A team-building, relaxed, icebreaker game for small groups

How To Play Psychiatrist

Have the entire group sit in a circle; a room with couches and chairs are fine, as long as everybody is pretty much facing each other. Select one person to go out of the room.

Now the group decides on a "problem;" explained: Everybody is the person to their left, or has green socks on, or everybody on one half of the room is one person and everybody else is another; there are hundreds of variations - be creative!

Once a "problem" has been determined, have the selected person come back in the room. Now, he/she has to stand in the middle of the circle and go around, in any order they want, and ask people yes/no questions. Popular questions include:

"Are you a guy or a girl?"
"Are you wearing a sweatshirt?"
"Do you have brown hair?"
"Are you wearing socks?"
And endless numbers of questions of course.

People who are asked the questions have to answer them, keeping their "problem" in mind. For example, if everybody is the person to the left, and I am a blond girl but a red-headed guy is sitting to my left, I have to answer like I am the guy to my left. So if the "It" person asks me "Do you have red hair?" I'd answer "Yes." If the "It" person asks if I am a guy, I'd say "Yes!" This can be pretty funny at times!

Now, let's say someone answers incorrectly? Anyone who realizes that person has answered wrongly now yells "Psychiatrist!!" At this call, everybody gets up and moves to another place. But their "problems" now apply to the way the room is situated - if I am the person two to the right, I am now whoever is newly the person two to the right.

The point of this is for the "It" person to figure out the group's "problem." Once he/she has, the last person to answer a question goes out of the room and is "It." (Or whoever the group decides on to be "It")

This game is a huge hit at my youth group, the kids beg to play it every week. As you get more comfortable with it, you can start doing crazier and more challenging things; just remember that everybody has to have the same problem. (Otherwise things get confusing!)

Have fun!!


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on 19 February 2009


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Another way to explain the game:

The big picture is:
The group has a PROBLEM.
They will have a PSYCHIATRIST, who will try to figure out the PROBLEM by asking each person a question.

Let's say the PROBLEM was "Touching nose at some point when answering a question,"
Then while answering the PSYCHIATRIST's question, each person will be touching his/her nose at some point.
The PSYCHIATRIST will need to notice this pattern as the PROBLEM while interacting with the group members.

Posted by CHRISTINE 5 years ago

Played this at a college church retreat and I loved it. We played it whenever we had free time.

Posted by Tania 5 years ago

Here's the problem- intro:

The group is SICK. Something's wrong with them.
They need a PSYCHIATRIST to figure it out for them.
(Their sickness is only one - everyone in the group is sick of the same thing)
For example: They all say "my mum" or when someone asks them a question, the person behind the asker - STANDS UP.
They are a really strange bunch.
There's a KNOCK on the door..
Hmm. a visitor!
Let's let him in and entertain his questions.
He asks us questions we don't know --who he is.
So we let him ask us questions.
When one of us makes a mistake - WE ALL YELL - PSYCHIATRIST!
And run around like chickens looking for a new seat.
Now our visitor (Who we figure to be a psychiatrist by now) is MORE confused and he or she will NEVER figure out what's wrong with us!


Posted by jomarhilario 5 years ago

I'm confused as well and this seems like an interesting game. Do you have to let the person (It) out of the room, know what the problem is once they have entered the room? Because that makes sense to me.


Leader ask it: Problem: who broke the glass?
It investigates: "Are you a guy or a girl?"
"Are you wearing a sweatshirt?"
"Do you have brown hair?"
"Are you wearing socks?"

Posted by Yonike Octave 5 years ago

This games seems very interesting, but I don't understand it fully, can it be explained another way? Thanks in advance

Posted by Cathrine 5 years ago

Can somebody please explain this better to me

Posted by Maria 5 years ago

I am so confused! If I can’t understand this I won’t be able to explain it to a group :-)

Posted by Nic 6 years ago

I don't quite understand...can someone explain a walk through of this game? It sounds fun, but I really am not following here. The "problem" sounds like it will be too vague for the person that left the room to know where to even start.

Posted by Braden 6 years ago

We played this on Sunday & the high schoolers LOVED it & played over & over. Some of the best rounds were:
- responding in an impression of one of the leaders;
- when someone is asked a question the person opposite them stands up (behind the psychiatrist),
- touching the nose at some point when answering
- including the phrase 'my mum' somewhere when answering.

Posted by Simeon Hawkins 7 years ago

Wow! I love this game, could play for hours! Really passes time!

Posted by GAME LUVER 12 years ago

hey this is an awesome game!! when we play it we give everybody someone elses name,and it is great but im not quite sure how the green socks problem would work??

Posted by kim 13 years ago

hahaha.. i think it's such a great game, but i cannot catch up with it yet..

Posted by Jenna 13 years ago

Wow. Haha! That sounds like a really fun game. I'm going to try it tonight at our fellowship night with the youth! WooHoo! Thanks!

Posted by Richard Haddad 13 years ago

This is a very funny game but we call it "The Lawyer" Meaning the person on the left is going to speak for me when ever a question is asked unto me. But we are put in the middle if I speak for my own or the "Lawyer(person on the left)" is put in the middle when he forgets to answer.

Posted by Lorie 13 years ago
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