The Occupational Therapy department at Aderyn delivered the 12 week Social Skills Programme, a core treatment group designed primarily for individuals with Schizophrenia and high functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
The key aims of the group were to achieve a greater understanding and improvement in social and communication skills in various every day relationships and social settings.
The programme consisted of a two pronged approach by providing on ward educational/practice based sessions and practical activities in the community. Sessions included use of role-play, scenarios, visuals, warm-ups, modelling, reflections, homework tasks and verbal instruction and reinforcement. The structure of the group consisted of four patients and two facilitators. Some of the topics included; active listening, conversation skills, assertiveness, social problem solving, Relationships and managing conflict.
The feedback provided from service-users reflecting on the programme;
“I look forward to a Thursday because of the Social Skills Group”.
“You wouldn’t get this treatment in prison. That’s the first time I have seen a train in 30 years”.
In the initial stage one service user stated;
“I won’t try anything new because I am scared I won’t like it”. Following engagement in the Social Skills Group he reflected stating “It’s never too late to change. I enjoyed the group and I can’t wait for the next one to start”.
A student Nurse joined the penultimate session and reflected on this in a positive manner;
“I see it a lot when I’ve worked with females, they take centre stage and open up but I never expected that from the male client group. They were so comfortable and confident.”
Therapy Support Worker Pete co-facilitated the programme and shared his thoughts; “for me it was about reflecting on our actions and actually actively listening to each other”.
Senior Occupational Therapist Kathryn stated “the social skills programme demonstrated how adapting the environment and social contexts can illicit powerful and meaningful responses. The group began to feel comfortable and were learning from each other”.