Psychosocial Skills Training

Last Updated: May 30, 2020

Definition - What does Psychosocial Skills Training mean?

Psychosocial skills training refers to a set of methods and practices used to assist individuals with psychological or emotional problems or disorders that affect their ability to interact in a socially appropriate manner. Through exercises and experiences designed to address specific skills deficits, individuals are assisted in developing improved social functioning.

Methods used for psychosocial skills training may include social problem solving, role-playing, supervised interactions, didactic instruction, modeling and reinforcement exercises.

Psychosocial skills training may be referred to as social skills training (SST), basic skills training (BST) or psychosocial rehabilitation skills (PRS) training.

WorkplaceTesting explains Psychosocial Skills Training

Psychosocial skills training may be offered to children or adults who have a social functioning deficit. Social skills training is usually provided as part of a broader treatment plan which may include medication and counseling. The goal of psychosocial skills training is to help individuals reach their maximum level of functioning. In some instances, psychosocial skills training is a necessary step assist a person who is experiencing difficulty in obtaining employment.

Individuals diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other personality disorders may receive psychosocial skills training as a part of their treatment plan.

While social skills training often involves helping an individual manage social interactions, the therapy may also be used to address narrower social issues. For example, a social skills therapist might help a recovering alcoholic develop methods for refusing alcohol in social settings. Or the program might assist someone to overcome a social phobia. Also, this type of training can be used for job training. For example, a person on the autism spectrum may need training in dealing with situations that might arrise when running a cash register or how to deal with an angry customer calmly.

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