Social Skills Training
As you grow up, there are certain skills you learn through direct instruction like how to tie your shoes, read, wash clothes and, even, long division. Social skills are usually not among this list of common skills that you are taught in at home or in school because many people learn these things “naturally” through observation. But what about our children, teens or adults who don’t learn social skills naturally? Often they can be frustrated and lonely because they want to socialize and are trying to observe others but there is a missing link in learning how to apply it themselves. In these cases, social skills training can be one of the best tools!
What is social skills training?
The Mental Health & Mental Disorders Encyclopedia defines social skills training (SST) as a form of therapy applied by a variety of mental health professionals and educators to help people with social problems. SST has successfully treated people facing a variety of issues including substance abuse, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder and related disorders, schizophrenia, intellectual disabilities, and more.
An essential element of our SST is family and caregiver involvement. Therefore, when a child, teen or adult receives SST, their parent, sibling or other caregiver is educated on what they learn and how to best support them outside of therapy. Our social skills training involves the following evidence-based steps:
- Conduct role-play demonstrations of social successes and errors
- Teach concrete steps for improving social skills (i.e. starting a conversation or electronic communication)
- Rehearse successful social skills
- Provide coaching and feedback to build on successes and correct errors
- Assign homework for practicing and generalizing social skills
Benefits of social skills training
According to research, when people improve their social skills, several positive changes can occur in their lives. These benefits can include better quality friendships, attending more social outings, improved perspective-taking, more social motivation, and overall enhanced quality of life.
If you are wondering how to improve your or your child’s social life due to problems with social skills, this could be a great option for you! Contact us to learn more.