Welcome to The Decider© training portal.

The training site will change slightly from 1 February, and may be unavailable for a short time.  You will be redirected to a new login page where you will continue to access your account using your existing login details. 

Completing The Decider Life Skills online training will enable you to teach The Decider Life Skills to your client/student group.

Read about The Decider by clicking on the About tab in the navigation bar.  

Browse the website www.thedecider.org.uk/lifeskills/ to find out more, particularly the outcomes and feedback pages.

You will be sent one copy of both The Decider Life Skills Trainer Manual and Handbook.  You can start the course immediately, but you can also wait for your printed materials to arrive via the regular postal system.  If you live outside the UK, then your printed manuals may take longer to arrive, so we suggest you start the course immediately.

You have access to this training portal for two months.  The system does not permit us to reset your password, so please save your login details before continuing.

People learn differently, so we have included different ways of teaching each skill.  It is this that makes learning The Decider different to other approaches. 

The Decider Life Skills :

When you have read to the bottom of this page and watched the videos, click on Let's Start and thereafter follow the course steps by clicking on "Next Step" at the bottom of each page as you complete them.

Each time you login, you need to scroll through the pages.  Once you have completed the introductory section, you can click on this link https://training.thedecider.org.uk/skills/ 

  • Then scroll down the page and click on "Next"
  • Scroll down to the skill icons at the bottom of the page
  • Click on the last skill you completed to progress

Do not go through the course quickly.  Take it one step/skill at a time. Read ALL the text, watch EVERY video.  Repeat if necessary, and make sure you understand the skill, before moving on.

When you watch each skills video, notice the hand signs for each skill.  These are another way of embedding the skills. They are summarised in "Guess the skill" mime at the end of each workshop, or see the video in The Decider Life Skills online resources at www.thedecider.org.uk/lifeskills/resources/

The videos show the skills being demonstrated to a group of mental health professionals.  When teaching the skills, keep the printed materials the same, and adapt the practical teaching of the skills to your client or student group.

Read your printed manual too, and practise the skills for yourself, and then with others.

The steps of this online course include:

  • Introduction to CBT
  • The 12 Decider Life Skills
  • A multiple-choice assessment will ensure that you understand the main elements of The Decider © Life Skills.  You must complete this in order to receive a Certificate of Completion.  Please email us at admin@thedecider.org.uk to let us know you have completed the course (or if you have any problems with the online training) and we will send you your certificate via email. 

We hope you enjoy the course!

Michelle Ayres and Carol Vivyan
Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists






One of our greatest challenges is teaching adults and children the skills to understand and manage their own emotions and mental health.

We tend to wait until things go wrong, and maybe have been wrong for a long time, before we try to unpick and fix any mental health problems.  



Everyone is taught fire drill from a very young age.  Every year, it is refreshed and reinforced, every new academic year, every new job, yearly training, every workshop or course we go on.

Fire Drill has saved countless lives over the years since it was introduced after a school fire in 1958.   Thankfully, very few of us will experience a real fire.  

ALL of us experience an internal fire of emotion, every day!  Yet there is no formal teaching about how to manage those emotions.

We would like The Decider Life Skills to be reinforced in all areas of an individual's life:  at home, in health settings, in social settings, at work, and in education - just like fire drill.


Distilling the Complex

We know that CPR, or cardio-pulomary resucitation, is a very complex process.  However, we do not NEED to know or understand those complex processes that happen when we use CPR.  We just need to know what to do.


The British Heart Foundation's advert showing how to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) helped to save many lives. It taught us all a vital skill in a fun, creative and memorable way.

We have worked hard to distill the complex theory which underpins each one of The Decider Life Skills.  We have made complex skills simple, fun, memorable and user-friendly.



Common wisdom says "a leopard cannot change its spots".  

However, we know that the brain is plastic - what scientists call neuroplasticity.  Our neural synapses and pathways can change.  New habits are created when we practise, practise and practise!

This means the brain can learn, and re-learn new skills and habits - an old dog CAN learn new tricks!

When we learn, we create new neural pathways, and with repeated practice, these pathways become super-highways!

Ask The Decider!




The Demonstrations are the JAM in the Sandwich

It is the demonstrations that bring The Decider Skills to life. Fun aids learning and makes the skill memorable.

All Decider Skills are taught in a Discuss – Demonstrate – Discuss format. In groups, the skills will each take about 20 minutes to teach.

 Jam Sandwich

The First Discussion (the first slice of the bread of the sandwich).

This is the explanation/theory – the WHY we are teaching this skill.

How we hope you will be able to use the skill.

Perhaps you are using this skill already to some degree?

Emphasise the evidence base and explain where the skill sits in the core skill sets of Distress Tolerance, Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation or Interpersonal Effectiveness.

  • Explain why you are doing the demonstration, i.e. fun helps us to remember each skill
  • Refer to the visual
  • Show the prop
  • Repeat the hand signs

The Demonstration (the jam of the sandwich)

  • Make this fun! It is the demonstration. Make it local. Make it count!


The Second Discussion (the second slice of the bread of the sandwich)

  • This is asking the client to think about HOW to use the skill in their own life.
  • When could you use the skill? Where could you use the skill?
  • How could you use the skill?
  • Read the skills handout
  • Reflect on the skill and the demonstration
  • Discuss the skill with a carer, friend or mental health professional
  • Practise using the skill
  • Reflect on using the skill - what went well, what didn’t go well, what will you do next time
  • Practise again


Now watch these videos.  Other videos are on the website video page:  TheDecider.org.uk/videos.htm


Testimonial:  Primary School Headteacher


Testimonial:  CAMHS Psychologist


Introduction to The Decider Life Skills by Michelle & Carol


 Short animated introduction


Video from South Gloucester CAMHS (password: kingswood)



I have found this approach to be exceptionally effective and highly recommend the team

The Decider Life Skills

STOPPIt Will PassRight NowName the EmotionOpposite ActionFact or OpinionSELF CareValuesListenRESPECTCrystal CLEARReflect

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