Many children and adolescents feel uncomfortable, stressed, or anxious in social situations and can benefit from social skills training. They may find social situations confusing and have difficulty knowing how to behave. It is important to help children learn how to respond appropriately in social situations so that they can make and keep friends, and learn and grow successfully in social environments.
Benefits of social skills training
Social skills training helps children to develop an understanding of the dynamics of social interactions. It also aims to help children develop better communication skills and understand themselves and others better, so that they can behave in age-appropriate ways.
Social skills training can benefit any child, but can also be particularly beneficial for children who are anxious in social situations, those who have been bullied or teased, and for those with specific difficulties such as ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).
Social skills strategies
Skills that are taught as part of a social skills training regime may include:
- Making eye contact
- Listening and making conversation
- Sharing and turn-taking
- Asking questions
- Understanding and using body language and voice tone
- Managing anger and difficult emotions
- Promoting understanding of the self (i.e., my own needs, preferences and wants)
- Understanding other people’s perspectives and developing empathy
- Building confidence and self-esteem
- Dealing with teasing and bullying
Our psychologists teach social skills to children in a one-on-one situation. However they will often also recommend group social skills programs as an adjunct to this therapy. If you would like to book an appointment with one of our child clinical psychologists who teaches these strategies, please email or call the clinic on 02 9438 2511.