Social & Communication Skills
 

One afternoon a week is dedicated to developing the communication and social skills our clients need to build and maintain relationships with friends and family.  We cover anger management, passivety and assertiveness - how to recognise these and control or change any behaviour that is detrimental to our communicating.

We have looked too at empathy and how we can recognise other people's discomfort and make the appropriate response.

While initially the sessions were almost exclusively workbook based, 

with 4 - 5 years experience to draw on, we now use role plays in groups and pairs, games and brain storming sessions where all ideas contributed are written on the board for discussion and evaluation.  Self awareness is covered in depth, as too is the interpretation of body language and possibilities for initiation of conversation. Our supervisors aim  to make these classes fun and to encourage participation from those who normally hold back.  Our client group includes people with autistic spectrum disorders (e.g. aspergers syndrome) as well as those whose acquired brain injury has reduced their ability to consider the consequences of their words or actions. Clients are often buddied up, given a situation to consider and then asked to report their solutions back to the group.

Ensuring that words and behaviour are appropriate is given strong emphasis in our group as is the need to take personal responsibility for our one's relationships and how they function.

Repetition of desirable behaviours is achieved by covering the same topics in many different ways, thereby building on previous lessons and emphasising the importance of the skills learned.

The sharing of thoughts and ideas in a non-threatening setting has produced some really significant leaps forward by those who have struggled with inappropriateness or shyness in social situations.