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Friends for Youth

Group Intervention for Anxiety

Paula Barrett, Hayley Lowry-Webster and Cynthia Turner

Materials Needed
Required Supplies Group Leader Manual Student Manual (ideally, for each student in group) Optional supplies Chalkboard /Dry erase board Crayons, Markers, Color pencils

Rationale of the FRIENDS Program

FRIENDS will help children to learn important skills and techniques to cope with and manage anxiety. The word FRIEND will help them to remember each new skill taught throughout the program. Children will discover different ways to be a friend to themselves and to others.

F R I E N D S How am I Feeling? Relax and Feel Good Inner Thoughts Explore Plans Nice Work, Reward Yourself! Dont forget to Practice! Stay Calm

Theoretical Principles Behind The FRIENDS Program

FRIENDS is based on a theoretical model that addresses three processes: Cognitive (mind) relates to inner thoughts we have about ourselves, others and situations. Physiological (body) relates to physical reactions our bodies feel when we feel worried, nervous or afraid. Learning (behavior) relates to the acquisition of new skills to cope and manage anxiety.

Developing Cognitive, Physiological, & Learning Skills

Cognitive exercises encourage the use of positive self-talk and self-reward. Children learn coping strategies and to change unhelpful negative thoughts.

Developing Cognitive, Physiological, & Learning Skills

Physiological exercises involve identifying an awareness of body clues (butterflies in the stomach or sweaty palms) and practicing relaxation and deep breathing.

Developing Cognitive, Physiological, & Learning Skills

Learning involves a six step problem-solving process, exposure to fear-provoking experiences, in which children learn to break down a feared situation into manageable steps, and the establishment of reward systems.

Design of FRIENDS Program

Participants Designed for children aged 12-16. Size Small groups (up to 12) are recommended when a single group leader is available. When used in the classroom setting it is important to have a high ratio of group leaders to participants.

Design of FRIENDS Program

Environment There should always be enough chairs for all participants. Arranging chairs in a circle can help facilitate a sense of membership and participation. Groups should be held in an interruption-free and confidential setting

Design of FRIENDS Program

Program Structure
There are 10 sessions in the Program, however it may take more than one meeting to complete a session. Sessions should be scheduled at least once a week There are four parent sessions that can be incorporated into the Program Booster sessions are encouraged to review central components and gains. Booster sessions are recommended one month and three months after the program is complete.