DNA-V for Young People

The youth model of mindfulness and action.

DNA-V is being used all over the world with young people from primary school to university age. The model helps young people learn the skills that they need to thrive, grow, be the best that they can be, and live lives that are meaningful and vital.

The DNA-V model changes how we work with kids and teens. It gives professionals and parents a dynamic and easy language to talk to kids, to help them practice seeing themselves as more than the negative labels they carry, and helps them with difficult emotions they are having.

Working on the self can be one of the most powerful ways to help adults with personal struggles to become more psychologically flexible, but it’s always been a challenge to help kids do this. DNA-V makes it easier and more fun.

What is the difference between kids and adults? Well, in adult acceptance and commitment therapy we often use quite complex mindfulness exercises to help adults shift perspective, but this approach does not translate developmentally to our work with children. They may be too young to relate these abstract concepts and often do not enjoy long exercises. Many practitioners tell me they just leave out exercises on the self because it’s too complex. That means we are leaving out a very useful piece of the ACT model that creates a lot of flexibility and loosens us from critical labels or difficult histories.

With DNA-V you can use mindfulness and acceptance work on the self in a more holistic and developmentally sensitive way. And, you can give the information directly to parents, so you’ll be helping parents get more flexible too.

Resource guide

Check out our books on DNA-V for young people. You can download free chapters.

See our DNA-V audio and video resources for young people.

Download free resources for DNA-V and young people, including worksheets from our books, illustrations, cards and therapy tools, and resources for kids under 12 years of age.

Find out more about the science underpinning DNA-V.

DNA-V for schools

Learn how DNA-V has been adapted into the Connect-PSHE program for primary schools in the UK, with a full curriculum being tested across hundreds of schools. 

Find out more about our DNA-V group program, developed for young people in schools and counselling.

Learn how DNA-V can be applied in schools by mapping to best-practice social and emotional learning (SEL) standards.

Read our article about helping young people who are refusing school.

Free webinars

Watch our webinar with Louise Hayes on supporting young people with climate change, and download the presentation slides.