IRD PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Interpersonal Relationship Development (IRD) program is a 15-week program that offers evidence-based rules and steps on social behavior to enhance the confidence and ability of individuals with social anxiety, low self-esteem, shyness or other social challenges who may experience limited social interactions. The program also offers a Social Coach component to further reinforce generalization of the interpersonal skills learned.
WHAT IS A SOCIAL COACH?
- A Social Coach is someone who is a supporter of the participant’s success and helps them to reach their life goals; a cheerleader (i.e., family member, responsible friend, service provider [ILS/SLS]). A Social Coach is likely to be with the participant in various situations and observe their use of learned skills and praise them for their growth.
- The Group Participant gets to choose!
- A Social Coach does not lecture the participant about how they learn the skills or how they use them.
- A Social Coach explores with the participant opportunities for using the interpersonal skills learned and helps them practice the skills to further enhance their confidence for connecting with others.
- Social Coach groups are available when 4 or more Social Coaches participate in a group training.
- 15 sessions, 1-1/2 hours each week, with a group of 10 individuals;
- Currently sessions are held virtually; however, a hybrid option is available based on the training group’s choice;
- During each group session, participants are taught important interpersonal skills and engage with other group participants in learning activities in a safe and respectful environment;
- The weekly homework practice assignments consist of engaging in conversation with a group participant for approximately 20 minutes, using rules and steps learned in the lessons; and
- Two Counseling/Coaching Sessions are available for each participant for self-reflection and discussion of life goals and self-development.
Regional Center Adult Individuals:
- Who are at least 18 years of age
- Who are able to navigate the community independently
- Who attend or plan to attend college
- Who are employed or attend vocational programs in the community
- Who are in supported work programs
- Who do not have history of maladaptive behaviors that interfere with daily functioning
TOPICS OF INSTRUCTION
- How to start and maintain a reciprocal conversation
- How to choose appropriate peer groups and identify healthy relationships
- How to use electronic communication responsibly and appropriately with others (social
- media etiquette)
- How to handle disagreements
- How to appropriately let someone know you like them (dating etiquette)
- How to establish and maintain meaningful relationships
When participants attend all group sessions as scheduled and follow the program in the way suggested, it is anticipated that participants will be able to demonstrate:
- Enhanced ability to start and maintain reciprocal conversation with others;
- Enhanced ability to identify and use socially acceptable behaviors for face-to-face and online social interactions;
- Enhanced ability to identify healthy relationships;
- Enhanced ability to manage their own social support through planned get-togethers; and
- Enhanced ability to develop and maintain meaningful interpersonal relationships.