Dream Big – Learn the DNA-v steps

Learn the DNA-v model

Find the fire inside you with DNA-v

Scroll down for videos to inspire your work with adolescents 

Below are 4 simple videos that can help introduce young people to their DNA-V. Now you will have a way to show young people, inspire them, fire them. The videos can provide the springboard for counselling or classroom discussions.

What is DNA-V?

DNA-V starts with the simple premise that we humans have much more potential than we can ever express in one moment. We are more like fire than stone. We are never complete, never broken, always capable of growth.

DNA-V synthesises the behaviours found in all humans – we all have this kind of DNA just as we all have DNA in our cells. DNA-v is based on the latest evidence base and provides a dynamic model that can support personal growth and improve psychological problems. DNA-v uses the effective elements found in all therapies and psychological interventions.

D, N, and A stand for discoverer, noticer, and advisor, three classes of behaviour, or less technically ‘ways of being, or spaces, that we can move between’. We can learn to flexibly move between DNA to become more skilled at each, and use them to create a life with heart – value and vitality (the V).

We can help people become DNA-v shifters – able to flexibly move around and choose the behaviour that best fits the situation.

These videos are just the beginning. Soon we will have videos that go into more depth, and especially cover the more advanced skills of social-view and self-view.

Scroll down for videos to inspire your work with adolescents 


DNA-v is a simple way of helping young people learn about the skills they have inside them. This video explains the first steps.


The advisor represents our inner voice. It is an incredible skill that helps us humans navigate the world efficiently. In contrast to the discoverer, the advisor space is about avoiding trial and error. It involves judging, evaluating, generating rules, listening to our self-talk, and problem-solving. The advisor can become a problem if we use it blindly, we can lose contact with the physical world and use worry, rumination, our own self-talk or rules even if they do not help us grow. DNA-v can be used to train skilled advisors.


The noticer represents a group of behaviours all humans are born with.  This is the space where we notice what is going on inside our bodies and what is going on in the outside world. Noticing helps us to identify and use information from the world. We learn to notice incoming messages, attend to them,  and respond to them or allow them to come and go without responding. For example, we get notice our anger, and decide then how best to act, rather than merely reacting to our anger. Skilled noticers are able to appreciate the present moment and respond to their noticer messages in ways that help them thrive.


The discoverer encapsulates how we humans are driven to explore and interact with the world through direct experience. This skill involves learning by trial and error.  Stand up, fall down, stand up again. Discoverer can be a scary space, but it is also the place we move into if we want to broaden and build our life.  We also go into discoverer if we want to fully engage with the physical world, as when an athlete gets into the full flow of a game or a carpenter is fully absorbed in making a beautiful table. In both of these examples, there is direct contact with physical reality and feedback about what is and is not working. Unskilled discoverers can get stuck repeating impulsive behaviours that have short term payoffs but long term costs. DNA-v can help young people become skilled discoverers.

This Discoverer video has interactive components – to access the interactive buttons go to this link –

This video shows you how to use DNA-v to help with all kinds of things we want to grow or change. Here we use not liking school, but you can apply the same steps to anything at all.


Find out more about DNA-V and it’s research base:

Get training online – DNA-V is now in online training for professionals click here for details

Go to a DNA-v live workshop – Louise Hayes runs professional development workshops and invited talks. Click here for details. 

Read more of the science – If you want to read more about the evidence base and theory underpinning DNA-V, please access this article http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01561/full.

Read more of the SEL base – If you want to see how DNA-V can be applied in schools, go to this article on how DNA-V maps to best practice social and emotional learning standards –  click here

Read the book – If you want to see the complete model, check out the book that has it all – – The Thriving Adolescent. You can download the first chapter for free by subscribing at the bottom of our home page.

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