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27 August 2015
The Positive Lifestyle Program (PLP) was introduced in Canada in late 1992. The program has been specifically designed to enhance participants self awareness and to give participants a better understanding of personal life skills.
Each session deals with a particular topic relating to everyday issues. The main emphasis of the PLP is to allow the individual to explore and evaluate their own personal experiences in relation to that subject.
Each session gives the participant an opportunity to look at; their own styles of anger; how they deal with stress; times and circumstances leading to depression and loneliness; analyse issues surrounding loss and grief; ledaing the individual to an inner exploration of self and those close to them.
In Townsville, there are currently two expression using the Positive Lifestyle Program. Grace Cottage has group programs available 4 times yearly for women aged 18 and over. One of our chaplain's offers the positive lifestyle program individually with men and women who are currently in prison or going through the court system. To find out more information, please contact the relevant service.
Read Judy's* story, written by a court chaplain:
A nineteen-year-old girl was referred to us on a charge of assault and malicious damage with an anger problem. We needed to concentrate mainly on the anger session as this seemed to be her main presenting concern. Over the remaining period of the program there was a wonderful transofmration in this young woman's thinking and outlook on life. Although there had been a past history of anger and aggression, there developed a correct attitude throughout the weeks as she completed this program.
The magistrate was suitably impressed and proceed to drop charges without conviction. We have not seen this girl back in court and I understand she continues to live with her grandfather without any problem.
Read Andrew's* story, written by a court chaplain:
I wondered why there was so much anger in this young nineteen-year-old lad when i first met him at the court. I would later learn that he came from a home where his father was an alcoholic and did not show any affection towards this boy. The lad already on the way to developing his own personal relationship with alcohol and regularly smoked pot.
As a result of this colatile combination the family had taken an Aprehended Violence Order against him and by breaking the order he was referred to me at the court. The first appointment was hopeless as he chose not to turn up, instead choosing to get on the drink.
It only took a couple of weeks to get him to open up so that we could get to work on the real issues. As we worked through each session we were able to identify his anger style and the triggers that set his anger off. During the course of this program his girlfriend delivered a baby and at this point of time she would not allow him to touch the child. We have been able to spend time working through his feelings. On this occasion his anger was not an issue as he was preferring to go through the correct channels rather than reacting, as he once would have.
He has cut down on his alcohol consumption and has been able to build some bridges with his father. It has been amazing to see the change that has taken place in this young man in such a short time. His committment to the PLP and the subsequent changes in his life has been nothing short of a miracle.
* False name