About You Can Do It! Education

YCDI! Schools

Based on Michael’s work as a consultant school psychologist in primary and secondary schools with students and their families referred for a variety of emotional (anger, anxiety, depression), behavioural (non-compliance, bullying, aggression) and learning challenges (lack of motivation, under-achievement) the development of You Can Do It! Education in schools began in the 1990’s. Michael spent many years helping young people to cognitively restructure their negative, irrational ways of thinking about themselves, others and their schoolwork to more rational and positive approaches while helping young people acquire a range of rational beliefs (self-acceptance, high frustration tolerance, acceptance of others). The strengthening of a rational mindset led to reductions in these student’s emotional and behavioural problems and increases in their positivity, achievement and wellbeing.

As a result of his practical work, Michael Bernard wrote the best-selling book for secondary students and their parents with Darko Hajzler, You Can Do It! What Every Student and Parent Should Know About Success in School and Life, which brought attention to his work from the education community and the general public.

Initially, You Can Do It! Education usage in schools began in the 1990’s by individual teachers and school principals who attended introductory workshops on You Can Do It! Education. Attendees purchased copies of the grade-appropriate YCDI! curriculum book of lessons called Program Achieve (new digital edition available) and implemented the program in their classrooms. Success in terms of positive changes in student attitude and behaviour was communicated at staff meetings and, as a result, YCDI! Education became adopted on a whole-school basis. Today, over 1,000,000 young people have participated in YCDI! Education programs at 1000’s of early learning centres, primary and secondary schools.

Michael and his colleagues spent two years developing a social and emotional learning program for the early childhood period used in 1000’s of early learning centres and classrooms. The YCDI! Early Childhood Program Achieve newly published second edition is available through this website.

Positive word-of-mouth communication by school administrators and teachers about the quality of YCDI! Education and the high level of professional training available to schools contributed to the growth of YCDI! Education Australia-wide. In 2008, The Age newspaper reported that ‘In Australia, the most widely-used social-emotional learning program is You Can Do It Education … used by more than 5,000 early learning centres, primary and secondary schools.’

YCDI! Education is now used in a variety of countries including England, Ireland, Spain, Romania, Greece, Estonia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the United States.

Kidsmatter recognised YCDI! Education as a best-practice social and emotional learning program. YCDI! Education school curricula are aligned with the Australian national curriculum and teach the Personal and Social Capabilities outlined in the ACARA learning standards framework.

The following research-based framework developed by Michael Bernard and his colleagues forms the basis of our YCDI! Education programs.

This framework addresses the aspects of the psychological functioning of young people that lead to poor learning, behaviour, social and emotional outcomes. Negative Attitudes and under-developed Character (values and strengths) help create five Social-Emotional Blockers. Additionally, the framework represents the Positive Attitudes and Character (values, strengths) that support five essential Social-Emotional Skills all contributing to positive outcomes.

Research published over the past decade continues to report the positive impact of You Can Do It! Education on the mental health, wellbeing, achievement, behaviour and positive relationships.

You Can Do It! Education trainers who are teachers, principals, psychologists and counsellors offer workshops at schools on a variety of topics including Introduction to YCDI! Education, Advanced Workshop in YCDI! Education, Attitudes and Behaviours for Learning, Helping Young People Cope with Bullying, The Resilient Educator and Stress Management for Teachers and Principals. YCDI! trainers conduct courses for students that focus on important attitudes and social-emotional skills (confidence, resilience, organisation, exam anxiety, relationships, The Successful Mind). YCDI! trainers are also available to present on a variety of parenting topics to your school’s parents.

YCDI! Work

As a result of its popularity and recognition as an important learning experience, YCDI! Education now extends into the working world. The High Performance Mindset at Work set of programs is based on a positive psychology-based framework that identifies a range of attitudes (Commitments to Success, Others, Self) and Behavioural Strengths (Resilience, Confidence, Persistence, Organisation, Getting Along) that contribute to high-level performance of executive, leaders, managers and employees.

This award-winning elearning course is available for organisations to license to provide their employees at all levels with an elearning program that strengthens their high performance mindset.

