The Research Base

Research Base

The Confident Kids group program is based on teaching strategies and evidence-based techniques drawn from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Positive Psychology, Mindfulness training and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).

Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology is about an individual’s sense of well-being, contentment, satisfaction in the past, hope and optimism for the future, and flow and happiness in the present.  This strength based approach focuses on positive emotions, encourages children to strive for their best, praises them for their efforts, and avoids giving them a hard time.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that looks at how people think about themselves and other people, and how people’s thoughts feelings and behaviour are all connected. When you make links between what you do, feel, and think, you are better able to change unhelpful thinking and behaviour. Because thoughts, feelings and behaviour are connected, changing your thinking will change the way you feel and behave and changing our behaviour will correspondingly change what we feel and think.

CBT can help break the vicious cycles of negative thinking, feeling, and behaviour. Using CBT principles, your child will learn how to fight off unhelpful negative thoughts about themselves or the world, which lead to feelings that are more positive and behaviour.


A key part of the CK program is teaching kids Mindfulness skills to enhance self-esteem and confidence. Mindfulness simply means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally (Jon Kabat Zinn). In a car, we can sometimes drive for miles on “automatic pilot”, without really being aware of what we are doing. In the same way, we may not be really “present”, moment by moment for much of our lives. We can often be “miles away” without knowing it. Recent research suggests that teaching children mindfulness skills improves academic performance, bolsters confidence, optimism and enthusiasm for learning. The mindful awareness activities and calm breathing skills incorporated into the CK program are designed to foster children’s:

  • problem solving ability,
  • self-regulation,
  • goal setting, and
  • prosocial behaviours.

Susan Kaiser Greenland, Author of The Mindful Child and founder of the Inner Kids Program uses an apple to help kids and families understand how what’s happening right now includes awareness of past, present and future.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and emotional learning (SEL) assists children in development of the fundamental skills required for a functional life. Through such learning, children learn skills to become competent in managing themselves, their relationships, and work in social acceptable and effective ways.  These skills include recognising and managing their emotions, developing care and concern for others and an appreciation for others’ perspectives, fostering and maintaining positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and dealing with developmentally-relevant challenges in a positive and constructive manner.

The 5 key SEL competencies include: –

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills





A growing body of literature suggests that a deliberate and comprehensive approach to teaching children social and emotional skills can raise their grades and test scores, bolster their enthusiasm for learning, reduce behaviour problems and enhance the brain’s cognitive functions (Education week, 2003).