Research shows that children’s ability to effectively regulate their emotions, exhibit cognitive flexibility, show empathy, and play well with others has both short and long term benefits. Research also shows that these social skills can be improved with direct instruction and experience.

Groups can help kids connect with each other, feel valued and successful, and know that they’re not alone in their struggles while simultaneously enjoying real, supported and corrective social experiences.

At Family Compass we offer a variety of social skills groups for children, all geared to encourage children to make friends and enjoy them. We will gladly talk to you to figure out which type of group is best for your child.

What You Can Expect?

Once you call or email our office manager with an inquiry about groups, you will be contacted to arrange for an initial, 15-minute telephone call, at no charge,to discern whether and which group(s) may be a good fit for your child.

If there is a potentially appropriate group, you will be invited to come in with your child for an initial interview, so the therapist can ensure there is a good fit for your child’s needs.

If there is a match your child will attend weekly group sessions. If a match is not found right away, then we will keep your child in mind as new groups form.

Social Skills Therapy

Children naturally learn through play, and from their peers, making group therapy an ideal venue for developing social skills. Social Skills group therapy offers a supportive, goal-oriented environment that works with the strengths of each child to help them feel more confident, comfortable, and in control of their own well-being. We work to empower the children in the group through role play, team-building exercises, group play, and direct coaching, to strengthenessential social skills such as social awareness, problem solving, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution.

Social Skills Therapy is provided by Larisa deGraffenreid, LCSW, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

This service may be a covered by health insurance

Drama Therapy

A richly dramatic story is irresistible to children. Via an exciting storyline, children are motivated to play together cooperatively, to invent and follow rules that make play satisfying. Once they fully engage in ascenario, they help determine the outcome by experimenting with various choices. To do this, the players must communicate and negotiate with each other as the characters in the story. This setting enables the therapist and childto shape behavior through direct experience,emphasizing not just what to do in a given situation (behavior), but why (understanding) and how (through practice).

Please note that drama therapy is a complimentary intervention and therefore is not covered by health insurance, though it may qualify as an eligible expense on medical savings accounts.

Drama Therapy is provided by Mecca Burns RDT-BCT, a Board Certified and Registered Drama Therapist.

Art Therapy

Art is a natural, and indeed a universal means of communication, especially among children. It is a language unto itself, and in the context of art therapy groups, the art process serves as a catalyst for children to express themselves in new ways, allowing them to learn about themselves and others. Through the process of creating art among peers, children practice communication, turn taking, conflict resolution, problem solving, and negotiation.

Art Therapy is provided by Julie Liddle, M.A. ATR, a registered art therapist.

Please note that drama therapy is a complimentary intervention and therefore is not covered by health insurance, though it may qualify as an eligible expense on medical savings accounts.

Psychotherapy Group Professional Team

Larisa Perez deGraffenreid, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Larisa Perez deGraffenreid is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and has a special interest in Mindfulness Training. Ms. deGraffenreid provides a wide range of therapeutic services including group therapy,...

Mecca Burns, RDT-BCT

Drama Therapist
Mecca Burns received her undergraduate degree in both Psychology and Performing Arts from Washington University in 1984, and her master's degree in Counseling Psychology (Emphasis: Drama and Movement Therapy) from Lindenwood University in 1992. She is a Registered Drama Therapist and a...

Julie Liddle, M.A., ATR

Registered Art Therapist
Julie Liddle is a registered art therapist and founder and director of the ART IN HAND® program. Through her work, Ms. Liddle creates and implements a curriculum that engages children with their parents in developmentally appropriate art experiences designed to support healthy development. She...