The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders defines social skills training (SST) as a form of behavior therapy used by teachers, therapists, and trainers to help persons who have difficulties relating to other people. A major goal of social skills training is teaching individuals who may or may not have emotional problems about the verbal as well as nonverbal behaviors involved in social interactions. A person who lacks certain social skills may have great difficulty building a network of supportive friends and acquaintances, as he or she grows older, and may become socially isolated. Moreover, one of the consequences of loneliness is an increased risk of developing emotional problems or mental disorders.
Counselor Jennifer understands how heartbreaking it is for parents to see their children being unable to have normal rapports due to lack of social skills. Counselor Jennifer provides children and families with social, emotional, and life skills, as well as counseling and special education consultation in a comfortable and engaging setting. Her sessions may include talk therapy, play therapy, sand therapy, therapeutic games, or more. She also addresses parent/child relationships, providing sessions to increase positive interactions in the home, as well as co-parenting concerns and/or discipline styles. With an individualized approach and truly open communication she is able to better form a bond in a supportive and creative environment that is ideal and essential for true growth.
Some children struggle in various social settings, are unable to make appropriate eye contact, and have difficulty maintaining conversations. In fact, some may even have a hard time discerning subtle cues contained in social interactions, such as how to tell when someone wants to change the topic of conversation or shift to another activity. When children are critized for their lack of adequate social skills, it can affect their self-esteem resulting in them withdrawing even more.
Jennifer offers social skills training in a comfortable and friendly setting for patients who suffer from Asperger’s syndrome, anxiety, autism, and trauma. This type of setting can assist individuals in learning to interpret social cues so that they can determine how to act appropriately in the company of other people in a variety of different situations. The child determines goals with the assistance of his/her parents and once the goals are achieved, new goals can be established.
Clients learn to change their social behavior patterns by practicing selected behaviors in individual or group therapy sessions. Another goal of social skills training is improving a individual’s ability to function in everyday social situations. Once goals are met, clients will notice their anxiety decreases while their self-esteem increases.
Children and adults alike have to enter into social situations that bring up some level of social discomfort. If you find yourself anxious in social situations, you should know that you are not alone. Social anxiety is very common, and can affect people from all walks of life. You should also know that there are ways to help you learn to truly enjoy situations that once brought out feelings of anxiety and stress.
With the right type of intervention, children, teenagers, and adults dealing with social skills problems can learn to thrive socially, participate in social activities, and live happy, healthy lives. Counselor Jennifer can help you or your child achieve that goal. If your schedule doesn’t allow weekday visits, her office is open evenings and weekends. Call to make an appointment (716) 432-3656.