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In 2002-2003 as part of her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, Eri undertook a research project involving two NSW Department of Education primary schools located in suburban Sydney.

The aim of the study was to examine whether training 10 year-old (year 5) primary school children in the FRIENDS program (a cognitive behavioural approach) would reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety and negative self-talk prior to the children giving a class presentation.

Altogether 51 children were the subject of the study: 29 children at the one school were trained using the FRIENDS program, and 22 children at the other school received anxiety education alone.

Pre and post training assessments were conducted using the SASC-R (Social Anxiety Scale for Children - Revised ... elementary school level version) and the NASSQ (Negative Affect Self- Statement Questionnaire ... for 7 to 10 year olds).

It was found that the FRIENDS group showed significantly less negative self-talk at post training assessment and prior to giving a class presentation, in comparison with the anxiety education group.

These results support the universal inclusion of training programs such as FRIENDS in the primary school curriculum.

Eri maintains her currency with cutting-edge professional research and techniques by attending a wide range of professional symposiums.