Alvord, Baker & Associates LLC 301.593.6554
Therapy and Psychological Services
Group of children. Elderly woman. Father and son. Girl smiling. Man and woman. Man Smiling.

Resilience Builder Program®

Our staff at Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC has been providing social competence groups for children and adolescents since 1992. The groups focus on enhancing resilience, which we view as the ability to adapt well to life and its challenges. We offer groups for children from pre-kindergarten through high school. We also offer groups for children and teens diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Aspergers and High Functioning Autism.

Childrens social competence can be impacted greatly by one or several of the following factors: ability to regulate their behavior; anxiety; ADHD; learning disabilities; low self-esteem; organizational challenges; and/or transition difficulties. Our groups help children identify what they do well, and to build on their social strengths. Our middle and high school groups address the social/interpersonal aspects of growing up and focus on: increasing confidence and self-esteem; dealing with issues such as "fitting-in" and setting limits; and finding academic and social success.

Our Approach

The Resilience Builder Program® utilizes a Cognitive Behavioral framework (how one thinks impacts how one feels and subsequently, how one behaves with others) and empirically supported strategies. All groups are led by experienced licensed psychologists and clinical social workers. There are five components to our group process:

  1. Interactive Didactic:  Specific resilience, leadership and social competence skills are focused on each week, using discussion, role plays, puppets, or other age appropriate techniques for emphasis. Topics we have covered include: personal space awareness, anger/anxiety management, self-regulation, taking turns, starting and maintaining conversations, intention and impact of behavior, etc.

  2. Free Play/ Behavioral Rehearsal:  Children practice friendship skills with other kids through play in group, with the group leader available to coach through specific struggles that arise, and praise the use of skills taught.

  3. Relaxation/Self Regulation Techniques: Therapists help children increase awareness of the connection between our body, emotions, and feelings through calm breathing, visualization (or imagination walks), progressive muscle relaxation, music, or yoga.

  4. Generalization:   Resilience Builder homework assignments and sportsmanship activities (e.g., using the Wii, or going bowling) are utilized to reinforce the positive gains seen in the group therapy setting and expand them to use in the world outside of group.

  5. Parents as Active Partners:  Therapists are continually informing, encouraging and assisting parents. Each week parents are given information about the specific social skill the group is addressing, ideas to encourage and foster development, and recommendations for additional readings. In addition, each month parents are invited to join their child for a part of group.

Group Size

Our groups are small with 4-6 kids participating, enough children to create a social environment. A maximum size is six (6) members ensures that children can fully participate each week. Because we offer small groups, we require advanced registration for all of our groups.

Group Schedules

Groups are held by semester in the Fall, Spring and Summer. Fall and Spring semesters typically offers 12-15 sessions (one-hour per week) and summer offers 5-6 sessions. Often children participate in group for more than one semester to realize the full benefit. We also offer a short Summer semester. Click on one of the links below to find out more about the specific semester that interests you.

Group Coordinator

Our Group Coordinator is Mary Lewis. To contact Ms. Lewis, please call our office: 301-593-6554 ext. 23 or send an email to Ms. Lewis graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a practitioner track. She gained experience administering, scoring, and interpreting a variety of psychological tests under the supervision of licensed psychologists through her externships at Chimes Inc. and the Loyola Clinical Centers. Ms. Lewis has assessed clients for ADHD and learning disabilities to assist them in gaining beneficial support services.

Getting Started

If you are new to our groups, please follow these steps to enroll your child in the appropriate group.

  • Contact our group coodinator at 301-593-6554 ext. 23 to describe your childs needs and strengths, and to hear more about our group process. You will also be asked to provide your childs age, grade, school and office location preference (Silver Spring or Rockville).

  • Based on this discussion, we will determine if there is an appropriate group available for your child. If so, you will be connected with the therapist to schedule an intake session.

  • During the intake with the group leader, if the group appears to be a good fit, then you will be asked to fill out a registration form and submit a non-refundable deposit to reserve a spot in the group. Forms are available on our specific group pages: fall, spring, and summer.

  • We respectfully ask that parents do not submit a registration form until they have completed the intake with the group leader.

    Parent Groups

    We offer parent workshop/discussion groups to inform and help parents learn how to work with their children on their social skills. Please visit our Parent Groups page.

    Other Groups

    If you do not see a therapy group that meets your needs, please visit for additional options.

    Other Services:


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