(017/119 NPO)


African Adventure Cards


B.A Social Work, M.Sc. Occupational Therapy

These therapeutic cards were developed to have a true African flavor yet to be cross cultural. The various animals and scenery are from South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Botswana and Namibia.

The development of these cards was realized from the predominance of feminine inclined cards with connotations of spiritual affiliations and the lack of straightforward earthy cards that can be related to by both genders.


Use of the cards

The cards are used as a medium to initiate discussion and to be used for projective techniques. The essence of the cards is that the person who chooses the card makes meaning for themselves from their choice and projects their identification with the card. The usefulness of these cards is located in the meaning attribution that the card holder puts to the card and not vested in another person.

Observing ego card

The person chooses a card and discusses why they chose that card. The card is then placed in the room to be an observer of what they are about to do. The card takes up an observation position which is just to observe from a neutral place and to be a witness. This can be thought of as a “fly on the wall” concept. The observing ego is non judgmental thus when the card holder is put into the position of the card’s observing ego position, the person comments on actions not on emotional interpretations. Thus the person can observe the situation from a different perspective from the observing ego position and give the observations a narrative label. (Hudgins 2002, Cossa 2006)

Strength building cards

The person chooses a card that represents their strengths. The strengths are defined as PERSONAL, INTERPERSONAL AND TRANSPERSONAL strengths that are apparent at the present moment, or in the “here and now” concept. The personal strength is a quality within a person, or an INNER strength. The interpersonal strength is a quality that is present between the person and others, who may be family, friends, animals or colleagues, and is termed the OUTER strength. The transpersonal strength is the quality of a strength that is present between the person and something bigger than themselves which may be religion, ancestors, the cosmos, nature, the universe, or just life itself, and is termed the UPPER strength. With the transpersonal strength the cross cultural issues must be open and non judgmentally accepted as it is concerned with beliefs. (Hudgins 2002, Cossa 2006)

Children’s games

Two packs of cards may be used to play “Snap” but with the child having to describe the animal when they put a card down. Associations of cards with the same type of animals may also be used for this game with one pack of cards. The child is led to discuss the qualities of the specific card and then encouraged to identify with a card and discuss the strength qualities of that card. The strengths can then be associated overtly with the child described in the “strength building” above. Children may also want to tell stories about particular cards.

Contact details

Cards are available from Vivyan Alers at a cost of R 150.00 plus postage and packaging.

Vivyan Alers

P.O.Box 544
Halfway House
1685, Midrand
South Africa.

E- mail:

Phone +27(0)11 314 5098
Mobile +27(0)82 895 8010
Fax +27(0)86 688 0600

Cossa M. 2006. Rebels With a Cause- working with adolescents using action techniques. Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Hudgins K. 2002. Experiential Treatment for PTSD. Springer Publishing Company


Photographs by Colin Mead


To Top of Page

© Acting Thru Ukubuyiselwa  2008                                                                           I         HOME         I         CONTACT US         I       WEBMASTER         I