A Psychology Programme to Support Young People to Problem Solve and Learn to Learn

The SORT It programme was designed for youth services to support young people to problem solve and learn to learn. This programme is delivered over 9 sessions, each lasting 2 hours. Over the nine sessions, young people take part in an interactive, engaging and vibrant programme where they will explore basic concepts in psychology relating to stress, negative automatic thoughts, strategizing and reviewing, and how all of these relate to workplace and classroom problem solving. Participants in the programme will practice a range of skills to help them apply this knowledge in work and classroom environments.

This programme was commissioned and piloted by Youth Work Ireland Cork, and developed by Quality Matters in partnership with Dr Sharon Lambert of University College Cork. The programme was developed with funding from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and with the support of the Cork Education and Training Board.

The programme is currently being evaluated by University College Cork and is not currently for public use. For queries about using any facet of this programme, please contact Eleanor O’Sullivan in Youth Work Ireland, Cork: eleanor.osullivan@ywicork.com

The Modules

The links below are for the nine modules, as well as the introductory chapter for the programme. It is essential that facilitators take time to read the introductory chapter, to read the additional readings detailed, and to watch relevant videos, in order to ensure they are fully versed in the theory. Facilitators should have a support structure in place to help them plan for, and respond to, any challenges that may arise, in line with their organisation’s policies. Each module is supported by a corresponding videos, technology and a PowerPoint presentation, linked further below

Sort it – Introduction-Final

Sort it – Session 1-Final

Sort it – Session 2-Final

Sort it – Session 3-Final

Sort it – Session 4- Final

Sort it – Session 5-Final

Sort it – Session 6-Final

Sort it – Session 7-Final

Sort it – Session 8-Final

Sort it – Session 9-Final

Sort it – Full Programme


Please note that from Session Two onwards, a core component for learning skills to reduce stress is the Dragon Racing game. This is fully explained in the appendix to module two, which provides detailed instructions on how to set up and use the game. However, the organisation must ensure that they have bought or sourced two ‘PIP’ bio feedback devices. These are available here, for example: https://thepip.com/en-eu/

Research Context

This documents the research context informing the programme development:

SORT It Research Context

The Videos

A key resource for this programme area videos, which depict scenarios from each category of red, orange or green. For each color, there are two scenes: one scene without a helpful strategy, and a second played out with a good, helpful ‘new brain’ strategy. These videos are used throughout the programme to teach strategizing.

1. The Boxer and the Coach

2. The Employee and Her Boss

3. The Student and the Teacher

Additional Videos Used in the Programme

Dr Sharon Lambert on Trauma, Stress and Learning


Fixed Vs Growth Mindset

Fight or Flight

Powerpoint Presentations for Facilitators

These powerpoints are a supplementary support to the full modules, linked above. For effective use of the powerpoint presentations and videos etc. contained in the powerpoint the facilitator should ensure they are connected to the internet, or have downloaded relevant videos linked in the powerpoints in advance.

Sort It Session 1

Sort It Session 2

Sort It Session 3

Sort It Session 4

SORT It Session 5

SORT It Session 6

SORT It Session 7

SORT It Session 8

SORT It Session 9

Any Questions?

If you have any questions or experience any technical problems, please feel free to contact Aoife Dermody at Quality Matters (+353 01 872 0030; aoife@qualitymatters.ie).