In this game, the group has a problem. The psychiatrist has to figure out what it is. This icebreaker requires no prep or materials. It works well for six or more people.
- Choose one person to be the psychiatrist. This person leaves the room.
- The rest of the group decides what the group’s problem is. This is a pretend problem, but everyone is going to act like it is true. It can be anything, but more complicated problems will take longer to diagnose. Here are some examples:
- All of the boys are girls and all of the girls are boys. (This is an easy one – good to start with.)
- All of the boys are wearing pink socks.
- Everyone takes on the identity of the person to their right.
- Everyone thinks they are a superhero.
- The psychiatrist returns to the room and starts asking individuals questions. Due to doctor/patient confidentiality, they cannot ask the name of the patient or their symptoms. Some examples:
- Are you a boy or a girl?
- What color is your shirt?
- What color are your eyes?
- Each person must answer yes or no as if they really have the problem. For example, if the problem is that all of the boys have pink socks, then if a boy is asked “Are you wearing white socks?” , then he would answer no, even if he really had white socks on, because according to the problem, his socks are pink.
- If someone answers incorrectly and is caught, the group yells “Psychiatrist!” and everyone switches places. Sometimes this affects how people answer, sometimes it does not. For example, if the problem is that you are the person to your left, then you are a different person after everyone switches.
- When the psychiatrist thinks he knows the problem, he presents his diagnosis.
There are many variations to this game. You might limit it to yes/no questions. You might only do problems which require everyone to take someone else’s identity. After your group has played several times and have the hang of it, they might become more creative with their problems.