Brave: Treatment groups for anxiety in children and teenagers

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About the BRAVE group therapy program

BRAVE is an acronym for the CBT anxiety management strategies covered in this treatment program. Each letter refers to a different strategy.

B – Body signs (training in the detection of physiological symptoms of anxiety)

R – stands for Relax (a method for calming down one’s body signs through the use of progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, or deep breathing)

A – stands for Activate helpful thoughts (training in coping self-talk and cognitive restructuring)

V – stands for Victory over fears (incorporating strategies for overcoming fears by using graded exposure and problem solving)

E – stands for Enjoy yourself (training the child and parent in positive reinforcement and self reward).

This program was developed by our own Dr. Caroline Donovan, together with researchers at The University of  Queensland (The BRAVE team) and Griffith University. Child sessions focus on the acquisition of the above-mentioned strategies. Parent sessions are designed to accompany the material covered in either the child and teen program. Sessions focus on strategies such as psychoeducation about child anxiety, contingency management, relaxation training, and information about cognitive restructuring, graded exposure and problem solving. As such, the parent receives training in anxiety management strategies and is empowered to help their child acquire and use the skills learned in the program, and to manage situations in which their child becomes anxious. Both mothers and fathers are able to complete the parent sessions together or independently.

BRAVE for teenagers

BRAVE for teens

The BRAVE for Teenagers program is a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment program developed at The University of Queensland.  The program targets teenagers with clinical anxiety disorders. We are currently running group therapy programs for teenagers aged between 13 and 17 years who suffer with separation anxiety, social anxiety, generalised anxiety or specific phobia.

The BRAVE program involves 8 teenage and 7 parent sessions of approximately 1 – 1.5 hour duration. The program comprises CBT strategies consistently found in empirical studies to be effective in the treatment of child, adolescent and adult anxiety: emotional recognition, relaxation, cognitive restructuring, graded exposure, problem solving, and positive reinforcement. The group therapy program also includes two booster sessions conducted 1 month and 3 months after the program, to ensure maintenance of treatment gains.

Our next BRAVE for teenagers program will begin in November, 2014, to register your interest please contact us on 07 3358 4666 or fill in your details below. Spaces are limited, so please enrol early.



BRAVE for Children 
This program is tailored to children aged between 8 and 12 years and focuses on developing skills to manage anxiety. These skills encompass recognising physiological signs of anxiety, relaxation strategies, cognitive training including self-talk and restructuring, exposure, problem-solving, and empowerment. The parent sessions aim to help parents to better assist their children in managing their anxiety through psychoeducation and instruction on management techniques. Each session provides reading material and exercises that encourage children and their parents to practice these skills in the real world.

BRAVE for Pre-schoolers

This program is essentially a parenting group for those with children aged between 3 and 5 years. It is designed to help parents learn strategies for managing anxiety in young children and ways of helping their child to cope with anxiety-provoking situations. Anxiety is very common in preschool children and can be associated with negative social and emotional consequences. However, there is research to suggest that the earlier we try to intervene with anxiety, the less impact it is likely to have on a child’s development and future. The pre-schoolers program consists of 5 weekly 1 hour sessions.

Our next BRAVE for Pre-schoolers program will begin on September 11, 2014, to register your interest please contact us on 07 3358 4666 or fill in your details below. Spaces are limited, so please enrol early.


A child or teenager will not be appropriate for this group therapy program if he or she meets any of the following criteria:

• Intellectual handicap or learning disability
• Severe physical impairment which would prevent use of a computer
• Pervasive developmental disorder (e.g. Asperger’s Syndrome)
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder
• Primary diagnosis (or suspected diagnosis) other than anxiety, including Major Depressive Disorder.
• Current or recent self-harming



Register Here