Our practice is guided by a scientist practitioner approach. That is, we are committed to a philosophy of using treatment approaches that are grounded in scientific evidence, using scientific approaches to track and monitor progress, and using what is learned during treatment to inform the larger scientific community. Toward this latter goal, we have decided to partner with Dr. Brendan Rich, assistant professor at the Catholic University of America (CUA), to conduct a research study of our group members’ improvement of their social skills, resilience, and self-regulation.
Our Social Competence Groups are unique in several ways, as they focus not only on building core social skills but also include an emphasis on resilience, self-regulation, and generalization activities. We also run the largest number of groups of this type in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. We hope that pilot data collected will set the foundation for a larger scale project that could potentially contribute to the science of the field and help children and families on a larger scale.
Children and parents who are enrolled in our groups and meet the inclusion criteria will be asked to participate on a voluntary basis. For those who agree to participate, parents and children will be asked to complete measures and children may be asked to complete a computer task. Stay tuned for updates and preliminary results!
Alvord, M. A, Rich, B. A., & Berghorst, L. (2014). Developing social competence through a resilience model. In S. Prince-Embury (Ed.). Resilience Interventions for Youth in Diverse Populations. New York: Springer Books, 3: 118. doi:10.4172/2329-9525.1000118.
Aduen, P., Rich, B. A., Sanchez, L., O’Brien, K., & Alvord, M. K. (2014). Resilience Builder Program therapy addresses core social deficits in youth with high functioning autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Psychological Abnormalities in Children, 43:269–286..
Watson, C. C., Rich, B.A., Sanchez, L., O’Brien, K. & Alvord, M.K. (2013). Preliminary Study of Resilience-based Group Therapy for Improving the Functioning of Anxious Children. Child and Youth Care Forum. DOI 10.1007/s10566-013-9238-6.
Rich, B. A., Hensler, M., Rosen, H. R., Watson, C., Schmidt, J., Sanchez, L…Alvord, M.K. (2014). Attrition from Therapy Effectiveness Research Among Youth in a Clinical Service Setting. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. 1:343-352.
Alvord, M.K. & Rich, B.A. (2012). Resilience Builder Program: Practice and Research in a Private Clinical Setting. Independent Practitioner, 2012, 32, 18-20