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Charlie, one of the boys

How To Dump Your Mates

Ever felt like dumping your mates and finding new ones? In this five-part series, expert Psychologist Geoff Beattie gives teenagers who feel trapped, isolated and pressured the chance to do what at first seems impossible – to dump their peer group and find new mates. In each episode Geoff meets a teen who wants more or something different from life, and takes them on a four-day crash course showing how to cope with each unthinkable step and challenge – from telling their old friends they are chucked, to finding new ones.

Friends have an enormous affect on personal development, especially in the teenage years when opinions and attitudes are formed. It's easy to get trapped with the wrong crowd. They can hold you back, stop you trying new things and ultimately, prevent you from being yourself.

In How To Dump Your Mates Geoff advises the teenagers, step by step, on how to proactively address the areas of their life they are unsatisfied with and helps them find like-minded friends. Over the four days he guides them through every step of the process, from identifying why they are unhappy and confronting their current friends, to finding a new group of friends and integrating among them, to ultimately deciding which mates they want to dump.

The teens up for the challenge are:
Sophie, who, with her superficial fashionista friends, lives like she's in an episode of The OC, but she really longs for the company of the 'emo' music crowd
Chris, a teen who is literally 'the only gay in the village', and has to chose between his straight mates and new gay friends
Charlie, a skater chick who's always been 'one of the boys', but secretly wishes she could change her appearance and become a 'girly girl'
Adam who is full of ambition, but feels tied to a group of friends who hang out on the streets and actually look forward to going on the dole
Beau who dreams of being a breakdancer performing with Missy Elliott, but is lumbered with mates who gamble, smoke and burn up their estate.

Before finding new friends each teenager must confront their mates with their reasons for wanting to break with them. All contact with the old group is then banned over the course of the four days whilst the teen's look is transformed and they sample their new scene.

At the end of the four days, the old friends surprise their mate whilst they are with the new crowd and for the first time both groups come face to face. By this time the teen will know what makes the gang tick and how they fit in with them and why. They may even surprise themselves with the realisation that the new friends they are most suited to are actually the ones they wanted to leave behind.

Produced for Channel 4 by Celador.

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