Middle School Social Skills Group

Facilitated by: Annalisa Harty, M.A. Resident in Counseling

When: Tuesdays 4:30-6pm

Cost: $75/Session, must pay for a month at a time

Location: Sunstone Counseling – 1485 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 300 McLean, VA 22101

What social skills will be learned?

This group will teach and practice essential social skills including initiating conversation, making and keeping friends, resolving conflicts, understanding body language, building social confidence, addressing social anxieties, digital communication, teamwork, and leadership. Additional topics may be added as participants set their own goals and bring up struggles that they are handling.

What will a typical session look like?

Each session will be focused around a topic and will begin with introductions and a check-in. We will discuss the topic of the week and do a group activity to learn and practice the skills. Participants will have some unstructured time to share with the group and provide feedback for one another other. Participants will often have information to take home and continue practicing outside of the group.

Who will benefit from this group?

This group is ideal for kids ages 11-14 who are struggling with interacting with their peers. The skills explored will help students with shyness, social anxiety, and difficulty understanding social cues.

Why should I join a group instead of individual counseling?

Group counseling provides many benefits that individual counseling cannot. In a group, participants can practice the skills they are learning together. They see other people with similar challenges which can help them gain confidence and understand that they are not alone. In a group, participants have the opportunity to get instant feedback on their interactions and learn from each other.

What if I’m nervous about joining?

Joining a group can be intimidating because you won’t know completely what to expect or who will be in the group until the first day. It is common to look for reasons not to join – because it’s uncomfortable to step into the unknown. At the same time, great personal growth can come from moving out of your comfort zone in this way and giving it a try! What you can count on is that the group will be filled with other adolescents who are in the same place as you, open to trying something new and learning valuable skills. Confidentiality is also very important in this group. We all commit to keeping everyone’s identities and any information shared confidential. Finally, there is no pressure to share out loud. While sharing is a part of this group, the focus will be on learning new skills through expressive arts and on self-reflection.

How long does the group run and when can newcomers join?

This group is an open group, which means that participants can join for as long as they wish and newcomers can join at any time. We ask participants to commit for a month at a time in order to guarantee we have enough participants to run the group and to give two weeks notification before leaving the group. A commitment to attending regularly and being on time is important for the entire group to be successful and for mastery of the skills.

How does payment work?

The cost for this group is $75/session. Participants will be billed for the month’s sessions ($300/four sessions) on the last week of the month. Refunds will not be given for any sessions that the individual cannot attend.

How can I join?

Contact Annalisa Harty at annalisa@sunstonecounselors.com to schedule a 55-minute intake session ($75/ session) that will include the participant and at least one parent. We must complete an intake session before the student can start the group to ensure good fit and discuss the particulars of the group.