Teaching Social Skills to Youth with Mental Health Disorders



by Jennifer Resetar Volz, Ph.D., Tara Snyder, Psy.D., and Michael Sterba, M.H.D.

Research and experience show that children and adolescents who struggle with emotional, behavioral and social problems do improve when they learn prosocial skills. Social skill instruction, therefore, can be a vital component in the treatment planning for a child diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Teaching Social Skills to Youth with Mental Health Disorders is a guide for therapists, counselors, psychologists, educators, and other practitioners trying to help these youth get better.

In this book, you’ll find an introduction to the DSM-IV-TR and other mental health assessment and evaluation tools and how to individualize treatment plans while considering children’s developmental, cultural, behavioral, emotional social, genetic, and biological variables.

Following a discussion of the importance and effectiveness of skill teaching in the treatment of mental health disorders, the authors provide a series of charts that list the social skills that caregivers and treatment providers might target for each of more than a hundred DSM-IV-TR diagnoses common for children and adolescents. Finally, examples of treatment plans show you how social skills can be integrated into plans across different settings and levels of care – home and school, foster care, residential group home, and psychiatric facility.

Teaching Social Skills to Youth with Mental Health Disorders can help and encourage any professional striving to improve the lives of troubled youth.

184 pages

Additional information

Weight 1.5 oz
Dimensions 8.5 × 11 × 0.25 in


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