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Group Programs

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Scuba Sam’s Social Adventures
Scuba Sam’s Social Adventures

Kids Just Love It!

Scuba Sam’s Social Adventures is a social skills program designed especially for 4-7 year olds. The program aims to improve your child’s social interactions with both peers and adults.It is facilitated in small play-based groups where children learn and practice a range of social skills.

Children attend 6 x 1 hour weekly sessions facilitated during the school term.

The social skills explored in Scuba Sam’s Social Adventures


  • How to make friends and how to be a good friend

The rules of play

  • Initiating and ending social interactions
  • Managing emotions
  • Reading social cues
  • Turn-taking, sharing, listening, playing for fun
  • How to be a good winner and loser


  • How to talk to friends and adults
  • How to conduct reciprocal conversations
  • How to ask for help

Taking directions

  • Listening to and following instructions
  • Respecting teachers and parents
  • Following rules

Download the Scuba Sam Social Adventures Brochure

Secret Agent Society
Secret Agent Society

Introducing the Secret Agent Society

Building the social skills of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) requires a program that meets highly-specialised needs.

Teaching skills such as recognising emotions in oneself and others, expressing emotions in appropriate ways and how to get along with others is essential. Social skills programs used for the general population generally don’t work for children with ASDs.

That’s where the Secret Agent Society comes in.

What is the Secret Agent Society?

The Secret Agent Society is an innovative, evidence-based intervention that uses a suite of games and activities to improve the emotional understanding and social skills of 8-12 year olds with high-functioning ASDs.

This flexible system helps practitioners, parents and teachers address the social difficulties of children with ASDs by teaching children:

  • How to recognise simple and complex emotions in themselves and others.
  • How to express feelings in appropriate ways.
  • How to cope with feelings of anger and anxiety.
  • How to start, maintain and end conversations and play activities with others.
  • How to tell the difference between friendly joking and mean teasing.
  • How to deal with bullying.
  • How to cope with making mistakes.
  • How to cope with novel situations and ask for help when needed.

How the Secret Agent Society is different – and FUN!

The Secret Agent Society creates a fun, engaging and non-threating learning environment for children with ASDs.

The program features a computer game with animated characters and interactive missions that teach children how to recognise and control their emotions and cope with challenging situations.

The game also encourages self-paced learning, provides immediate feedback and minimises the need for real world social interactions while children are learning new skills – a source of anxiety for many with ASDs.

The game is complemented by a range of other strategic play activities. These include Secret Agent card games, ball games, role plays, a walkie-talkie game, foam darts game and board games.

Visual supports include colourful posters, stickers and portable “code” cards that help children learn and apply their new skills in everyday situations.

The evidence base

A randomised-contorlled trial showed significant improvements in the social skills of children participting in the Secret Agent Society intervention. Participants showed greater improvements in social skills and emotional control, both at home and at school.

In fact, the social skills of 76% of child participants improved to within the range of typically developing children. Improvements in social functioning were also maintained five months after the program ended.

How it works

The Secret Agent Society has fewer sessions than many other social skills programs, making it practical, cost effective and reducing the risk of program drop-out. Its various components make it easy for practitioners, parents and teachers to encourage and support the child. Features include:

  • Nine weekly group therapy sessions to teach children how to apply computer game content to everyday contexts.
  • Three month and six month follow-up sessions to encourage skill maintenance.
  • Sessions with parents to show how to support children in using their social skills.
  • Weekly tip sheets for teachers to encourage children’s skills in the classroom and playground.

And the benefits?

Improved social skills are likely to:

  • Help build self-esteem in children with ASDs.
  • Improve children’s relationships with parents, siblings, peers and teachers.
  • Improve children’s academic performance.
  • Reduce bullying and victimisation.
  • Offset the development of depression in later years.
  • Enhance the capacity of children to form friendships now and later in life.


Download the SAS Brochure

Positive Penguins
Positive Penguins

Positive Penguins aims to encourage the development of social skills, emotional self-regulation and resilience in children aged 4-7 years.

Similar emotional educational programs are typically linked to positive developmental outcomes with respect to social competence, behaviour, self-esteem, school engagement and academic performance.

The program consists of eight sessions during which children learn a variety of skills that help them:

  • Identify and understand their own and others’ feelings (empathy);
  • Self-calm and relax to cope with unpleasant emotions;
  • Be friendly and caring towards others;
  • Encourage positive thinking;
  • Solve problems when things don’t go to plan.

The program also includes a concurrent program for parents and joint parent-child activity at the end of every session. The parent program is designed to assist parents to understand the skills their child is learning and discuss strategies for incorporating these skills into daily living.

Download the Positive Penguins Brochure


CHOICES is a group program based on cognitive behavioural therapy principles which aims to encourage the development of social skills, emotional self-regulation and resilience in children aged 8-11 years.

The aim of the CHOICES program is to empower children to recognise that they are in control of their thoughts, feelings and actions, and that they can make choices based on more positive coping strategies when they need to.

The program is run over eight sessions. At the beginning of the program, children receive a passport and each week they embark on an interactive adventure where they collect stamps to signify the fictional location visited and the new skills that were learnt.

Download the CHOICES brochure


Hunter and his Amazing Remote Control
Hunter and his Amazing Remote Control

Hunter and his amazing remote control is a six session program that focuses on teaching children to monitor and control their own behaviour and focus on what is important at the time.

