The Unknown Place Game – A Brief Intervention to Navigate Life, Therapy, and Change Processes

Description: Flexible Context Sensitivity and Functional Coherence are central in RFT-based therapies. However, these concepts are quite complex. In order to inform clients in a natural and experiential way, I developed the “Unknown Place Game”. Playing the game with individual clients or in groups needs about 10 to 15 minutes and can easily be done in different settings. There is no right or wrong and no winning or losing, it is just playing and sorting. It uses everyday speech and midlevel terms. 

This intervention aims at helping clients to navigate life in a context sensible and functional way according to what matters to them, and at the same time help professionals to navigate the course of the changing process as a simple ongoing case conceptualization.

In the workshop we will first play the game as a group (like in group settings). We will then briefly discuss the inherent concepts. The use in therapy will be demonstrated and exercised in role play. 


1. Understanding Flexible Context Sensitivity and Functional Coherence: Participants will gain an understanding of these key concepts in RFT-based therapies through experiential learning with the “Unknown Place Game.”

2. Applying the “Unknown Place Game” in Therapy: Attendees will learn how to use the “Unknown Place Game” as a brief intervention to help clients navigate life in a context-sensitive and functional way.

3. Enhancing Case Conceptualization Skills: Clinicians will develop skills to use the game for ongoing case conceptualization, aiding in the navigation of change processes in therapy.

Competencies Acquired:

1. Practical Application of RFT Concepts: Proficiency in applying flexible context sensitivity and functional coherence through the “Unknown Place Game” in therapeutic settings.

2. Intervention Techniques: Ability to implement the “Unknown Place Game” as a brief intervention to facilitate clients’ understanding and navigation of life changes.

3. Ongoing Case Conceptualization: Enhanced skills in using experiential interventions for continuous case conceptualization and guiding therapeutic processes.

Bibliographic Titles:

1. Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (2001). *Relational Frame Theory: A Post-Skinnerian Account of Human Language and Cognition*. Springer.

2. Törneke, N. (2010). *Learning RFT: An Introduction to Relational Frame Theory and Its Clinical Applications*. New Harbinger Publications.

3. Wilson, K. G., & DuFrene, T. (2009). *Mindfulness for Two: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Approach to Mindfulness in Psychotherapy*. New Harbinger Publications.

4. McHugh, L., & Stewart, I. (2012). *The Self and Perspective Taking: Contributions and Applications from Modern Behavioral Science*. New Harbinger Publications.

5. Blackledge, J. T., Ciarrochi, J., & Deane, F. P. (2009). *Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Contemporary Theory, Research and Practice*. Australian Academic Press.

Ralf Steinkopff

Born and living in Berlin (Germany). Married, two adult children. I have studied Psychology in Berlin, with a 4 years stay in Rome (Italy). Living in Italy helped me understand how culture and language shape people, and build different perspectives on how to live. 

I became a Behavior therapist in 1993, Clinical Hypnosis 1995, Systemic therapist 1999, Psychotherapist for Children and Adolescents 1999. Psychotherapist in an Addiction Counseling Center 1993-1997, Counseling Center for Children and Families 1997-2003, Working in private practice since 1997.

I think I heard for the first time of ACT in 2009, red the first books, got curious and dived deeply into ACT and CBS. I work as a ACT therapist since 2012, ACL Global Leader since 2016, ACT Peer Reviewed Trainer 2018. Giving ACT Workshops since 2015, FAP Workshops since 2017, Clinical RFT Workshops since 2020, on Congresses, Psychotherapeutic Educational Instituts, Clinics and Continuing Education Centers.