  • Organisations regularly invite Michael Bernard to offer keynote talks and workshops on the high performance mindset. YCDI! Education also has consultant trainers who offer customised high performance mindset workshops to organisations.
  • Michael Bernard has written popular books for adults in this area including Procrastinate Later! How to Motivate Yourself to Do It Now, The High Performance Mindset at Work and Rationality and the Pursuit of Happiness.

YCDI! Parents

Two years ago, The Bernards launched an elearning parent education program, YCDI! Positive Parent Online Program, built on over 30 years of work with parents. Based on the latest research from the field of positive psychology and positive parenting education and on the first-hand knowledge and experience that Michael and Patricia Bernard have gained from raising their two children, now young adults.

Our parent program consists of a variety of informative, elearning programs, articles for parents, and audio-video programs for older children and adolescents. These resources cover three areas:

  • for parents of children 0 – 6 years,
  • for parents of children 6 – 12 years and,
  • for parents of adolescents 12 – 18 years.

This program has as its focus:

  • Positive Parents (stress management, flourishing),
  • Effective Parents (parent-child relationship, discipline, motivational skills) and,
  • Positive Children (social and emotionally capable).

Annual subscriptions to the YCDI! Positive Parent Online Program are available through YCDI! Education Schools for schools and organisations to license and through YCDI! Education Parents for individual parents.

Why schools choose You Can Do It! Education

Developed by Professor Michael Bernard, University of Melbourne, You Can Do It! Education online elearning programs teach positive attitudes, social-emotional skills, character strengths and values based on the science of wellbeing and achievement. Lessons for students from foundation year, primary and secondary years teach mindfulness, grit, gratitude, optimism, resilience, self-acceptance, growth mindset, confidence, organisation and getting along.

YCDI! Educations Program Achieve is recognised by Kidsmatter as ‘best practice’ demonstrating ‘long-term effectiveness’ and recommended by Beyond Blue’s Be You initiative.

All YCDI! Education online elearning programs are easily accessible 24/7 by all educators, counsellors and student support staff through the school’s LOGIN.

Get to know us

Michael E. Bernard, PhD

Founder, You Can Do It! Education

Professor, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
University of Melbourne
Emeritus Professor, California State University, Long Beach

Michael E. Bernard, PhD is an international consultant to universities, business, not-for-profit organisations, educational authorities and governments. He is the Founder of You Can Do It! Education, a program for promoting student social-emotional wellbeing and achievement that is being used in thousands of schools in Australia and overseas. He received his doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and appointed as Reader and Coordinator of the Master of Educational Psychology Program at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Bernard has worked closely with children of all ages and their families while counselling at one of Melbourne’s leading private schools. He was the first sports psychologist of the Collingwood Football Club.

Professor Bernard is a co-founder of the Australian Institute for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy and is the author of many books on REBT. For eight years, he was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy.

Over the past decade, he has focused on the design and conduct of high performance and resilience professional development programs. He is the author of over 50 books, 20 book chapters, and 30 journal articles in areas associated with peak performance, resilience, parenting, mental health and school improvement. Today, Professor Bernard consults with business and the public sector on personal effectiveness, positive psychology, stress management, high performance mindset and is Executive Director of The Bernard Group.


Patricia C. Bernard

Author & Managing Director, The Bernard Group

Patricia has worked closely together with her husband and business partner, Michael, on projects in education, parenting and in the business world of work. She has contributed extensively to the many books, videos, curriculum programs, training programs, public workshops, parent talks and elearning courses they have produced over the last 30 years.

Raising two fine human beings, her children with Michael (now young adults) - Jonathon and Alexandra, her most rewarding experience and success.

During her children’s schooling years, Patricia had the opportunity to serve on educational committees and work closely with educators in her children’s schools. In 2001, she received the Advocacy for Youth Award from the Association of American University of Women for her achievement in running the highly successful monthly parent talks Coffee Break, for her local community in Laguna Beach, California.

Patricia is the author of The You Can Do It! Little Book for Busy Students, co-author with Michael Bernard of The You Can Do It! Little Book for Parents and The Successful Mind at School, Work and Life.

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