The sixth session of the BRAVE programme (Brave Online programme) introduces a really interesting tool used to overcome anxiety. It’s called the brave ladder. It’s a system designed to help an anxiety sufferer reach certain goals. The participant choses a goal that currently they can’t do because of anxiety towards the situation, for example sleeping over at a friend’s house. Then smaller steps towards that goal are chosen, such as sleeping in another room of the house or sleeping at a relative’s house. Each time the participant completes a step they get a reward. The idea is that enough resistance and confidence is built to achieve the final goal.
I love this idea! It is such a useful tool; simple and effective. I think it can be used by all sorts of different people to reach many different goals.
This week’s session really just explained the brave ladder and provided one to print out and use. It also gave useful tips and hints while using the ladder. The session encouraged users to practice relaxation and activating helpful thoughts at each step in the ladder. It also warned that the participant must stay in each situation until their anxiety was reduced.
The only minor thing about the brave ladder that puts me off is the reward system, to me it feels a little like a dog receiving a treat for being good. However, I realise that rewarding yourself for completing the tasks in the ladder is a useful way of encouragement. This resource is wonderful and I have no doubt of its ability to help teenagers 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.