My FRIENDS Youth is a group-based development program that gives participants the tools to cope with the new challenges and experiences that come with the 12 to 15-year-old group. Adolescence is a time of change and offers many new challenges such as higher study loads, peer pressure, friendship difficulties as well as physical development. This can be a stressful and difficult time for many adolescents but the My FRIENDS Youth Program arms its participants with positive coping skills and resilience to help get through these situations and more easily transition to more senior high school years.
The My FRIENDS Youth Program helps early-teens deal with these stressful situations by normalising the state of anxiety and teaching participants to regulate their emotions using the “Emotion Thermometer” concept. It also arms them with problem-solving strategies and self-confidence making it easier for them to face challenges and tasks in all aspects of their lives. The My FRIENDS Youth program is evidence based and has been proven by research to decrease anxiety and depression.
My FRIENDS Youth is also able to help early teens resist peer pressure and become positive people which is crucial for their development at this volatile time in their lives. The program helps them build positive relationships with others through confidence, self-esteem and positive communication using eye contact and brave body language and speaking voice.
Developed by Dr Paula Barrett, the My FRIENDS Youth Program is based on years of research and has been deployed worldwide to help countless individuals. Like all our programs, the My FRIENDS Youth Program is divided into 5 sessions of 2-2.5 hours per session and can be administered by trained and certified facilitators. To help participants remember the FRIENDS skills and to provide structure to the program My FRIENDS Youth uses the following acronym:
- Feelings (try to be aware of feelings and regulate negative feelings)
- Relax (do “relaxation” breathing, meditation and have some quiet time)
- I try to think helpful (positive thinking)
- Explore solutions (step plans and problem-solving techniques)
- Now Reward Yourself (quality time together doing fun activities)
- Don’t forget – be brave! (practice skills every day with friends /family)
- Stay happy and talk to support networks
To find out more about the My FRIENDS Youth Program and become an accredited Facilitator please visit FRIENDS Resilience.