Super Skills for Life

Super Skills for Life (SSL) is an intervention programme which helps young people cope with emotional difficulties such as anxiety and depression. It is based on the principles of cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) and behavioural activation and uses video-feedback and cognitive preparation as part of the treatment.

SSL provides young people with skills to:
•    Enhance self-confidence, build emotional resilience, and improve social skills and competence.
•    Cope with stressful situations, including life changes such as the transition from primary to secondary school.
•    SSL (adolescent version) also covers techniques to improve health through healthy eating, physical exercise, and

     sleep hygiene.
Super Skills for Life has 8 sessions which are typically delivered once or twice a week to a group of 6–8 young people, or to an individual child/adolescent. The sessions are structured with role play, homework, group and individual activities, video-analysis and feedback. 

It can be delivered by teachers and other non-mental health professionals after a short training.

Meet the Authors


Prof Cecilia A Essau

Cecilia is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology and Director of Centre for Applied Research and Assessment in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing at the University of Roehampton, UK.


She is the author of 244 articles, and is the author/editor of 21 books in the area of youth mental health.


Prof Thomas H Ollendick

Tom is University Distinguished Professor in Clinical Psychology and Director of the Child Study Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.


He is the author or co-author of 350 research publications, 75 book chapters, and 35 books. 

Super Skills for Life - Delivery Partner Network


Caritas Salford
Ms Georgina Jones
Service Manager, Caritas Schools’ Service
Cathedral Centre
3 Ford Street Salford M3 6DP



Father Hudson’s Care
Ms Rita Nag
Schools Family Support Project

Manager, Father Hudson’s Care
St George’s House

Birmingham B46 3FG




Prof Mireia Orgilés  

Prof José P. Espada 

Miguel Hernández University

Avda. de la Universidad s/n

03202 Elche, Alicante, Spain





Dr Bernard Ting Chuong Hock 
Dr Chen Yoke Yong 
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia





Ms Suwaibah Zakaria
Faculty of Psychology and Education
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia




Ms Priscilla Ho
Creativity At Heart
53 Westland Road
Penang, Malaysia



Dr hab. Anna Bokszczanin
Uniwersytet Opolski
45-052 Opole, Poland



Dr Fatos Ozeylem
Eastern Mediterranean University
North Cyprus



Associate Prof Neslihan Karaman
Ankara University
Ankara, Turkey



Dr Alina Dafinoiu
Psihomentor, Iași, Romania



Karishma Sharma Ramdhonee-Dowlot
Department of Psychology
University of Roehampton, UK



Associate Prof Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous
University of Nicosia
Nicosia, Cyprus 



Dr Tatiana C. Homem

Coordinator of Associação Pais Como Nós &  Researcher at

Faculty of Psychology, University of Coimbra


Dr Tatiana C. Homem

Coordinator of Associação Pais Como Nós &  Researcher at

Faculty of Psychology, University of Coimbra


Dr Tatiana C. Homem

Coordinator of Associação Pais Como Nós &  Researcher at

Faculty of Psychology, University of Coimbra

SSL workshop in Kuala Lumpur (July 2019) for the Ministry of Youth and Sport


Dr Rosemary Ekechukwu
University of Port Harcourt
Rivers State, Nigeria



Ashley Yoav Saldaña Gutierrez
Professor Alma Vallejo 
Universidad Veracruzana
Veracruz, México



Associate Prof Rekha Sapra

Bharati College

University of Delhi, India



Dr Aneela Maqsood

Department of Behavioral Sciences

Fatima Jinnah Women University

Rawalpindi, Pakistan


Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar
Vice Chancellor, Government College Women University
Sialkot, Pakistan



Prof Dr Nashi Khan
Director & Dean FSS
Counseling & Wellness Centre
Rashid Latif Medical Complex &
Rashid Latif Khan University
Lahore, Pakistan



Prof Gunter Groen
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
Department of Social Work
20099 Hamburg, Germany


Dipl.-Päd. Peter Mroczek
Praxis für Kinder- und Jugendlichenpsychotherapie
21423 Winsen (Luhe), Germany



Dr Angie Cucchi

Regent's University London

Regent’s Park campus
London NW1 4NS



Dr Tatiana C. Homem

Coordinator of Associação Pais Como Nós &  Researcher at

Faculty of Psychology, University of Coimbra, Portugal

If you wish to be a Super Skills delivery partner in your country contact

Prof Cecilia Essau:


