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Why Watson for Social Skill Group Therapy?

  • Watson has conducted social skill groups for children and adolescents led by master's level clinicians trained in autism specific techniques for seven years.
  • Therapists use a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach to teaching social skills.
  • Groups have a strong therapeutic and instructional component (not just recreational).  Participants receive "homework" assignments to promote generalization - the development of social skills beyond the group setting.
  • Children and adolescent groups consist of similar aged peers with similar skills no larger than 10 per group.
  • Concurrent parent groups promote parental involvement and skill generalization.

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Learning and Information for Families and Educators

A comprehensive, research based resource for families and educators of individuals with disabilities.

Group Therapy

Group Therapy

The Watson Institute offers social skills therapy groups specifically designed for children on the Autism Spectrum (Asperger’s, PDD NOS, High Functioning Autism). Provided by Psychological Services at Watson, these groups offer specific training in many social survival skills, including:


Developing Friendships

Emotional regulation (anxiety, depression, anger)

How to assess and handle teasing and bullying

Applying new skills in "real world" community settings

The groups use cognitive-behavioral interventions, making use of the strengths of the children to teach them to compensate for their weaker areas. The groups meet weekly for ninety minute sessions, allowing time for skills training and the practicing of new skills during “socialization time.” Groups are offered in different age categories, beginning with age 6 through adolescence. An optional parent group is offered concurrently with many groups.

Here are some of the kids' impressions of group:

  • "Groups are fun and they help me relieve my stress and relax a lot."
  • "Group really helps me get more friends in school and I learned what to do when I get bullied."
  • "I enjoy learning new skills to impress girls."
  • "Group is so good that I don't want to leave."
  • "I learned the difference between being confident and stuck up."
  • "I learned how to solve my anger problems."

Groups are currently offered in Sewickley, Sharpsburg and Upper St. Clair. Most services are billable to primary insurance or medical assistance.

To learn more, please call Watson Psychological Services at (412) 749-6425. To enroll, please complete our intake form.

Click here for a printable brochure outlining group therapy times and locations.