Social Thinking Clinics
About our Clinics
Social Thinking® is a cognitive behavioral treatment approach focused on fostering social learning due to weak social cognition or compelling social anxiety. To fully benefit from our services, students/clients must have average to above-average language and cognition.
We have two sister clinics in California, Social Thinking-Stevens Creek and Social Thinking-Santa Clara. Each business is individually owned and operated. Both are located in the San Jose area, about 1 mile apart, but operate through one administrative services department. Families apply to attend both clinics during the school year semester by filling out one set of paperwork.
Social Thinking-Santa Clara is a smaller clinic (providing services to approximately 25 clients), and Social Thinking-Stevens Creek is the larger Social Thinking clinic (serving over 250 clients). Applicants are placed at either the Stevens Creek or Santa Clara clinic based on their availability and their treatment needs.
|Our Boston clinic opened in 2012 with Michelle's endorsement and under the direction of Nancy Clements, a social cognitive therapist and member of Social Thinking Training and Speaker's Collaborative. Social Thinking Boston provides therapy to clients in the New England area, as well as training for our professionals. For clinical services in the New England area please visit the Boston Clinic website directly.|
Clinical Services (San Jose & Santa Clara, California)
What range of diagnostic labels do we serve?
Social Thinking® is a cognitive behavioral treatment approach focused on fostering social learning due to weak social cognition or compelling social anxiety. A large range of diagnostic labels represent persons with social learning challenges and/or social anxiety. There can be tremendous over-lap in these labels. In our treatment model, we do not treat diagnostic labels instead we treat the individual. Although not all of our clients have a diagnosis, some of the many labels that have benefitted from our services include: ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders- Levels 1 and 2, High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, learning disabilities, sensory dysregulation, executive dysfunction, twice-exceptional, gifted and talented, social anxiety, socially phobic, expressive-receptive language issues, specific language impairment, traumatic brain injury, Tourette’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, Dysgraphia, etc.
To fully benefit from our services, students/clients must have average to above-average language and cognition.
What is the focus of the clinical treatment?
We encourage the development of social learning and self-regulation through the teachings of Social Thinking® frameworks and related strategies as well as utilize other professionals’ work that adheres to a social cognitive behavioral treatment approach. We enjoy using materials developed by Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen to help teach executive functioning; Story Grammar Marker® by Maryellen Rooney Moreau to encourage social interpretations and social problem solving; sensory regulation strategies, etc. We develop treatment based on the best evidence available and experienced professional staff, and we value feedback from our clients as well as their family members. We focus on teaching strategies to enhance social learning which can be summarized by saying we address executive functioning, perspective taking, emotional awareness, self-awareness and self-monitoring and central coherence.
What People are Saying
About Our San Jose & Santa Clara, CA Clinics
Even though each business is independently operated (Michelle owns Social Thinking-Saratoga Ave, STSA, and Randi Dodge owns Social Thinking-Stevens Creek, STSC), Michelle, Pam, Randi and her therapists actively collaborate. Given the teamwork and cross-training between the two clinics, we decided to provide one administrative unit to help families register for Social Thinking services in San Jose, Ca more efficiently. Prior to having our sister-clinic arrangement, families were sending in full registrations to the larger and smaller clinics, as well as full copies of reports. By working collaborating, families only have to apply to one central registration processing center housed at ST-Stevens Creek. The clinics are 1 mile apart.
Pam and Michelle work closely with the employees of Social Thinking-Stevens Creek by providing monthly grand rounds and observing their treatment sessions, and then offer further training to each of their clinicians.
There are only two differences between these two clinics, the first simply being the size of each clinic. Social Thinking-Saratoga Ave was set up to be a “mini-clinic” providing limited clinical treatments given both Michelle and Pam’s speaking, research, writing and travel schedules; Michelle and Pam generally only see clients on Mondays and sometimes on Tuesdays. Social Thinking-Stevens Creek is open 5 days a week and many more clients. The second difference is that Informal Social Thinking Dynamic Assessments are currently only offered through Social Thinking-Saratoga Ave clinic on a limited basis
Our clinical services are focused on implementing the core Social Thinking® teachings and related social skills for students with average to above average language and cognition from as young as 4 years old into and across adulthood.
Our groups and individual sessions meet once a week for one hour, consists of student treatment (generally 45-50 minutes) and a parent education component (10-15 minutes).
During time with parents, the therapist will review what techniques were taught during the session and how they can be carried over at home and school across the week. Our groups are highly individualized and carefully formed to be certain each group member will benefit. We group clients with same-age peers that function similarly based on perspective taking level, processing speed, ability to attend, and a host of other factors. Our groups have no more than 4 clients, which allows our therapists to create a curriculum for each group based on their particular social cognitive needs.
In addition to our purposeful and meticulous grouping process, our groups are also unique in that we actively teach students to think about how to think about others and how others think of them (take perspective). We also work on organizational, problem solving skills and forming social relationships. All of these skills can be worked on in isolation, but are more powerful when a student is guided to see how the skills are interwoven. Humor is also an important component of our program.
The Informal Social Thinking Dynamic Assessment Protocol (ISTDAP), developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, is a means of identifying and quantifying in real-time a student’s social competencies as well as connecting the dots between a student’s social learning abilities and possibly related academic strengths and weaknesses. The ISTDAP is not intended to be a diagnostic tool; instead it’s to be used with people who have already been identified as having a social skills problem but the team is unclear where to start in the treatment process or how deeply they are impacted socially.
ISTDAPs (our assessment) are usually scheduled concurrently with clinical trainings, in which a group of professionals gathers in our clinic to learn the Social Thinking process. The assessment will be observed through a two-way mirror and participants would typically have no knowledge that they are being observed.
Embedded Social Thinking School Trainings are usually individually designed programs, which allow for a therapist to work directly with a small group of special educators within a school district, cooperative or collaborative. The trainings can span 5 sessions or run across an entire school year. The embedded school trainings are best utilized when the participants have already attended a couple of larger, more general Social Thinking conference days. The participants can then work with their trainers from our Social Thinking clinics to delve into specific information that is unique for their community and culture.