In taking a recovery-oriented approach to treatment, we seek to teach skills which will translate into real world goal achievement. One key area integral to overall functioning is the ability to create and maintain relationships. Underlying that ability are social skills and social cognition.
Social Skills Training involves teaching and practicing skills basic to interpersonal communication, such as paying attention, maintaining eye contact, manners and customs, making conversation, and learning to be assertive. Skills are taught didactically, through role playing, and via multimedia presentation. Ample opportunity for practice is provided in a group setting.
To facilitate the generalization of these skills to everyday situations, there is an Experiential Group which goes into the community to practice basic social skills.
Social cognition is a related, but separate set of skills integral to interpersonal relationships. It refers to how we interpret social situations and involves the consideration and understanding of the actions, thoughts, and feeling of others. Specifically, we teach patients to take someone else's perspective, to distinguish multiple causes for events (such as accidental versus purposeful actions), to read facial affect, and to read nonverbal behavioral cues. At the Lieber Clinic we have Social Cognition and Interaction Training groups to teach these skills.