Personal Development

OUR MISSION:To Change Student Behaviors
by helping teachers help students develop
bullet Respect bullet Responsibility bullet Resiliency
bullet Self-Discipline bullet Character
bullet Emotional Intelligence


Personal Development

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT is a unique one-semester curriculum designed to change dysfunctional attitudes and build resiliency, responsibility, and emotional intelligence in at-risk adolescents. Through a variety of instructional approaches (group discussions, journal-writing, case studies, role plays, poems, analogies, and experiential exercises) PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT teaches the pro-social skills, attitudes, and behavior students need to succeed.

Using an underlying theme of EMPOWERMENT, a positive life view is presented in a way which is motivating even to the most discouraged or resistant adolescent. Students are taught how to "take control of" their emotions by "CHOOSING" to be positive, happy, and powerful, rather than negative, unhappy, and a victim by CONTROLLING what they focus on and tell themselves. Power is redefined as "control over one's self" rather than control over others. "LIVING POWERFULLY" is defined as being aware of one's choices and the possible consequences which could follow, consciously making a choice and then "owning" the results--good OR bad, rather than giving away one's "power to learn" from mistakes by blaming someone else. Students are taught to set goals in order to "TAKE CONTROL OF" their lives, since the brain's job is to create in reality whatever directions it receives.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT also teaches students how to relate from their "Adult ego state" rather than allow their "Child" ego state to take over, which generally results in a negative reaction from others. An anger management and conflict resolution process is taught, again using role plays and very realistic case studies (which Mrs. Phillips admits are real situations she has dealt with over the years). Hundreds of schools and organizations are now using this curriculum.


and the components of

  • SELF-AWARENESS--Being attuned to your feelings, recognizing them as they happen.  PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT teaches students how to stay off “Auto-Pilot” by keeping their Adult Ego State turned on and by paying attention to their feelings in a non-reactive, nonjudgmental way.
  • SELF-CONTROL--Being able to manage your emotions and moods, to be able to calm yourself when upset, control impulses and emotions, handle frustrations, and delay gratification. It includes being able to keep from being “emotionally hijacked” by your feelings, and thus able to handle stress, anxiety, and anger. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT teaches the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, explaining that whatever you “tell” yourself about what is happening to you will directly affect your feelings. Students are taught the skill of Cognitive Reframing (choosing to see things in a different and more positive way) as a way of keeping or regaining control of their emotions.
  • EMPATHY--Being able to shift your perspective and see situations from the perspective of others. It also includes being able to read the body language of others and is best expressed through your communication skills. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT teaches how to do this.
  • COMMUNICATION SKILLS--Being able to listen effectively, express feelings assertively, and resolve conflicts using a win-win negotiation style.  PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT  teaches all of these communication skills and allows students the opportunity to practice them in realistic role-play situations.
  • SELF-EFFICACY--Believing in your own power to make choices about how you will respond in any situation instead of allowing other people to control you by “pushing your buttons.” PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT teaches the concept that the mind is a computer and that each of us is its ultimate programmer. In other words, whatever you tell yourself becomes your reality and affects the quality of your decisions. You are POWERFUL because you can always change the way you feel--again, by what you choose to focus on, what you tell yourself, and what you choose to do.
  • ABILITY TO SELF-MOTIVATE--Being able to persist in the face of frustration. This ability is developed by using the above skills. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT teaches that whether you think you can or think you CAN’T in any situation, you are correct, because it is the job of your brain to help turn what you want into your reality. However, you must BELIEVE YOU CAN first! Visualization and self-talk help you believe in yourself.


  • "The PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT curriculum by Vicki Phillips has been a wonderful addition to our elective classes. Students are better able to take control of their emotions, realize they have choices, and positively change their behavior. We have more students talking and trying to resolve conflicts than ever before."
    --Donna Olson, LIFE School Social Worker, Elkhart, Indiana

  • "I have found that PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT appeals to 'at-risk' adolescents because it puts them in charge of their own lives--using positive strategies that promote self-awareness and self control. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT has a sound educational and psychological basis, blending the research of many noted theorists into practical activities. Since the materials are centered on specific needs and experiences of 'at-risk' students, it is possible to maintain a high interest level throughout the PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT course."
    --Buzz Wynbeek, Teacher/Advisor, River Valley Academy, Rockford, Michigan

  • "I selected Vicki Phillips' curriculum, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, after trying out lessons from several different programs, because the students showed the most interest in these lessons and were more responsive in the discussions. I like having both the Individualized and Group formats since, not only do students have a choice of format, but also, students who are absent from one of the group classes can make up the work."
    --Linda M. Rosenwood, Instructor, Educational Opportunity Center, Clarkston,Washington

  • "We had been desperately casting about for something to help our at-risk students better cope with their frustrations, anger, and self-defeating behaviors. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT was the answer to our prayers. Our students love the content and format, and the skills they learn help them cope with their everyday problems. The materials and subject matter are timely, up-to-date, and easy to use. Parents of students consistently share the difference they are seeing at home. Students are more relaxed, less likely to explode in frustration, and have a greater sense of control over their lives. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT is truly the heart of our program."
    --Ron Patzer, Teacher, Lakeshore Alternative Education, Stevensville, Michigan

  • "Wow! What a treasure chest of information PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT offers! We teachers share the excitement of watching students creatively interact while performing the relevant and fun activities provided in the materials. Our students have learned to trust in one another and in us. We truly believe in this program!"
    --Cathleen Neal, LCSW and Catherine Wieland, MFCC, Duane E. Furman High School, Madera, California


  • "PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT helped me learn to stay in my Adult ego state, to not get so mad all the time, and to think positive. I have a new outlook on everything now." --Melissa I.

  • "PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT helped me deal with anger in a positive way. It changed my feelings toward things. I have a better attitude now. I feel like a new person." --Joe L.

  • "PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT has helped me become a
    responsible adult who can cope with my problems. Now I have a
    positive attitude and outlook." --Johnny N.

  • "After taking PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, I feel I can deal with anything. This class is so wonderful and helpful that every school should have this course." --Theresa B.


Group Curriculum  
+ $18 s/h
Individualized Curriculum  
+ $18 s/h
Group + Individualized Curricula  
+ 18 s/h
Personal Development Preview Packet  
+ $5 s/h
P.D. Preview Packet + 75 min. CD,
Building the 3 R's, which explains
the P.D. philosophy
+ $5 s/h

*NOTE: This price includes the right to duplicate materials for your own classes.

A 75 page Preview Packet, containing 5 of the 80 lessons presented in both the Group and Individualized format, along with additional information, is available for $15. A 75 minute CD, "Building Respect, Responsibility, and Resiliency In At-Risk Adolescents," (in which Vicki describes the curriculum and its major themes), is available for another $10.

To order by purchase order or check, use the online form.

P.O. Box 203, Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Phone: (831) 659-5913 or
(888) 4 AT RISK
Fax: (831) 659-9109

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