Social skills training is a therapeutic technique for improving the success of clients’ interpersonal interactions. Social skills involve the ability to communicate with others in ways that are both appropriate and effective. Appropriateness refers to meeting accepted standards of social behavior within one’s cultural and social community. Effectiveness refers to successfully achieving social goals pursued through human interaction. A deficit in social skills is a feature of many different clinical problems, including schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression, alcoholism, and certain personality disorders. This entry discusses the assessment of a client’s suitability for social skills training, direct instruction (coaching), presenting models enacting target social behaviors, role play, and homework.

Although interpersonal problems have been recognized as a feature of many mental health disorders for more ...

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