Adolescence is a transition period in which new challenges such as higher study loads, peer pressure, friendship difficulties, and physical development are faced. As this can be a stressful and difficult time for many adolescents, My FRIENDS Youth empowers its participants with positive coping skills and resilience to navigate setbacks and transition successfully to senior high school.
My FRIENDS Youth focuses on integrity to self and positivity in the face of peer pressure, which is crucial during this volatile time of life. The program equips participants to build positive relationships with others with confidence, self-esteem, and brave and positive verbal and non-verbal communication.
Developed by Dr Paula Barrett, My FRIENDS Youth is based on years of research and is used world-wide to empower countless individuals.
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 elax (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 everyday with friends /family)
- Stay happy and talk to support networks
The effectiveness of the FRIENDS Programs is independent of the chosen mode of delivery.
Accordingly, the mode of delivery is entirely flexible, provided the following three guidelines are met:
- 01 Facilitators have first been trained in the program/s being delivered;
- 02 The sequence and structure of the program/s is followed; and
- 03 Each participant receives his or her own private book, which can be used to review the skills practiced, during delivery of the programs. For example, at home with parents, carers, siblings or extended family.
Specifically, the following modes of delivery can be used and adapted to suit the needs of the participants and school curriculum:
- 1.5 hour weekly sessions over a single school term (preferably term 2 or 3);
- 45min weekly sessions over the course of 2 school terms (preferably terms 2 and 3);
- 15min daily sessions (after morning tea), where the same activity is repeated daily for a few weeks, using new examples until the skills become second nature;
- School holiday programs – 2 hours across 5 days; and/or
- Weekend intensives - over 2-3 full days.