Many children and adolescents who present for therapy services here at In Step experience difficulties in their peer relationships. They may encounter problems making and keeping friends, have trouble noticing social cues, or have a hard time expressing themselves. Both individual and group therapy can assist children and teens to gain skills for navigating their interpersonal environments.
Here are some methods we use to help kids develop their social skills:
- Recognize positive and negative social influences.
We work with children to sketch drawings or diagrams that map out their social worlds, and identify how they feel about certain people or groups of people.
- Develop plans with them to maximize positive social influences.
We suggest concrete plans with children about what they could do to improve their social environment, such as “call Steve”, “join the Boy Scouts” or “avoid Sarah”.
- Help them identify and manage their feelings about interpersonal events.
We help kids identify their feelings about social situations, and also help them cope with these feelings. For example, a child may express that he or she feels hurt or angry that another child has teased him, we encourage that child to express his feelings through words, art, or play.