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The Brave Series: Part 7 & 8 – Working in the Real World

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The seventh session focused on problem solving as a technique for overcoming anxious feelings about a particular issue. To be honest, this session was a real disappointment compared to the previous few. While I recognise that the technique of effective problem solving is important, this session was overly simplistic. There was also a lot of writing and not as many interactive activities.

After completing a quiz about last week’s topic the idea of problem solving was introduced. I think most teenagers do this process every day so it’s not a new concept. The session clearly explained the usefulness of being able to make decisions and solve a problem in order to avoid anxiety. Participants were encouraged to write down a series of decisions for the problem and the consequences that entailed each. Essentially, this technique is the same as making a pros and cons list about a decision before making it. The session used cartoon stories to illustrate the idea and a series of survey-like questionnaires.

Although this session did not impress, BRAVE have set the bar high in previous sessions. The idea of problem solving is certainly a necessary skill and I have every confidence that the creators of BRAVE have a purpose for this session.

In the eighth and final session of the BRAVE program the final letter of the acronym was the focus; E for ‘enjoy yourself’. This session perfectly brought together all knowledge and wrapped up the BRAVE program well. The way this session explained how to fit all the pieces together was helpful and I really saw how using the strategies and steps taught in this online program could work in the real world.

The session began by explaining that while suffering from anxiety you still need to enjoy yourself. This is so important, as often anxiety suffers don’t get told often enough to continue living their lives and doing things they love.

The idea that rewards should be given for effort not perfect achievement is again part of this session. The activities and stories provided showed that by focusing on positives and rewarding yourself you can enjoy yourself even in the midst of battling with anxiety.

The BRAVE Program, which has been trialled and evaluated over the last 13 years, is an online self-help course that allows young people and their parents to seek support for anxiety in the comfort of their own homes. Read one young person’s take on the new online programme which is supported by Beyond Blue.

Brianna McClean

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