I am looking for a social skills group for college students to help me make friends, grow in confidence, and better handle stress.
I'm a college student who:
- has trouble making friends but really wants friends
- wants to spend time with other students with shared challenges who get you
- often feels stressed out
- has difficulty reading social cues
- wants to successfully adapt to college
- needs help learning how to self-advocate
- wants to gain more independence
- has autism traits not always apparent to others
...then, this is the group for you!
About the College Social Skills Group
The COLLEGE GROUP meets weekly and provides you with helpful strategies to make friends, improve conversational skills, and reduce stress. In the group, you will get to know other college students like yourself, who understand the specific challenges you’re facing, and who will support and encourage you!
Our social skills group focuses on the development of social communication skills and self-advocacy skills. Both sets of skills are essential for young people to successfully adjust to college. Our program provides specific strategies to initiate and maintain conversations and to actively listen and take-turns speaking with others. As a result, participants learn ways to find and maintain friends with shared interests. We know you want friends whom you can trust, have fun with, and have common interests.
Self-Advocacy is a Key Skill to Learn
As a student, communicating with professors and other college staff is also critical to your success in college. When you were in high school, you likely had support from your parents, an IEP coordinator or other professionals when it came to communicating your needs to the school. Now that you're in college, you are expected to have those conversations yourself.
You'll learn how to communicate effectively with professors.
Our social skills group will help prepare you for communicating with professors when you need clarification around assignments or topics covered in class, or when you need to request academic accommodations to support your educational success.
You'll learn to access the student disability center when/if it's needed.
The process for getting support for a disability in college is very different than it was in high school. Essentially, it requires more self-advocacy. And that can be intimidating. We will talk about what options are available to you now as a high school student. More specifically, we'll talk about what to expect from the student disability center. You may not want to ask for help, and that's understandable. But we'll cover when the support these campus services for autism and other disabilities might be useful. More importantly, we'll talk about how you can go about using those resources.
You'll learn how to become more independent & manage stress.
We understand engaging in social interactions can be very stressful. That stress is compounded by the natural stress associated with schoolwork, managing your time, taking on adult responsibilities, and living more independently. Soon, we will help you identify strategies to better manage your stress and social anxiety. Through positive interactions with peers in the group and practice using your newly learned skills, you will grow in confidence. We help you develop the skills and confidence to lead the independent life you want!
Will Social Skills be practiced in the group?
Absolutely! Every week in group you're given the opportunity to practice the social skills you're learning! Certainly, in this college group, you will get to know other college students who are also working on increasing their independence and social skills. Group members will support and encourage you. Over the course of 20 weeks, students will get to know each other in a safe setting with the support of mental health professionals. So, the group itself gives you an opportunity to have a positive experience in a social setting!
You'll have a chance to practice social skills in every group.
In fact, the first half of each group session is typically spent focused on skill-building. It's a discussion-based group, but we're giving you very specific, useful content. For instance, we may present a PowerPoint on a topic such as how to cope with test anxiety and then we'll talk as a group about how this applies to your life.
After a break, you'll have a chance to participate in peer consultation. During this time, one group member presents a specific issue they are struggling with. Then, the entire group asks that person questions and provides support. Essentially, this is your chance to practice the communication skills you've been learning. As well as an opportunity to learn from your peers and build supportive relationships with other people who are similar to you.
Does it matter what college I attend?
Not at all. Any college-age young adult who identifies as neurodiverse, Aspergers or on the Autism spectrum can benefit from this group! College students in our group may attend Stanford, Mission - City College of San Francisco, Foothill College, or any other university in the greater San Francisco area! In fact, some of the participants in this group may even be recent college graduates.
Will I be able to relate to other people in the group?
We work hard to put together groups of individuals who we believe will be able to relate to one another. In fact, we look for group members who are in similar phases of life, struggling in similar areas will benefit from learning coping skills, social skills and self-advocacy.
That said, there is also a lot of diversity in our college groups. For instance, some students may be attending college part-time while others attend full time. Some participants might live at home while others live completely independently on campus. Group members each bring unique experiences to the group but have enough in common that you will be able to relate to one another and assist each other in learning new ways of interacting with the world.
New Group Forming for College Students in the South Bay Area
Open Doors Therapy begins new groups on a regular basis. We are now filling our next College group. To see if the group is a good fit for you and to reserve your spot in the group, reach out today!
Details About the College Group
The online group consists of up to 8 neurodiverse college students with similar concerns and life experiences.
Typically 20 sessions. Meet once a week for 1.5 hours virtually via Zoom.
Contact us for details (typically a weekday evening)
Groups typically start August/September and January/February
Learn more about fees and payment
Ready to join this college group?
If you are a current college student or recent college graduate in the South Bay Area and identify as being on the Autism spectrum, this group is for you. When you are ready to improve your life, better cope with stress, and stand up for yourself, it is time to get started.
Join the College Social Skills Group in Palo Alto:
If you are ready to learn and practice valuable social skills in a supportive setting with other college-age students with autism, then this group may be right for you! To begin autism therapy in the South Bay Area, follow these simple steps:
- Contact Open Doors Therapy to schedule a free 30 minute phone consultation.
- Attend a 1-hour intake meeting with autism therapist Dr. Tasha Oswald
- Join our college group & start learning new life skills!
Take the next positive step in your life journey!
Other Services at Open Doors Therapy
Our San Francisco South Bay Area mental health clinic focuses on serving individuals with autistic traits. This includes individuals who identify as having Aspergers, high functioning autism, undiagnosed autism traits, etc and their families. Our services include individual counseling, parent counseling, and group therapy. In fact, nearly all of our clients participate in one of our groups. We've found that groups can be a powerful tool for helping you grow and learn new skills. Some of our support and educational groups include college students with autistic traits, young adults with autism, neurodiverse adults, working professionals, women who identify as neurodiverse, and neurodiverse youth & caregivers. We offer a mother's group for mothers of autistic children and an online autism parent support group. We also offer online group therapy. Additionally, I have been writing blogs on timely autism topics that are full of useful resources for teens and adults with autism. If you want to learn more about any of these services, please reach out today!