What young people have said..


“I’ve learnt that I can do it, I’ve already started believing, I can do all of it if I put my heart to it”

“I have made new friends from the project. I am definitely more confident now”.

“The best bit was playing games, it was fun and we got to know each other”

“The best bit was becoming a big team, working as a team”

“Before the Team of Life I didn’t feel like I fitted in with other young people. I had worries about joining the group; what if I said something silly and everyone laughed? What if I didn’t fit in? But it’s like starting the next chapter in your life where you don’t feel alone because everyone is in the same boat. In the Team of Life I learnt skills to manage my worries that I can keep using and I grew in confidence. I made some great friends there who I go out with after school. I also am now part of a drama group and I have a lead role in the play. Overall, I am just more confident and I am doing things now that I would have been too worried about doing; like singing on stage!”


What practitioners have said…


“I have used the Team of Life in my UK practice as a child clinical psychologist both in partnership work with schools, as well as within Child and Adolescent Mental Health services. It’s such a fun way of having meaningful interactions with children and young people.

I love the way it acknowledging some of the challenges young people face in way that makes the most of and is respectful of and their experience, skills and ideas AND makes it possible to enjoy light hearted and playful banter at the same time! Having seen for myself how the young people I have worked with have benefited, particularly in terms of building confidence and reducing feelings of anxiety and social isolation, I wanted to find a way for this approach to reach more young people. This is why I developed the Team of Life Kit.

I hope this resource enables other practitioners to implement this truly innovative approach within their setting and that they too can experience the immense satisfaction of helping groups of young people build their team of life.”

Dr Vicky Eames, Author,
The Team of Life Kit.


“I have been using the Team of Life with a group of eight primary school students, girls and boys, aged between 10 and 12 years old. Each of the students have been identified as having problems with anxiety, low self-esteem and low social skills. The program is half way through and is going really well. It is giving the students confidence in knowing that they are not alone. They have greater self-confidence in knowing that they have achieved so much in their past, the program has made them aware of past achievements. The ‘Team of Life’ has also given the students the opportunity to reflect on who is most important to them and why.”

Leigh Hill, Student Support Services Officer, Wodonga, North-East Victoria.


“I work as a school psychologist in a co-educational high school in Melbourne, Australia.

I heard about the Team of Life whilst attending training at Dulwich Centre in 2007. I remember being excited by the prospect of trying it out, as I meet with many young people from a refugee background, particularly from South Sudan, where individual or group counselling doesn’t even exist as a concept, let alone as an option for talking about hardship and trauma. It was the collective narrative approach that drew me to this methodology to begin with and the possibility of working through trauma in non-re-traumatising ways. I have since taken it up with young people more familiar with Western therapeutic practices to great effect too, using what they are most passionate about as the central metaphor, for example, Australian Rules football, music, dance, cooking, driving and so on.

What no longer surprises me but very much did in our first attempt was the enthusiasm shown by young people in taking it up. I had been used to running less culturally sensitive ‘group programs’ involving predominately Melbourne-born young men. Initial efforts to connect were usually greeted with scepticism, for example, ‘Why have I been selected?’ And, ‘How many weeks does this go for? In relation to the Team of Life, young men unfamiliar with my role in their school, or carrying negative connotations about it, where asking around to find my office, so they could be reminded of when we were meeting next. Their friends, who had not been invited (as it could not be offered to all) where looking me up to ask if they could join!

Having taken on this initiative as an annual event, a legacy has been established, which has enabled previous Team of Life graduates to support those new to these practices. They are all able to join together in public recognition of their achievements during Team of Life award ceremonies and in writing and responding to documents and letter from Team of Lifers all around the world.

I have yet to find a more culturally relevant methodology to borrow from and, I surprise myself in not mentioning the World Game once in my account! After all, it is a fact that most of the young people I’m supporting are fluent in the language of Football, and it is this language that enables them to re-connect with their skills and knowledges in tackling the worries, concerns or obstacles that come their way, connecting with the people who support and love them and, in achieving what they are hoping for in their lives.”

Milan Colic, School Psychologist,


“Having worked with the Team of Life for the past few years, it is a resource that I value immensely and recommend as an early intervention programme. The Team of Life provides a common language that most students understand, which gives a shared meeting for participants. This promotes a safe and inclusive environment, which breaks down any barriers to participation and communication. I have used the team of life with students displaying low confidence, self worth, anxiety, anger, bullying, social communication difficulties, ADD as well as young people experiencing a chaotic home life. I have included students as a positive peer influence to support group members and create a support network for students around school, part of a peer-mentoring programme. The results vary with each group, however, I consistently witness students experiencing an appreciation and understanding of the value of support networks and how this has a positive impact on their lives. This seems to be a key moment in the programme, which allows students to identify positive and supportive people in their life and reduce the sense of feeling isolated and alone.

I have been particularly struck by the importance of stories, which comes from a narrative approach and how this can be used for children to tell their story, with a deeper understanding of how their experiences shape their attitude towards the future, finding key positive learning experiences from difficult circumstances. I have found that this not only enhances resilience, but also increases understanding and empathy of themselves and the world around them.

The team of life builds a support network for students and encourages them to create their own, real life team, for which they can establish a sense of belonging and tactics to approach difficulties, with a team who have genuine care, respect and interest in them achieving and being happy.

I use the Team of Life extensively in Year 6 and 7 to support transition and it has proved very popular, being a well known project around the school. I have noticed that as a result of the programme, student attitudes towards the transition to secondary school has become more positive, with students feeling a sense of affiliation and belonging to the school before arriving. It has also proved extremely helpful in addressing many issues of adjustment, helping individuals to build friendship groups and ‘teams’. This de-escalates difficult situations at an early stage, resulting in a reduction of anxiety, poor attendance or social isolation”

Claire Owens, Family Support and Well-Being Co-ordinator,
The Mosslands School.