial investment will amount to 46 thousand rubles. This is how much it will cost to buy 20 any decks of cards (the discount will be 40%). The retail price of one deck is about 3800 rubles. In addition to meeting participants, metaphorical associative cards can be offered directly to psychological and training centers, personnel departments of companies, marketing and advertising departments.

Interest in psychological cards, the popularity of psychological games, lack of competition and minimal investment are the main distinguishing features of such a business. You can recoup the initial costs in the first month of work by holding several meetings. This business is practically not subject to seasonality. But it is recommended to start it in the fall: in the summer, here, as in other areas, there is a decline, when many people leave the city for vacation

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