Paula Barrett Resilience .pdf
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Paula Barrett Resilience
My Friends Youth Blog
The staff and volunteers in this term’s My Friends youth group were privileged to meet
and work with so many enthusiastic and inspiring adolescents. It was pleasing to see the
participants at ease so quickly and able to open up and partake in group discussions.
This term, we interviewed some of our My Friends Youth participants to find out what
they thought of the whole experience. When participants were asked how they felt before
coming to the groups, a common answer aligned with something along the lines of “quite
nervous as I didn’t know what to expect”. Most of the participants had never done a
similar program before, so a lot of the content taught and the way in which it was delivered
was fairly new to a lot of them. As the weeks progressed, many felt their nerves dissipate
only to be replaced with feelings of excitement and comfort. *James (12), compared
coming to the group sessions to going to a friend’s house.
When asked what their favourite part of the program is, answers varied from “The
relaxation activities and mindfulness” to “The interactive activities where we all get to
work together as a group”. A favourite of James’s was the no shoes part! *Annie (11), really
enjoyed the group discussions where everyone got to share their answers. She said she
learnt so much just by listening to other people’s experiences and suggestions. During the
groups, a noticeable favourite activity was the warm up activity. We began each session
by going around in a circle and saying what we are thankful for and something kind we
did for someone else. This kind of positivity from the get go helped everyone settle in and
open their minds.
What useful skills did the participants learn and when will they use them? According to
*Jennifer (13), she has learnt how to better interact with others in a social setting and is
looking forward to using step plans to help her work through future challenges. She has
found that the skills taught are helpful to use in everyday life and she will try to implement
many of them into her daily routine. Another participant said that she’s more appreciative
of her friends and brother and will make an effort to be kinder to them. A couple of
participants mentioned that over the past 5 weeks they have already been practising
breathing exercises before bed in order to relax.
In conclusion, the end of our Term 3 My Friends Youth was bittersweet. There was a lot
of excitement to have accomplished the course however we will miss all of the lovely
We now look forward to our Term 4 groups commencing at the end of October.
The FRIENDS Team.
*names changed for privacy reasons
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