Children are progressively introduced to different buttons on their own personal remote and through direct teaching, role modelling and play-based activities they have an opportunity to test out their new skills.

Download the Hunter and  his amazing remote control brochure


RAP (for Adolescents)
Resourceful Adolescent Program for Adolescents

The Resourceful Adolescent Program for Adolescents (RAP-A) is designed to help adolescents between the ages of 11 and 15 to navigate challenges during a time of considerable change.

The aim of RAP-A is to help adolescents learn coping strategies that will build resilience. These life skills will equip participants with the means to deal with stress, anxiety and depression that may arise during this period of growth or in the future.

About The Program

The RAP-A program builds resilience in pre-teenagers and young adolescents by enhancing individual strengths. It integrates elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy.

The cognitive-behavioural components teach techniques in relaxation and stress management, the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour and problem solving skills. The interpersonal component stresses the importance of promoting harmony, building personal support networks and being able to understand the perspective of others.

Participants learn strategies to help them recover their self-esteem in stressful situations and enhance their ability to bounce back.

RAP-A is a positively focused program suitable for ages 11-15. It consists of seven 60 minute sessions. Session are facilitated in small groups and are generally held on a weekly basis.

Program Outline

Session 1
I’m ok, I’m building on my strengths – An introduction to the program, setting ground rules & reviewing strengths.

Session 2
Body clues and self-talk – Explore body signals relating to positive & negative feelings and learn strategies to relax.

Session 3
I am what I think – Examining how thoughts affect feelings & behaviour and skills in cognitive restructuring.

Session 4
You can change your thinking – Challenging risky negative thoughts & promoting positive self-talk.

Session 5
There are solutions to my problems – Developing skills to identify how others may be experiencing interpersonal situations.

Session 6
Keep the peace & make the peace – Strategies to avoid or manage conflict. When to move away from conflict. A review of the RAP house and celebration.

Each week participant’s develop their own personal ‘RAP-A house’ by laying down different personal resource bricks including ‘Personal Strength Bricks’, ‘Keeping Calm Bricks’ and ‘Problem Solving Bricks’.

How to Register

RAP workshops are held at both The Gap and Stafford clinics several times a year. The program is run in groups of 5 to 10 students and is suitable for ages 11-15 years. Please contact the team at YoungMinds on 3857 0074 to reserve a place.

Download the RAP Brochure


RAP (For Parents of Adolescents)
Resourceful Adolescent Program for Parents

The Resourceful Adolescent Program for Parents (RAP-P)

The Resourceful Adolescent Program for Parents (RAP-P) is designed for parents of adolescents. It has been found to work particularly well for parents of 11-15 year olds.

RAP-P involves three parent sessions. Each session is two hours duration.

About The Program

The quality of the parent-adolescent relationships, and the presence of family conflict are reliable predictors of adolescent depression. Alternatively, strong parental attachments and expressions
of warmth and caring have been found to buffer adolescents from depression.

The RAP Parent program (RAP-P) was developed to help parents promote the optimal family environment for healthy adolescent development.

RAP-P aims to help parents boost their own self esteem and the self-esteem of their adolescents. RAP-P also helps parents to manage their negative emotional overreactions to their adolescents and their adolescents’ emotional overreactions tothem.

The Resourceful Adolescent Program for Parents involves three parent sessions generally held in the evenings. Each session is approximately two hours duration.

Program Outline

Session 1 – Parent’s are people too!

In this session parents are encouraged to focus on their existing strengths, and to recognise their contribution to their adolescent’s wellbeing. This session also helps parents identify the impact of stress on effective parenting and ways to manage stress.

Session 2 – What makes adolescents tick?

Parents are encouraged to consider the specific needs of adolescents. The group discuss adolescent development and role transitions pertinent to this age group (e.g., the dilemma of balancing the need for nurturance and protectiveness, with the desire for growing independence).

Specific techniques to help parents bolster an adolescent’s self-esteem are also covered.

Session 3 – Promoting Family Harmony

In this session parents focus on the process of promoting harmonious family relationships. Specific techniques and different family interactions are explored to help parents strengthen their emotional closeness with their adolescents.

Each week participant’s develop their own personal ‘RAP-A house’ by laying down different personal resource bricks including ‘Personal Strength Bricks’, ‘Keeping Calm Bricks’ and ‘Problem Solving Bricks’.

How to Register

RAP-P workshops are held at both The Gap and Stafford several times a year.

Circle of Security (for Parents of Children Aged 0 - 8)
Circle of Security For Parents

The Circle of Security program is a registered program based on decades of research about how secure parent-child relationships can be supported and strengthened. It has been designed for parents of children aged between 0-5. Expecting parents and those working with young families are also welcome to register. The Circle of Security involves eight session that aim to help parents understand their child’s emotional needs.

Program Outline

Session 1 – Welcome

Session 2 – Exploring our children’s needs all the way around the circle

Session 3 – “Being With” on the circle

Session 4 – Being with infants on the circle

Session 5 – The path to security

Session 6 – Exploring our struggles

Session 7 – Rupture and repair in relationships

Session 8 – Summary and celebration

Download the Circle of Security Parenting Program