School Resiliency Coach Program

OCJ School Resiliency Program

Resiliency Coaches focus primarily on building resilience in adolescents by seamlessly integrating the foundational neuroscience principles outlined in the "Brain Story." Adolescence is a crucial developmental phase marked by significant changes in the brain's structure and function. Understanding these neurodevelopmental shifts is pivotal in tailoring effective strategies to foster resilience.

An essential aspect of our approach is acknowledging the potential impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on adolescent brain development. Chronic stress and trauma can disrupt neural connectivity, affecting cognitive growth and emotional well-being. Through the utilization of the Resiliency Scale, we assess the presence of adverse experiences, positive supports, and skills and abilities in adolescents' lives, enabling a comprehensive understanding of their unique circumstances.

Our coaching approach is anchored in several core principles. Firstly, a person-centered methodology places adolescents at the heart of the coaching process. We respect their autonomy, validating their experiences, and fostering a safe environment for open dialogue. Secondly, we emphasize strengths-based strategies, identifying and leveraging their innate strengths, talents, and positive qualities to promote empowerment.

Given the potential impact of trauma, our approach is inherently trauma-informed. We create a supportive space that recognizes the potential effects of trauma on adolescents' lives, prioritizing safety and trust. Additionally, we employ motivational interviewing techniques, aiming to elicit intrinsic motivation, explore goals, and address ambivalence, thereby facilitating positive behavior change.

Within our coaching sessions, we directly apply neuroscience principles. Collaboratively setting meaningful goals, we help adolescents understand how achieving these goals can lead to positive brain adaptations and improved well-being. Stress regulation techniques, such as mindfulness and deep breathing, are introduced to manage stress and enhance emotional regulation.

Positive visualization exercises guide adolescents in visualizing success and positive outcomes, stimulating neural pathways associated with optimism. We continuously monitor progress through the Resilience Scale, tracking shifts in red and green boxes, and celebrating achievements and positive changes in their resilience journey.

Family and community involvement are integral to our approach. We engage parents, guardians, and the broader community, educating them about adolescent brain development and the significance of a supportive environment in fostering resilience.
Lastly, our approach underscores ethical considerations and boundaries. Confidentiality and maintaining professional boundaries are central to our interactions, ensuring a secure and respectful coaching relationship.

In conclusion, our coaching approach draws inspiration from the "Brain Story" principles, offering a comprehensive framework to empower adolescents in building resilience. By seamlessly weaving neuroscience insights with person-centered coaching strategies, we aim to equip adolescents with the tools they need to navigate challenges, harness their strengths, and cultivate resilience for a brighter future.

Our Collective Journey (OCJ) Background:  OCJ started 3 years ago as a response to the mental health crisis impacting our community. Members of OCJ have lived experience that gives them the innate ability to connect with individuals experiencing similar situations, reassuring them that they are not alone. Systems are often at capacity, leading to lengthy wait times, or often the individual is not ready to seek professional support at all. This is where OCJ is able to take action, fill gaps, and immediately offer support on their journey; the recovery coach service encompasses these.

OCJ Resiliency Coaches are also trained Recovery Coaches (RC). Recovery Coaches must complete 40-hour intensive RC training from a training provider that is recognized by the Canadian Addiction Counselling Certification Federation (CACCF). Once training is complete, coaches attend a monthly Recovery Coach Community Meeting online, along with weekly supervised practice sessions in-house, to continue honing their skillsets. The training providers that OCJ utilizes are Optimal Recovery Coaching Associates and CCAR, you can check out their programs using the following link:

The school team of Resiliency Coaches has combined training in the following areas:

Brain Story Certification. Resilience Scale training. CCAR Recovery Coach Training. Addiction Community Service Worker. Management Skills for Supervisors. Art and Science of being an Effective Team Leader. Motivational Interviewing & Assertive Engagement Training. Ethics Course. Trauma Informed Care. Compassion and Fatigue Training. ASIST Training. Non-Violent De-Escalation Training. Crisis Intervention Training. FOIP Training. Registered Social Worker Degree. Child Psychology Course. The Psychology of Drugs and Behaviour Course. Psychology of Families & Parenting Course. Ethics in Addictions Counselling Training. Understanding Adolescents & Addiction Training. Addiction & Concurrent Disorders Training. Trauma Responsive Care. Adolescent Development Course.


"I just want to say that your personal stories really made me realize that there are always people that care and are willing to help. It really changed my perspective. I just wanted to say thanks. - From a student at MHCS"

"Good job guys! You connected with us in different ways and show those who are going through something that there are more people out there that had suffered. - From a student at MHCS"

"Hey, you guys did amazing and I just wanted to tell you that even though our class is quiet, we really appreciated you coming in and talking to us. - from the Christian school"

"I really appreciated the message in our class today at the Christian School! It was really great hearing someone who has struggled with drug abuses story and really helped me understand the position some people are in without even knowing it. - from the Christian school""

*criminal record check and the vulnerable sector screening are mandatory for all OCJ Recovery Coaches.

**all OCJ Coaches are under supervision of OCJ Director of Operations and Education, who is a CACCF certified Addiction Counsellor and CACCF certified Recovery Coach. Each coach is bound by CACCF code of ethics and follows FOIP requirements.