Anxiety Groups

Anxiety Groups

The Anxiety Groups offered at St. Clair Child & Youth Services are evidence-based prevention programs proven to be effective in building emotional resilience and teaching strategies that are practical and useful for coping with times of worry and change. These are important skills that can help children cope with stress, which they can use throughout their life.  The FRIENDS program was developed by Dr. Paula Barrett, a clinical child psychologist in Australia, and is being used in schools and clinics around the world.  Each group is based on the internally recognized FRIENDS program. Groups consist of 6-10 sessions.  

In our experience the most success for children and youth comes with the support of the adults in their lives closest to them. 

FRIENDS for Life 

The FRIENDS for Life Program normalizes the emotional state of anxiety and promotes self-confidence in dealing with difficult or anxiety provoking situations. It helps children acquire important life skills, which include:

  • Awareness of their feelings
  • Relaxation skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • How to face feared situations gradually
  • Building peer support
  • Identifying positive role models
  • Looking for pleasant events
  • Positive thinking skills
  • Use of positive self-talk
  • Self-rewards for being brave
  • Evaluation of performance in terms of effort and partial success

Fun Friends

The Fun FRIENDS program focuses on helping young children to increase social-emotional skills, coping skills, and resilience to help prevent the onset of emotional and behavioural problems in later life. Children, parents, and teachers are taught the intervention skills with the aim of promoting wellness and providing children and families with the skills needed to conquer challenges and adversity.

The Fun FRIENDS program teaches children and families skills such as:

  • Smiling and looking people in the eye
  • Speaking with a confident voice
  • Talking about feelings and also understanding other people's feelings (development of empathy)
  • Helping other people - peers, family and teachers
  • Body clues
  • How to relax
  • Making friends
  • Being brave and happy
  • Trying new things - making step plans 'Red' and 'Green' thoughts, and other essential life skills