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The RAP-A Program

RAP-A was developed to meet the need for a universal resilience building program for teenagers which could
be readily implemented in a school setting. A universal program targets all teenagers in a particular grade as
opposed to those at higher risk for depression (indicated or selective approaches) or a treatment group. It is
easier to recruit and engage adolescents in a universal approach where students do not face the risk of
stigmatisation by being singled out for intervention. The Resourceful Adolescent Program (RAP: Shochet,
Holland & Whitefield, 1997) was developed to meet this need.
RAP-A is a positively focused program that consists of 11 sessions of approximately 50 minutes duration. The
program is run with groups of adolescents varying in size from 8 to 16 students, usually as an integral part of
the school curriculum (from grades 7 to 10). RAP-A attempts to integrate both cognitive-behavioural and
interpersonal approaches to improve coping skills and build resilience to promote positive development.
Program Content
The RAP-A Program draws on the metaphor in the children's story of the "Three
Little Pigs" in which only the house made of bricks withstood the attacks of the
Big Bad Wolf. Each week participating adolescents develop their own personal
'RAP-A house' by laying down different personal resource bricks (e.g. 'Personal
Strength Bricks', 'Keeping Calm Bricks', 'Problem Solving Bricks'), as the
program unfolds.
The cognitive-behavioural component provides the techniques of keeping calm,
cognitive restructuring and problem solving. The interpersonal component stresses the importance of
promoting harmony and dealing with conflict and role disputes by developing an understanding of the
perspective of others. The common thread that runs through the program is the teaching of techniques to
maintain self-esteem in the face of a variety of stressors.
In the traditional RAP-A there are eleven group sessions, conducted weekly for between 40 and 50 minutes
during school class time, with one facilitator per group. However, some collapsing of sessions if longer periods
of time are available is possible (for example, six sessions of one and a half hours). Sessions are focussed
around seven major areas:
the recognition and affirmation of existing strengths and resources
promoting self-management and self-regulation skills in the face of stress
cognitive restructuring
creating a personal problem solving model
building and accessing psychological support networks
considering the other's perspective
keeping and making the peace

The content and process of each session of the program is specified in a

Group Leader's Manual - 2nd Edition (Shochet & Wurfl, 2015). Participant
workbooks - 2nd Edition (Shochet & Wurfl, 2015) are provided to each student in the program.
Click here to see a table showing the titles and main aims of each of the sessions in the RAP-A Program.
Careful evaluation, including controlled trials, has shown RAP-A to be a successful preventive intervention for
adolescent depression. For summaries of some of the major trials please seeResearch. For copies of reprints
of publications, please email
Implementing the Program
Selecting Group Leaders
Who is eligible?
The role of group leader is critical to the effectiveness of the RAP program. Group leaders need to be
educational or mental health workers with specific training in the facilitation of RAP-A groups. The following
people may be suitable for facilitating the RAP-A program.
Psychologists/ Social workers / Occupational therapists / Psychiatrists / Mental Health Nurses
School counsellors/ Guidance officers/Chaplains
Community workers

Training events are offered at regular intervals in Brisbane and Sydney, and throughout Australia on request.
Individual or small group Skype training is available for overeas consumers. See Training for details of
upcoming courses.
The RAP team travels to alternative locations to provide training. To date, the team has travelled to all
Australian states and territories, as well as to New Zealand, South Africa, Korea, the U.S.A. and parts of
Europe to provide training. See Training for information on how to access training
Group Participants and Size
The RAP program has been designed for adolescents aged 12-16.
Small group sizes (up to 15 participants) are optimal when implementing the RAP program. This helps
students to form good connections with other group members and the adult facilitator. It is the belief of the RAP
researchers that the small groups contribute a great deal to the success of the RAP Program.
RAP-A Resources
RAP-A Group Leader's Manual
This 139-page manual has been designed to provide detailed information about the content of each of the
eleven sessions. In addition, the manual describes each of the activities used
to demonstrate the concepts being introduced throughout RAP-A. Each
session begins by outlining the resource requirements, and ends with a copy
of the hand-outs. Found in the Participant Workbook.
RAP-A Participant's Workbook
The RAP-A Workbook comprises all of the activities and information required
for the program's individual and group activities. A Participant Workbook is
required for each adolescent to write in, and keep at the end of the program. (75 pages)
Supplementary DVD
With the purchase of a RAP-A or RAP-P Group Leader Manual, a Supplementary DVD is provided. This DVD
provides supplementary material to be used in activities throughout the programs.
RAP-A Indigenous Supplement
The RAP-A Indigenous supplement has been designed to provide guidelines for the Adaptation and
implementation of the RAP Program for indigenous adolescents. It describes a variety of adaptations that have
been made to RAP-A to make it more suitable for indigenous teenagers.

Sessions, key messages and aims in the Resourceful Adolescent Program (RAP-A)

Session Key Message Goals

Getting to know you We're interested in you! Establish rapport and build trust between
Let's work together as a group members and group facilitator.

Building self-esteem I'm OK. I'm building on my Introduction to program elements and
strengths. concepts of self-esteem and personal
strengths explored.

Introduction to the RAP Our body clues and our Links between behaviour, body clues,
model self-talk affect the way we self-talk and emotions are explored,
feel and behave. concepts of ‘risky’ and ‘resourceful’
responses are introduced.
Keeping calm Be a detective. Find your Detailed exploration of body signals
body clues and keep calm related to positive and negative feelings,
strategies to relax and manage stress and
. anger are explored.

Self-talk I am what I think. Exploration of how thoughts affect
feelings and behaviour; the skills of
cognitive restructuring.
Thinking resourcefully You can change your Continues session 5 with a focus on
thinking. challenging risky negative thoughts and
promoting positive self-talk.

Finding solutions to There are solutions to my Outlining of a problem solving model and
problems problems. applying it to interpersonal situations.

8. There is always help at

Identifying and accessing Identification and development of a social
support networks support network for good times and bad

Considering the other There are two sides to Developing skills to identify the body
person's perspective every story. Take time out, clues, self-talk and emotions that the
stop and think. other person might be experiencing in
interpersonal situations.

Keeping the peace and Keep the peace and make Strategies to prevent or manage conflict
making the peace the peace. or to move on from conflict situations.

Putting it all together Being a resourceful Review of program content, termination
adolescent really works! and celebration.
Let's celebrate.