Social Skills Training and Psycho-education
Many psychological, behavioural and personality issues, including most mental health conditions have social impact and social factors.
Social interaction effected by mental illness
Often a mental health condition is worsened by a lack of social engagement, which is itself made difficult because of feeling unwell. Feeling depressed or anxious, or suffering from mood swings, obsessions, phobias or pretty much any other form of mental illness or psychological distress often makes it hard for people to interact socially, and often leaves them instinctively wanting to isolate themselves.
Social interaction or lack of worsening mental illness
Some forms of social interaction may be inappropriate or excessive, or lead to contact with people who have a manipulative or abusive intent. Therefore negative social interaction can be part of the overall psycho-social-biological make up of a mental illness.
Lack of skills or empathy in social interaction
Many people with issues like long term depression, childhood trauma, a history of abuse or other developmental interruptions or disruptions will not have the social skills and experience to be able to have positive social interactions. They may be over defensive, over self protective, a little hostile, emotionally unable to empathise with others, unable to trust or even downright hostile. Whatever the result, this is caused by a lack of being able to understand interactions, interpretations and the cause and effect of behaviours.
Social Skills Training
Social skills training can cover a wide range of issues. For example:
- Assertiveness training
- Improving confidence
- Understanding communication
- Understanding body language
- Understanding boundaries and setting them
- Recognising your own tone and behavioural “look”
- Having more empathy for others
- Not making assumptions such as what others think or want
- Choosing interpretations that work in situations
- Choosing behaviours that work in situations
- Cause and effect
- Choosing and then moving towards your own desired outcome
- Managing emotions and mental health related feelings and symptoms
- Understanding how social behaviour can effect your condition positively or negatively
- Learning relaxation methods like mindfulness, self hypnosis, meditation, autogenics, chi gung
- Learning to manage stress or anger
- Learning to better analyse situations and outcomes
- Learning to cope better with depression, anxiety, bipolar and mood or personality disorders
Who provides social skills training
Most psychologists and cognitive behavioural therapists provide some element of social skills training. Life coaches often also claim to provide such training but the depth of knowledge about mental illness that a life coach has can vary tremendously, since the industry has no regulatory standards.
Stuart trained with the Association of Stress Management with at the core a combination of:
- Analysis, both psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural
- Counselling, mainly humanistic stress counselling
- Clinical hypnotherapy
- Psycho-education and social skills training
Stuart’s Diploma (1993-6) was externally assessed and accredited through a level 4 NVQ Training and Development award. This was in the context of complementary health education and specifically required evidence of social skills and self care training as a core function of “doing the job”. Since then he has completed multiple accreditations and University degrees.
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Social skills training, psycho-education, psychological education, mental health management, bipolar management, depression management, anxiety management, OCD management, personality disorder management, symptom management, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, mindfulness, assertiveness, self hypnosis, relaxation, stress management, social interaction, interpersonal skills, interpersonal psychotherapy, Edinburgh, Scotland
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