Living Skills Group

Every week we have a free-form sharing
and learning session called "Group"

Our Thursday evening Living Skills Group meetings are 60 minutes of stimulating, thought-provoking, transformative interaction, and they are not without laughter. Teens and young adults with a range of social anxieties and challenges meet at Aspen in Orinda, California.

Facilitated by staff who are trained in communication, the discussions are not only goal driven, but they are lively exchanges. Living Skills Group discussions are respectful, honest, and safe, covering what most participants are experiencing in their lives. With the help of professional staff, participants look to find solutions. Our neurotypical staff joins in here as well. Together we talk through problems and solicit input from one another—and in the process participants gain respect for alternative perspectives. Group is about learning how to express personal needs, as well as hearing the needs of others and understanding the mutual benefit of compromise. How are things going, or not going, in our lives right now, this week? How can we communicate more effectively, both within Aspen and out in the world?

Here are just a few of the topics we might discuss:

• Verbal communication versus nonverbal body language
• Receiving focused attention from others and Focusing attention on others
• The difference between kind and unkind attention and possible responses
• How and when to respond in various situations
• How to ask questions in particular situations
• Bullying, hurt feelings, being considered “different”
• Social anxiety, difficulty
• AI and Technology
• Stereotypes
• Covid lockdown and it’s impact
• Conversations and how they work
• Flirting
• Making new friendships and maintaining them
• Women’s issues
• Family issues
• Addiction

We are staffed with a high ratio of engaging neurotypical peers. They participate actively and honestly in the group, sharing their personal challenges and successes. No distinction is made between the staff and participants. Everyone is working with his or her own life circumstances and describing experiences and outcomes, a good mix for rich discussions.

A great deal of mutual respect is built in this safe and confidential group. To join us, apply to our Living Skills Group.