A Common Friend To You & Your Child – Friends
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“FRIENDS” is a well known in the field of psychology. It is an especially designed program by Dr. Paula Barrett to help children as well as adults. The key area of focus of this program is anxiety and depression. The program helps in preventing, diagnosing and treating depression and anxiety in children and adults.

Phillip Kendall, an American psychologist developed a program called “Coping Cat” to treat children suffering from separation anxiety, avoidant disorder or over-anxiety. FRIENDS program by Dr. Paula Barrett is inspired by this program. In the year 1991, Dr. Paula modified and extended Phillip’s work, and created “Coping Koala” program. This program was focused on treating children having anxiety in a group system with the involvement of their family.

The birth of FRIENDS

In the year 1998, along with a group of researchers from Queensland’s Griffith University, Dr Paula Barrett made significant changes in “Coping Koala” program. This refined work was titled as FRIENDS. This protocol is created with user-friendly early prevention and intervention methods.

FRIENDS program is developed in accordance with the psychology of different age groups. Dr Paula Barrett designed different programs different age groups. Although the main strategies of these programs are same but the implementing methods are different. The different programs of FRIENDS according to targeted age group are –

“Fun FRIENDS” for 4 to 7 years old children.

“FRIENDS for life”, specially designed for 8 to 11 years old children.

“My FRIENDS Youth”, special program for 12 to 15 years old children.

“Adult Resilience for LIFE”, a program especially designed for 16 years and above people.

“FRIENDS” program uses positive psychology methods, cognitive behavioral patterns, etc. to treat people. The first two programs targeting children of age group 4-7 & 8-11 years, are based on play techniques such storybooks, puppets, coloring and painting activities, etc. However, the last two programs targeting 1-15 & 16 and above age group are based on written activities, role plays and group discussions.

Meaning of FRIENDS

“FRIENDS” acronym stands for

F for Feelings

R for Remembering to Relax

I for I can try to do my best

E for Exploring solutions & coping steps

N for Now prize yourself

D for Do it regularly

S for Smile

Different Nations using FRIENDS

“FRIENDS” is a globally recognized program and thousands of people are reaping the benefits to this program. The various countries using this program include –

1. Ireland

2. Brazil

3. Norway

4. United Kingdom

5. Japan

6. New Zealand

7. Peru

8. Mexico

9. Canada

10. Hong Kong

11. Australia

12. Finland

13. Netherlands

14. Singapore

15. Portugal

Translation of FRIENDS

“FRIENDS” program is written by Dr. Paula Barrett in English. However, due to its success in treating people, user-friendly approach and popularity, the program is translated in a number of languages. The different languages in which this program has been translated includes –

1. Arabic

2. Spanish

3. Cutch

4. Russian

5. Finnish

6. Japanese

7. Portuguese


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