FRIENDS for Life

FRIENDS for Life

A Resilience Program for Children Aged 8 – 10 Years to Prevent and Reduce Anxiety.

Constant or excessive worry or fear about normal everyday activities or uncontrollable events can affect your child’s learning. FRIENDS for Life is an evidence-based, interactive universal program for the prevention and reduction of anxiety. Developed by Professor and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Paula Barrett, FRIENDS for Life is a widely researched program designed to inspire confidence in children and boost their social and emotional intelligence – key predictors of academic outcomes and school success.

Concepts, Skills and Strategies

Session 1: Working in groups, understanding and accepting our similarities and differences, identifying happy experiences, gaining self-awareness, the importance of showing our feelings, recognising and responding to our own and other people’s feelings, empathy training

Session 2: Listening to body clues to understanding feelings, exploring methods of relaxation, the importance of rest and quiet time, how to feel good and help others, mindfulness and attention training, understanding how our thoughts affect our feelings and behaviour

Session 3: Challenging or replacing unhelpful thoughts, thinking in positive helpful ways, exploring ways to cope with difficult or challenging situations, practice coping step plans

Session 4: Understanding the qualities of a true friend, establishing value-based role models and support teams, understanding the importance of role models and support teams in helping to overcome challenges, step plan for solving problems, brainstorming solutions and consider long-term consequences

Session 5: Thinking like a winner, staying calm and talking to supports, preparing for future challenges, sharing positives, practising our praising

Parallel Program 

Learn the same language, at the same time and strengthen resilience in your whole family.

“This journey together as a family has been both a bonding and positive experience – a shared growth together. Our child has been equipped with skills that has enabled her to identify her feelings and the power to be proactive in how she deals with them. She has openly discussed what has occurred in the program without being prompted and has enjoyed the ritual of the program on a Saturday. I am very confident that skills learned in the program will be referred to in the future.”


Family of 4, Leeming

Parent Strategies Workshop

We understand that parenting can be stressful at times and changing psychological and physical habits takes time. The Parent Strategies Workshop addresses common childhood challenges and how to build resilience in the family. Parents/caregivers also have the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback.

The Parent Strategies Workshop takes place during Session 1 and 2 of FRIENDS for Life.

Adult Resilience: Strong not Tough

Resilient people are more capable of dealing with stress, achieving goals and controlling anxiety. They have the ability to think positively about themselves, the world and others even when times are tough. Adult Resilience: Strong not Tough is your own personal policy to protect yourself from feeling overwhelming emotional distress, which can affect all areas of your life if not managed.

The Adult Resilience: Strong not Tough Program runs in parallel with Session 3, 4 and 5 of FRIENDS for Life.

Child Only Program

Build resilience in your child.

This option may be suitable for parents/caregivers who cannot attend due to other commitments or their budget but would like their child to build resilience and learn to prevent and reduce anxiety. Please note, children are screened for suitability in the child only program and it may not be appropriate for some children to attend the child only program by themselves.

“My girls have found the program beneficial to learning skills to regulate their emotions. The strategies used in the course will be able to be used throughout the years. I have seen their emotional confidence develop over the last week. Thank you.”


Family of 3, Landsdale

We suggest that social and emotional skills taught to your child in FRIENDS for Life is also practised by all members of the family, across most areas.