Social and Emotional Learning Therapy

A set of skills and tools to help manage emotions and have healthy relationships.

What Is Social-Emotional Learning?


Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is simply developing and implementing a variety of skills including:

  • Ability to understand and ultimately manage one’s own emotions
  • Learning how to set goals and then to achieve them
  • Expressing empathy for others
  • Creating and maintaining healthy age-appropriate friendships
  • Decision-making skills

There are many different ways to develop Social and Emotional Learning. Ultimately, the goal is to help the child learn a range of different tools that give them self-confidence in who they are, the ability to understand and navigate how they feel, and the ability to develop great friendships.

Put simply, Social-Emotional Learning is a combination of self-awareness / self-management and social awareness / social management.

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Why Social-Emotional Learning Matters


Everyone does better in life when they have self-confidence, can manage their own emotions, and know how to have healthy relationships with other people. We don’t automatically know these things. Instead, we have to learn them.

Children who are exposed to SEL techniques and tools demonstrate a range of benefits across all areas of life including:

  • Taking responsibility for oneself, developing a sense of agency and self-discipline
  • Exhibiting self-control which improves school performance and relationships
  • Ability to cope with everyday challenges; developing resilience
  • Strong friendships that can last a lifetime and the ability to develop new relationships over time
  • Strong communication skills that facilitate excelling in varied settings
  • Appreciation of diversity in perspective, ability to work both independently and in a team

At its root, SEL lessons are crucial to developing the kind of relationship with oneself and others that will allow a child to thrive in various settings. We need to be able to control our emotions and work well with others in order to do well in school, work, sports, relationships, and most other areas of life.

Children with strong SEL skills do better in all areas including general improved mental health.

Children benefit individually from SEL because they are better able to thrive in the world around them. The rest of their community benefits as well. When children have the ability to manage emotions, self-direct their actions, and work well with others, they contribute to the society around them. Schools (and eventually workplaces) do better as a result.

Children can practice Social-Emotional Learning skills in many different ways and settings.

Therapy Can Help Develop Social Emotional Learning


Children can practice Social-Emotional Learning skills in many different ways and settings. In fact, the more practice the better when it comes to these important areas of life. Therapy is a terrific safe space to develop those skills.

I utilize The Best of Friends Program, which is a structured method for teaching SEL tools to children. It’s designed for children ages 7-11 but can be effective with individuals of other ages as well, particularly when bearing in mind that chronological age and developmental age are not always the same.

The Best of Friends Program is a set of materials that engage the child’s learning process. This helps develop interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.

SEL consists of ten sessions, an hour-long each, with engaging, structured activities that teach children SEL. We use interactive stories, a workbook, and other established techniques to develop and practice these skills. I’ll also consult with parents before and after the program. After all, SEL skills benefit everyone in the family.

As your child improves in SEL, you’ll likely see improvements in their behavior, academic performance, and relationships both within the family and outside of it.

Contact me today to learn more about how I can help your child develop these skills.