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The Mindsetter

“The game is a refreshingly interactive and engaging experience that blends the principles of solution-focused therapy with gamification, resulting in an innovative and powerful tool that could be used in a range of ways – for personal reflection, as a learning experience, and for personal/professional development.” Volkert, A. (2023). The Mindsetter Game by Gesa Doringer. Journal of Solution Focused Practices, 7(1).

The Mindsetter- discover, reflect and co-create.

The Mindsetter Game is an innovative solution focused (SF) intervention. This versatile tool is available in two versions. The first was developed to apply the SF approach in therapy and coaching sessions. And the second to teach it in workshops and training. In both versions the game has proven to effectively offer a safe space for reflexion and co-creation. It sets the stage for new ideas and first steps towards the outcome a client, student or team member is hoping for. All of that is making it an excellent addition to the professional toolkit of experienced SF professionals and those new to the approach alike.


The Mindsetter was published in 2023 and is available in 3 languages (English, German and Dutch).  So far, the Mindsetter Game is being played in many countries worldwide and one game has travelled as far as Antarctica. The process of design thinking continues: The international game facilitators are as diverse as their contexts and clients. They all keep helping to further develop and enrich the game with their feedback, ideas and enthusiasm. And they are experiencing and proving how game-based learning and SF together provide both depth and light-heartedness!

The mindsetter game

discover, reflect and co-create

The Mindsetter in coaching and therapy

The coaching/ therapy version is holding space for people and their preferred future. The 96 questions of the four quadrants invite players to define a goal and…

…imagine their preferred future (Quadrant 1: Best hopes),

What will achieving their best hopes look like in everyday life? What difference will that make?

…become aware of what’s already working (Quadrant 2: “If something works, do more of it.”)

What are the first small signs of positive change? What tells the client that the desired future is possible? (Quadrant 3: “If something doesn’t work, do something different”). What skills can they develop? What do they want to experiment with?

…identify helpers and resources (Quadrant 4).
Which people, skills, hobbies, personal strengths, strategies or other factors are supportive and helpful? And what else?

Solution focus and game-based learning:
The players are invited to look at their goal and the path towards it from different perspectives. Furthermore, the game stimulates collaboration and co-creation. Participants witness each other’s process and progress. As a former participant put it: “Talking about your goal in the presence of others gives it a new level of importance. Together they celebrate successes or co-create new ideas. They are even encouraged to cheat (= change the rules of the game). The coach or therapist is invited to trust the process and lead from behind: “The game” is asking the questions.

The Mindsetter in teaching SF- A firework of reflexion

The training version of the game facilitates an active and collaborative knowledge acquisition. It invites students and practitioners to reflect on their way of working through an SF lens by asking them to:

…share and discuss what’s already working (Quadrant 1: „If something works, do more of it.”)
If we see them at work on a really good day: What de we notice about them? Which interventions do they like using at what makes them so valuable?

... explore and experiment: What would they like to see or do differently and what difference will that make? (Quadrant2: “If something doesn’t work, do something different”). Which positive change have they made in their workstyle and what was the effect? What are their professionl goals and difference will that make?

… reflect on the process of co-creating with the client (Quadran 3: Leading from one step behind) If the client is the expert, what’s their role? How can they use their experience in such a way that they still adopt a “Not knowing stance”?

… And what to do if something isn’t even broken but they feel like they ought to be fixing it anyway? (Quadrant 4: If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it).
What are their next steps if a client cannot describe a goal or desired future? How do they stay cooperative if- for whatever reason- they disagree with the client’s goal (e.g. out of genuine concern for the safety of the client or others around them).

True to the objective of ‘serious gaming’, the Mindsetter allows players to grasp the new knowledge and internalise it efficiently. The playful framework creates a sense of connection in the small groups, making it easier for insecure or reserved participants to open up. This benefits the learning environment significantly. The SF questions inspire a change of perspective and invite participants to define their own goals and implement behavioural changes where they wish to do so.

Mindsetter play was an effective way to consolidate solution focus skills at a recent five day training I conducted in the US.

I have also found it useful in group supervision with my staff therapists. I am happy to have The Mindsetter as a valuable training tool.

– Pamela King (USA) –

I took the Mindsetter game to Antarctica to introduce 88 Women in STEMM to SF..

They loved it!! What I like about the game is you can help people understand the difference it makes when we ask solution focus questions. A lot of the women who played it are scientists so naturally go to want to problem solve. The game helped them experience the principles of solution focus without having to share much information before they played.

Since being back in Australia I have continued to use the game in workshops I run. And still I receive positive feedback on how much participants love it! I highly recommend The Mindsetter game for many contexts.

– Annette Gray, Sidney, Australia –

Really great game that encourages people to look at their life and goals in a holistic way. In the classroom and meetings it is a great way to be inclusive and aware of people’s needs and help them (as experts of themselves) to empower themselves to achieve their goals). Life changing and I love using it!

– Sakina Goraine (Business Management Lecturer) –

#Gamification in Therapie und Beratung – lustvoll nicht nur für die Klienten!
Gesa Döringer danke dir für den heutigen virtuellen Austausch über das, von dir entwickelte Spiel der #mindsetter, für Deine Begeisterung, Kreativität und Professionalität.
Ein tolles Instrument für die Therapie und Beratung, das Coaching und Ausbildung. Konsequent lösungs- und ressourcenorientiert umgesetzt, vielfältig einsetzbar. Ich werde es ausprobieren!
Wer ist ebenso neugierig und offen mehr Erfahrungen mit dem #mindsetter zu sammeln?

– Claudia Feuz Sartori – 

Here’s some feedback from the U of M students:

It was fun!
They were surprised at how much information you can get from clients (based on going through one question at a time).
The client version helped them to conceptualize how a session worked.
The questions facilitated storytelling from clients.
The questions were thought-provoking and deep.

They realized that some questions needed some prompts or follow-up questions to get more information.

– Erica Ramos, Canada –

We tested the game last week for a team workshop kick-off-event 🙂

We thought we should set 1 team objective around which we should adapt the questions. Some questions were easier to adapt. Others we just answered them and then tried to find a connection to our objective, which worked like magic most of the times.

It was a great choice indeed and I am glad the universe somehow linked us and we got in touch 🙂

I will keep you updated on our progresses…but feel free to check in  :))))

– Paula Avram, Rumania – 

My team was already very enthusiastic about The Mindsetter last month and today I finally tried it out as part of therapy. I played it in two groups and adapted it slightly for each group. The Mindsetter was really rewarding, and my highlight was the smile from a patient after the feedback from the reflecting team. I will
definitely be using the game regularly and wanted to thank you again for this valuable therapy material!

– Mona Heinrich, Berlin –

Gesa, the game is brilliant! We had our second day of training for new staff yesterday and they were excited to be the first group to try it. They loved it! The questions are wonderful, and prompted some fantastic discussions. Everyone left feeling energized, supported, and excited to take their new knowledge and mindset to apply in their work. Thank you so very much! I can’t wait to play it again and again! Congratulations, and thank you again.

– Abi Flanagan, Canada –

“The game is a refreshingly interactive and engaging experience that blends the principles of solution-focused therapy with gamification, resulting in an innovative and powerful tool that could be used in a range of ways – for personal reflection, as a learning experience, and for personal/professional development.” Volkert, A. (2023). The Mindsetter Game by Gesa Doringer. Journal of Solution Focused
Practices, 7(1).