The mission of The Youth Happiness Project is to help youth find peace within themselves so that peace can flourish throughout the world. In this age of consumerism and sensory overload, we reject the notion that external things can provide happiness and espouse the values of inner peace, self-love, and emotional independence.
With this in mind, we provide services to youth who are seeking greater mental well-being and deeper connection with their authentic purpose. We also provide wellness resources to youth through our Blog, wellness tips on social media and by promoting other youth resources.
What services do you provide?
The Peace and Purpose Program provides one-to-one support to youth who are in search of deep well-being and in-depth personal development. It combines modern life coaching with the ancient wisdom of midfulness, meditation and yoga (much more than poses). The full program is three months in length, and includes 12 1-hour sessions, e-mail follow up, and on-your-own exercises.
The content of the Peace and Purpose Program can be adapted for groups and schools and delivered in various lengths and formats.
Wellness Life Coaching provides one-to-one support to youth looking to work on specific wellness objectives. There is no fixed length for this program.
Authentic Yoga and Meditation workshops and classes help with deep relaxation and connection to Self. The yoga component of our offerings goes far beyond poses and reflects the entire yoga system.
What outcomes do you envision for youth that work wth you?
The following four outcomes for youth guide our work:
Improved mental health
Connection to purpose
Empowered to act in alignment with purpose
Where do you offer your services?
Sessions are typically conducted by videochat or over the phone. In person services are available in the vicinity of Montreal, Canada. If the client has a budget for travel costs, services can also be provided worldwide.
You mention you use a life coaching approach. Is this like therapy?
No. Life coaching supports youth in their process and does not intervene or analyze. Our approach is forward-looking and focussed on empowering youth to become champions of their own well-being. We help youth set objectives, determine their approach, overcome barriers and stay on track. Life coaching can be a good complement to traditional therapy. Consult the following resource for more information on the life coaching approach.
You say the Peace and Purpose Program combines life coaching with wellness teachings. How does that work?
Life coaching is the overarching approach, meaning the emphasis is placed on the clients inner wisdom, with the practitioner supporting. Within this context, wellness teachings stemming from yoga, meditation and mindfulness traditions are offered which youth may choose to integrate into the coaching and their personal development.
What ages do you serve?
We find that our programs are most suited for youth between the ages of 15-25. That said, there is no set-in-stone age range. If there is a good fit and the prospective client is motivated to create change, we are happy to work with them (this includes the youth-at-heart!).
What do you mean by a good fit?
Not every practitioner or program is for every youth. This is why we offer a free exploration session - we want the youth (and sometimes parents) to get acquainted with the practitioner and understand the programming so they can decide if its right for them.
I am a parent and I think my youth could benefit from your programs. That said, I'm not sure they would be interested. How should I approach this?
The engagement of the youth is crucial for the success in our programs. We would recommend talking about our programming with your youth and seeing if they would be interested in setting up a free exploration session. We do not advise pushing the youth into anything.
I have a serious mental illness. Can I work with you?
The practices we teach are based on universal principles and are helpful to all kinds of people. That said, it is important to note that we are not qualified to diagnose or treat mental illness and that our services do not replace those of a therapist. In many cases our services may serve as a complement to traditional therapy. If you are seeing a therapist, it may be a good idea to talk with them about whether these services could benefit you.
I am a youth under the age of 18 and I am interested in your programs. What approach should I take?
In the case of minor youth, a parent/guardian will need to provide written consent for participation in any of our programs. You or your parent/guardian can contact us to start the process.
Note that this does not necessarily apply to groups and schools, who often have their own policies and procedures.
What kinds of yoga and meditation do you teach?
The yogic practices go beyond physical poses and involve self-reflection, concentration, relaxation and more. Any physical yoga done in the context of our programs would be accessible to all levels.
As for meditation, the focus is on present moment awareness which comes in many forms. The focus could be on breath, senses, and image, etc. We teach basics in mindfulness meditation as well as yogic meditation.
You mention yoga and meditation. Is there a religious component to what you teach?
Not at all. We provide life coaching and teach exercises and techniques that promote well being. That said, we don't hide the fact that many of the exercisess and techniques take their root in Eastern religions.
How much do you charge for your services?
This depends on a number of factors including the type of program, length of commitment, and other factors.
As much as possible, we aim to make some our services accessible to all while ensuring fair renumeration for the practitioner. The best approach is to contact us to start the discussion or book a free exploration session.
What are your qualifications?
The founder and service provider for The Youth Happiness Project, Dave Sullivan, has the following background:
Certified Professional Coach (ECPC) with Erickson Coaching International
Certified Instructor in Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction for Teens (MBSR-T) with Stressed Teens
2008 Mentor of the Year with Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa
Certified Therapeutic Yoga Instructor (over 1000 hours of training)
Teen Meditation Retreat Mentor with Insight Meditation Society and Inward Bound Mindfulness Education
Over 500 hours of course experience in Buddhist Vipassana Meditation
BA (Hon) Communications from the University of Ottawa