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1. Interactive Didactic: Specific resilience, leadership and social competence skills are focused on each week using discussion, role plays, or other age appropriate techniques for emphasis. Topics we have covered include: mental flexibility, personal space awareness, anger/anxiety management, self-regulation, taking turns, starting and maintaining conversations, intention and impact of behavior, etc.
2. Free Play/ Behavioral Rehearsal: Children practice friendship skills with other kids through play in group with the group leader available to coach them through specific struggles that arise, and praise the use of skills taught.
3. Relaxation/Self-Regulation Techniques: Therapists help children increase awareness of the connection between body, emotions, and feelings through calm breathing, visualization (or imagination walks), mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, music, or yoga.
4. Generalization: Resilience Builder homework assignments and sportsmanship activities (e.g., using the Wii, or going bowling) are utilized to reinforce the positive gains seen in the group therapy setting and expand them to use in the world outside of group.
5. Parents as Active Partners: Therapists are continually informing, encouraging and assisting parents. Each week parents are given information about the specific social skill the group is addressing, ideas to encourage and foster development, and recommendations for additional readings. In addition, each month parents are invited to join their child for a part of group.
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