The Aware Life Skills Group progamme is a free educational programme offered to adults aged 18 and over. The programme contains six modules. Each module takes 90 minutes, one evening a week from 7.30pm – 9pm, over six weeks. The reason the programme takes place over six weeks is to give participants time to reflect on the key learning point each week and time to practice the ‘new ways of thinking’ to challenge negative thought patterns and constant worrying. The weekly schedule also allows time for participants to raise any questions they might have with their programme instructor.
The Life Skills programme is not individual therapy: it is a group programme which allows participants to learn some of the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and apply them to their own life. The programme instructors are trained to encourage healthy boundaries of privacy among participants.*
Applying for the programme
Registration for Aware’s CBT based Life Skills Group programmes is now open. Programmes will be available in 11 counties from September 19th, 2016:
Cork, Dublin, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Laois, Louth, Mayo, Wexford and Leitrim.
The programme is free however a refundable booking fee of €20 is in place in order to minimise the number of people applying for a place which they do not later take up and to ensure that people who really want to do the Life Skills programme actually have the opportunity to do so.
Please note that if you are a student, unemployed, an OAP or hold a medical card you do not have to pay the refundable booking fee. In this case please select the ‘exempt’ ticket option.
- Applying for the programme
- About CBT
- A little more about Life Skills
- Evaluation & accreditation
- Frequently asked questions
CBT focuses on thinking and behaviour and has been shown to be an effective intervention for mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety. When a person is dealing with very stressful issues or beginning to develop symptoms of depression they are more vulnerable to filtering out positive experiences and focusing on unhelpful thoughts. This negative bias informs a person’s behaviour and can start to influence their decision making process at work, at home, or in relationships in an unhelpful way.
The principles of CBT illustrate interesting examples of common ‘ways we think’ and explores if ‘how we are thinking’ is helpful or not and if there is sufficient evidence to support our thoughts. It questions if we have over time mistaken our ‘thoughts’ for fact. This approach challenges habitual behaviour influenced by negative thoughts. The CBT approach can help us to make small, practical changes in areas of our life that we find difficult. Taking these small actions can improve our mood and also reduce some of the symptoms associated with depression, stress or anxiety.
To learn more about CBT principles watch back our lecture presented by Maria McCarron, Cognitive Behaviour Therapist.
The Aware Life Skills Group programme has been developed by Dr. Chris Williams. Dr. Williams is a Professor of Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the University of Glasgow and is a recognised expert in the area of CBT.
To preview the type of content that is discussed on the Life Skills Group programme please view our six minute introductory video.
Evaluation and accreditation
The Life Skills programme has been independently evaluated by Aware. The
evaluation showed a statistically significant improvement in participants’ self-reported levels of anxiety and depression after completing the programme. This means that participants of the Life Skills programme reported less levels of anxiety and depression after completing the programme.
Life Skills is also consistent with the National Institute for Health and Care
Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the treatment of depression and anxiety. NICE is an organisation which provides independent, authoritative and evidence-based guidance on the most effective ways to prevent, diagnose and treat ill-health. The organisation currently provides guidance to the NHS, local authorities, charities and anyone with a responsibility for commissioning or providing healthcare, public health or social care services.
There is excellent evidence that CBT works for the treatment of anxiety and mild to moderate depression and many previous participants of our Life Skills course have found it to be hugely beneficial to them.
Read some of the great feedback from people who have already attended one of our Life Skills programmes.
Who is the programme aimed at?
The programme is aimed at anyone who would like to learn more about ‘how we think’ and how this can influence our behaviour in helpful or unhelpful ways. The programme is a proven useful resource for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety.
How many modules are there?
There are six modules – one per week for six consecutive weeks. (excl. bank holidays)
How long do modules last?
Each modules lasts 90 minutes.
Will I have to discuss personal issues and problems?
The programme instructors are trained to encourage healthy boundaries of privacy among participants.* You do not have to disclose any personal details.
Do I have to attend all modules?
We encourage participants to attend all six modules to get the maximum benefit from the programme.
How many people are in the group?
Each group will contain on average 25 people and there must be a minimum of 20 people for a group to go ahead.
Is this programme only for individuals of 18 years and over?
Yes, only individuals of 18 and over may take part in Aware’s Life Skills programme.
Is this programme right for me?
If the statements below apply to you, then you could benefit from this programme.
- I currently experience signs of stress, anxiety or mild to moderate depression
- I would like to make some changes in my life and am prepared to try new ways of dealing with life’s challenges
- I am not currently experiencing a major life event such as a recent bereavement, major relationship problem or a significant trauma
- I intend to go to all six modules of the programme
- I understand this programme is not ‘one-to-one’ but a group programme consisting of up to 25 participants
- I feel I can concentrate and give my attention for the duration of each session i.e. about 90 minutes