Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

May 11, 2017

Choosing Friends: bits from psychology Social Skills Program


Three Child and Family Development psychology team members lead our Social Skills program- Trisha Dyer, LPC/A, Gretchen Hunter, PhD and Ashley Kies, PhD LPA NCSP. 

The UCLA PEERS curriculum-based program helps to improve social, emotional, and self-regulatory strategies and skills.  These improvements can lead to reduced stress and anxiety, success at school, healthier peer relationships and better management of emotions and reactions. The focuses include conversational skills, choosing appropriate friends, appropriate use of humor, being flexible, having get-togethers, being a good sport, responding to teasing/ bullying and handling disagreements.

One sample lesson is about choosing appropriate friends including:

  • being part of a crowd or clique
  • finding places where you might find a crowd or clique
  • identifying a crowd or clique that is right for you
  • determining if you are accepted or rejected by a crowd or clique
  • bonding with a group and developing 1:1 and group relationships
  • protecting yourself and others from teasing and bullying

Programs are planned for spring/summer and fall.  Click here for printable info page.


Gretchen Hunter, PhD, 704-940-0626,