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How Do We Work On Social Skills Online?

This is a question I've commonly heard working in teletherapy, and it's understandable as there can be limitations to what you have to change as we aren't physically in the same room. In my experience, working one-to-one on social skills virtually allows you to target your own difficulties or areas of confusion at a pace that is more comfortable for you, rather than being thrown into a difficult situation and being expected to react successfully then.


Today I'll discuss some of the ways we can work on social skills/communication online for teens and adults.


#1: Identify goals for social skills online


It's important to make goals that are achievable for you. This means that the goal is not "never feel uncomfortable in a social situation", but a goal along the lines of "to use one social skills framework to speak to [specific person]". By working through smaller goals, you will find that you get closer and closer to the larger goal you have. This allows you to see progress but also areas that you may not have realized were difficult for you. At the start of therapy, we use some discussion and questionnaires to make these goals and continue to update as we go.


What areas can I work on?


There is a large number of areas that we could focus on, including but not limited to:

  • Asking/answering questions

  • Small talk

  • Making introductions

  • Being assertive

  • Compliments

  • Giving/receiving criticism

  • Communicating emotions

  • Body language for virtual vs in-person environments

  • Making friendships

#2: What does a therapy session look like?


Within the therapy appointment itself, a few minutes are spent discussing or catching up on previous work. Half the time will then be spent on a warm-up, which can include scripted practice based on the goals, or discussion on ways to consider your current mindset in social situations. From there, the reaminder of the time is spent on role-play and trying out the strategies and frameworks discussed with me. For example, if speaking to a co-worker is a difficult situation, then I will play the role of this co-worker and we will tweak responses with constructive feedback to help you build confidence.



A woman doing therapy virtually/online
Working on social skills from the comfort of your home can be a good way to build up your skills and confidence

#3: How long will it take?


As you can imagine, this is another popular question. The answer is never clear-cut because each individual is different, but usually in setting 2-3 short-term goals at the start of therapy, we aim for achieving those goals in about 2 months (ideally meeting once per week, or once every 2 weeks).


#4: It will take EFFORT


As with most skills, speech therapy goals take motivation, time and practice to become better. It's similar to playing any sport - if you only practice once and expect to be great for the tournament day, you're not setting yourself up for success. I will help you find ways to incorporate goals more easily into your life, but it's important to remember to set aside time to practice on your own too. This will help us work towards your goals more easily.


If you have questions about your own use of social skills, contact me at nimra@speakclear.ca or through our online booking system.



Two women using good social skills
Social skills take practice

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