Group therapy is a successful way to make long-term psychological change. Groups range in size from 5-12 individuals and typically run for between 10-12 sessions. The benefits of groups have been well documented, with many individuals reporting significant gains by working on problems together in an environment built on understanding and support.


At Queensland Psychology Centre we currently have the following groups running;


(a) The FRIENDS program.


The Clinical director of QPC, Dr Hayley Webster was one of the original founding authors of the internationally recognized program aimed at the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression in children and youth. This program has featured in Time magazine and has been translated into various languages around the world.


Anxiety is the most common form of psychological distress reported by children and adolescents. All children experience anxiety as a part of their normal development. However, recent research indicates that one in six children suffer from anxiety severe enough to interfere with their family life, school work, or social functioning. Research shows that if left untreated, children with high anxiety are likely to become anxious adults. More recently, research has shown that anxiety in children tends to precede depression.


FRIENDS is an innovative 12-session group program for children showing signs of anxiety which may interfere with their daily lives.


FRIENDS teaches children important coping and problem-solving skills that they can use in their daily lives. These skills build emotional resilience to help them cope confidently with stress and change.


FRIENDS has been shown in numerous research trials around the world to significantly reduce the levels of anxiety and depression during childhood.  Friends, based on Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) principles, teaches children skills in the following three areas:


Mind (or cognitive) skills


·         Identifying inner thoughts


·         Using positive self-talk


·         Techniques for challenging negative self-talk


·         Rewarding yourself


·         Expecting good things to happen


·         Evaluating performance in terms of partial success


Body skills


Awareness of body clues

Deep-breathing exercises

Relaxation techniques



Behaviour skills


Problem-solving skills

Coping and resilience skills

Gradual exposure to feared situations

Rewards for brave behaviour

Choosing positive role models

Peer support

Finding fun in activities



Your Child May benefit from the FRIENDS program if you answer YES to any of the following:  Does my Child……


Have frequent unexplained physical symptoms such as headaches, tummy upsets, or sleep problems?

Have worries or fears that may not be usual for their age?

See the worst in situations?

Set extremely high standards of perfection for themselves?

Express a negative opinion of themselves?

Lack confidence in their ability?

Get overwhelmed with worry anxiety or stress?

Make excuses to avoid taking part in certain activities?

Seem particularly shy in social situations?

Get distressed easily?

Seem concerned with failure and/or what others may be thinking?

Have behavioural concerns such as anger aggression, or rudeness which you feel may relate to fears?



If you answered yes to one or more of these, your child may benefit from the FRIENDS program.


How much does it cost?


The 12 session program runs over a school term and costs $720. An initial consultation and assessment is necessary to ensure your child is suitable for the program.


Medicare and private health funds rebates are available