Burns Virtual Psychological Solutions

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PEERS® Social Skills Program

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is an evidence-based social skills treatment for children, teens, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, and other social-emotional problems who are interested in making and keeping friends and/or developing romantic relationships. First developed at UCLA by PEERS® Clinic director, Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, the program has expanded to locations across the United States, has been translated into over a dozen languages, and is used in over 125 countries across the globe. For more information, please visit: https://www.semel.ucla.edu/peers

Dr. Burns is a certified PEERS® Young Adult provider and sees individuals across the country (must be in PSYPACT state or in California) ages 18-35 in her groups. Sessions are virtual and held weekly over a 16-week period. Sessions are 90 minutes. Cohorts range from 7-10 people. Sessions include roleplay, PowerPoint slides, and videos.

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The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is an evidence-based social skills treatment for children, teens, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, and other social-emotional problems who are interested in making and keeping friends and/or developing romantic relationships. First developed at UCLA by PEERS® Clinic director, Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, the program has expanded to locations across the United States, has been translated into over a dozen languages, and is used in over 125 countries across the globe. For more information, please visit: https://www.semel.ucla.edu/peers

Dr. Burns is a certified PEERS® Young Adult provider and sees individuals across the country (must be in PSYPACT state or in California) ages 18-35 in her groups. Sessions are virtual and held weekly over a 16-week period. Sessions are 90 minutes. Cohorts range from 7-10 people. Sessions include roleplay, PowerPoint slides, and videos.

Benefits:

In short, PEERS is a social skills support program designed to help individuals, particularly those with social challenges, improve their interpersonal skills. The program focuses on teaching and enhancing social competencies, and it offers several benefits:·      

  • Evidence-Based Approach: PEERS is a well-researched program with proven effectiveness in improving social skills among individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other social difficulties.·      
  • Structured Curriculum: The program provides a structured and comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide range of social skills and behaviors, making it suitable for people of all ages.·      
  • Developing Friendships: PEERS emphasizes strategies for making and maintaining friendships, which is essential for overall well-being and quality of life.·      
  • Communication Skills: Participants learn effective communication skills, including conversation starters, maintaining eye contact, and understanding non-verbal cues.·      
  • Problem-Solving Skills: The program teaches problem-solving techniques, helping individuals navigate social conflicts and challenges more effectively.·      
  • Understanding Social Norms: PEERS provides insights into social norms and etiquettes, helping individuals better comprehend the unwritten rules of social interaction.·      
  • Parent and Caregiver Involvement: PEERS involves parents or caregivers in the learning process, ensuring that individuals receive consistent support and reinforcement outside of the program.·      
  • Generalization of Skills: The program focuses on real-world applications, enabling participants to generalize the learned skills to various social situations.·      
  • Increased Self-Esteem: As individuals gain social competence, they often experience increased self-esteem and confidence, leading to improved mental and emotional well-being.·      
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Better social skills can lead to more fulfilling relationships, improved academic or professional opportunities, and an overall better quality of life.·      
  • Tailored to Different Age Groups: PEERS offers specialized curriculum and strategies for children, adolescents, and young adults, addressing the specific needs of each age group.·      
  • Long-Term Benefits: Research suggests that the skills learned through PEERS can have long-lasting positive effects on an individual’s social and emotional development.·      
  • Reduction in Social Anxiety: Participants often experience reduced social anxiety as they become more comfortable and proficient in social interactions.·      
  • Culturally Inclusive: The program is adaptable to different cultural backgrounds and can be tailored to meet the unique social challenges faced by individuals from diverse communities.
 

PEERS Social Skills Support is a highly effective program that provides a structured and evidence-based approach to improving social skills, enhancing interpersonal relationships, and ultimately enhancing the quality of life for individuals with social challenges.

Fees:

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely not! At Burns Virtual Psychological Solutions, we celebrate neurodivergence. This group is all about helping individuals, whether they identify as neurodivergent or not, learn how to share the beauty of their authenticity and uniqueness.

Of course! Dr. Burns split the fee into two smaller payments for individuals/families who are unable to pay the full fee upfront, but if you are able to do so, you can pay everything at the beginning of the group.

Unfortunately, no. Because these sessions build on each other, attending all sessions is crucial; otherwise, you run the risk of getting lost in the content. This is true for both the young adult and their social coach.

A social coach is a parent/caregiver, legal guardian, sibling, friend, partner, life coach, therapist, or other person who will assist the young adult in completing their session assignments as well as participate in the social coach groups. Social coaches will have their own 90-minute group that they are required to attend to discuss how homework went, barriers and successes, and ways to better support the young adult.

Social coaches help with the generalization of skills taught in the program by providing social coaching during “coachable moments” in natural social settings.

Yes, both the young adult and social coach will need to do their weekly homework to ensure that skills are practiced and so that support can be offered if there were difficulties learning/practicing social skills. Practice makes progress!

Dr. Burns and her team understand that life happens. If you miss a session, a member of the staff will reach out to you to check in and schedule a make-up session with you.

You are allowed to miss 3 sessions. After two sessions are missed, a group leader will check in with you and your social coach to see if you are still motivated to complete in the program and work out a plan on how to progress.

Due to the immense amount of work that goes into creating and maintaining the groups, there will be no refunds. This is why it is of the utmost importance that you and your social coach are independently motivated to complete the entire program.

UCLA completed research studies to determine the efficacy of virtual groups vs in-person and found that both groups were effective no matter what format they were conducted. In order words, virtual is just as effective as in-person. Isn’t that great news?

 

If you are interested in joining Dr. Burns’ PEERS® for Young Adult groups, please complete the form below:

 

Potential Social Coach’s Name and Email Address
Please select which days/times you and your social coach would be available for the group (Please note that Dr. Burns operates in Central Standard Time [CST], so please adjust accordingly for your time zone):

Exciting news!

We have partnered with Alma and now accept Aetna and Optum insurance for California and Texas residents.

If you’re interested in using your insurance, please call us at 916-234-6323 or email us at .

Are you someone who identifies as neurodivergent? Dr. Burns and her team take a neuroaffirmative approach in their work to meet neurodivergent individuals where they are in a safe and validating environment.