Dr Elisa Delvecchio
Assistant Professor in Psychology
Department of Philosophy, Social Sciences and Education
University of Perugia, Italy


SSL workshop in Kota Kinabalu (June 2019) for the Ministry of Youth and Sport

SSL workshop in Mauritius (May 2019) for various government departments

SSL workshop in Penang (February 2019) for the Ministry of Education

Heading 1

Publications: Super Skills for Life programme

Karishma Ramdhonee-Dowlot, K., Balloo, K., & Essau, C.A. (2021). Effectiveness of the Super Skills for Life programme in enhancing children’s emotional wellbeing in residential care institutions in low- and middle-income country: A randomised waitlist-controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 278, 327-338.

Melero, S., Morales, M., Espada, J.P., & Orgilés, M. (in press). Improving Social Performance Through Video-feedback with Cognitive Preparation in Children with Emotional Problems. Behavior Modification.

Allan, S., Uzun, B., & Essau, C.A. (in press). Impact of a transdiagnostic prevention protocol for targeting adolescent anxiety and depression. Psychologica.

de la Torre-Luque, A.,  Fiol-Veny, A., Essau, C.A., Maria Balle, M., & Bornas, X. (2020). Effects of a transdiagnostic cognitive behaviour therapy-based programme on the natural course of anxiety symptoms in adolescence. Journal of Affective Disorders, 264, 474-482.

Orgilés, M., Espada, J.P., & Morales, A. (2020). How Super Skills for Life may help children to cope with the COVID-19: Psychological impact and coping styles after the program. Revista de Psicología Clínica con Niños y Adolescentes, 7, 88-93.

Fernández-Martínez, I., Espada, J. P. y Orgilés, M. (2020) Super Skills for Life: Eficacia de un programa transdiagnóstico de prevención indicada para los problemas emocionales infantiles. Revista de Psicología Clínica con Niños y Adolescentes, 6, 24-31


Fernández, I., Morales, A., Espada, J.P. y Orgilés, M. (2020). Effects of Super Skills for Life on the social skills of anxious children through video analysis. Psicothema, 32(2), 229-236


Orgilés, M., Garrigós, E., Espada, J.P., & Morales, A. (2020). How does a CBT-based transdiagnostic program for separation anxiety symptoms work in children?: Effects of Super Skills for Life. Revista de Psicología Clínica con Niños y Adolescentes, 7 (2), 9-15. doi: 10.21134/rpcna.2020.07.2.1


Orgilés, M., Melero, S., Fernández-Martínez, I., Espada, J. P., y Morales, A. (2020). Effectiveness of video-feedback with cognitive preparation in improving social performance and anxiety through Super Skills for Life programme implemented in a school setting. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18; 17(8):2805
Fernández-Martínez, I., Orgilés, M., Morales, A. Espada, J. P., & Essau, C. (2019). One-year follow-up effects of a cognitive behavior therapy-based transdiagnostic program for emotional problems in young children: a school-based cluster-randomized controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 262, 258-266.

Fernández-Martínez, I., Morales, A., Espada, J. P., Essau, C. A., y Orgilés, M. (2019). Effectiveness of the program Super Skills for Life in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in young Spanish children. Psicothema, 31(3), 298-304. 


Orgilés, M., Fernández-Martínez, I., Espada, J. P. y Morales, A. (2019). Spanish version of Super Skills For Life: short and long-term impact of a transdiagnostic prevention protocol targeting childhood anxiety and depression. Anxiety, Stress & Coping, 32, 649-710.


Essau, C.A., Sasagawa, S., Jones, G., Fernandes, B., & Ollendick, T.H. (2019). Evaluating the real-world effectiveness of a Cognitive Behavior Therapy-based transdiagnostic programme for emotional problems in children in a regular school setting. Journal of Affective Disorders, 253, 357-365.


Ramdhonee-Dowlot, K.S. & Essau, C.A. (2018). Super Skills for Life: Trans-Diagnostic Prevention Programme for Emotional Problems in Children. In Sapra, R. (ed.), Reflections: Skills for Social and Emotional Well Being (41 – 59). New Delhi, India: Authorspress.


Essau, C.A., Olaya, B., Sasagawa, S., Pithia, J., Bray, D., & Ollendick, T.H. (2014). Integrating video-feedback and cognitive preparation, social skills training and behavioural activation in a cognitive behavioural therapy in the treatment of childhood anxiety. Journal of Affective Disorders, 167, 261–267.