The makings of a positive friendship

Psychology Workshops & Groups

We run a range of one off workshops and regular groups suitable for different people.

Please see full details of upcoming workshops and groups below.

LEGO® Group

LEGO® based therapy is an evidence-based approach that aims to develop social communication skills for children on the autism spectrum and other children with social or communication difficulties.

It uses children’s love of LEGO® play, as well as their strengths and interests, to develop skills such as sharing, turn-taking, following rules, using names and problem-solving.

What is LEGO® therapy used for?

LEGO® therapy is used to teach children skills like turn-taking, sharing, listening, conversation, teamwork, shared attention, problem solving, self-regulation, encouragement, patience and how to see different perspectives.

Children learn best with their peers and are more likely to interact with each other through collaborative play. The shared focus on building uses children’s strengths and helps them practice social and communication skills while having fun.

What does LEGO® therapy involve?

A skilled Psychologist will facilitate the small group, directing and helping children develop skills through practice.

In each session, children work together to build a model following instruction. Each child is assigned a role:

  • An engineer, who has the instructions
  • A supplier, who has the bricks
  • A builder, who builds the model
  • A foreman or director, who makes sure everyone works as a team

And together they build the model!

Everyone gets a chance to take turns playing the different roles. Towards the end of the session the children have some time to build whatever they want.

Why LEGO® therapy?

The benefit of LEGO® therapy is that it allows children to practice the development of a range of skills in a safe environment through collaborative play with peers. Having a skilled Psychologist facilitating the groups will also build confidence in your child to continue their success outside the group.

You will receive a summary from the Psychologist of what your child learnt and any recommendations.

Ages: 8-12 years old and Year 7

Group size: 2-4 participants only

2024 LEGO® Group Availability

  • January School Holidays: 3:30pm-4:30pm, Monday 22nd January – Thursday 25th January, 4 days in Kiama

  • Term 1: 3.30pm-4:30pm, Thursday 7th March to Thursday 11th April, 6 Weeks in Kiama

  • April School Holidays: 3:30pm-4:30pm, Monday 22nd April to Friday 26th April – 4 days in Kiama (excludes 25th April)

  • Term 2: 3.30pm-4:30pm, Tuesday 7th May to Tuesday 11th June – 6 Weeks in Kiama

  • Term 3: 3.30pm-4:30pm, Monday 29th July to Monday 2nd September – 6 Weeks in Kiama

  • Term 4: 2.30pm-3:30pm, Friday 15th November to Friday 20th December – 6 Weeks in Berry

 

Please email admin@shoalhavenpsychology.com.au for more information and to book in!

FUNDING: You may choose to pay privately for this service, or if you have NDIS funding you may use the funding allocated in your capacity building supports – improved daily living. Please note that when you enrol your child you are booking a place in the group. Your commitment to group membership depends on a therapist to child ratio so casual attendance is not available.

 

Minecraft Group

Our Minecraft social skills group provides children with a fun environment in which they are encouraged and supported to participate in social interactions using the game. Our therapy based groups provide an ideal forum to help children with autism and related conditions to develop social and communication skills.

Children learn better and remember more when the content is fun and engaging and look forward to coming back. It’s no secret that children of all ages love internet gaming, and in particular, the world’s most popular video game, Minecraft.

What are the benefits?

There is a strong focus on education, empowerment, emotions, and social skills. Children are faced with all sorts of real-life situations that they may find challenging – for example – understanding and managing emotions, making friends, improving self-esteem, and controlling racing thoughts. You must pause to see how the other player is doing, follow visual cues and consider what they might be thinking. You also must follow instructions, ask questions and use your communication skills to achieve your goal.

Through playing the game while having their psychologist in the world with them, children can navigate these often-tricky concepts, with the goal to help them to cope better in real life.

The therapeutic benefits of Minecraft for problem solving, social skills, and creative expression are an effective way for children and teenagers who enjoy the game to work on skills such as teamwork, turn taking, patience, resilience, play, and communication.

Ages: 8-12 years old and Year 7

Group size: 2-6 participants only

2024 Minecraft Group AvailabilityMinecraft Groups 2024: 

  • January School Holidays: 3:30pm-4:30pm, Monday 22nd January – Thursday 25th January, 4 days in Kiama

  • Term 1: 3.30pm-4:30pm, Wednesday 6th March to Wednesday 10th April, 6 Weeks in Kiama

  • April School Holidays: 1:30pm-2:30pm, Monday 15th April to Thursday 18th April – 4 days in Kiama

  • Term 2: 3.30pm-4:30pm, Friday 3rd May to Friday 7th June – 6 Weeks in Kiama

  • July School Holidays: 2:30pm-3:30pm, Monday 8th July to Thursday 11th July – 4 days in Kiama

  • Term 3: 3.30pm-4:30pm, Friday 26th July to Friday 30th August – 6 Weeks in Kiama

  • Sept/Oct School Holidays: 2:30pm-3:30pm, Monday 30th September to Thursday 3rd October – 4 days in Kiama

  • Term 4: 3.30pm-4:30pm, Monday 28th October to Monday 2nd December – 6 Weeks in Kiama

 
 

 Please email admin@shoalhavenpsychology.com.au for more information and to book in!

PLEASE NOTE: Participants will need to bring their own iPad or Tablet that has Minecraft loaded onto it. They will also need an individual email address so that we can invite them into a private Minecraft world where an SPS Psychologist is the administrator.

FUNDING: You may choose to pay privately for this service, or if you have NDIS funding you may use the funding allocated in your capacity building supports – improved daily living. Please note that when you enrol your child you are booking a place in the group. Your commitment to group membership depends on a therapist to child ratio so casual attendance is not available.

 

Dungeons & Dragons Group

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is a popular tabletop role play game and has been increasingly used intherapeutic spaces for the neurodivergent community. D&D group therapy can provide a safe space for people to explore who they are, strengthen their self-advocacy, and express themselves without judgment. D&D is not a win/lose experience, rather it is about working with your team and your imagination to explore the world being described to you and overcome the various quests. Participants are encouraged to be themselves – there is no need to have on a ‘mask’.

Who is it for?

At SPS we are looking for heroes ages 12-14 years who are neurodivergent (no formal diagnosis is required) or anyone who might benefit from the program’s outcomes. No prior D&D experience is needed!

What is d&d therapy used for?

At SPS the group will learn how they find it best to communicate or solve tasks and how to strengthen their unique ways of thinking. In the group participants will learn from others and together normalise all the unique ways peoplecan effectively communicate and solve problems.

What does d&d therapy involve?

The 5 participant party (group) will meet with the dungeon master (group therapist) and become immersed in the D&D realm. The dungeon master narrates the scene and guides the party through their decisions. During the start of each session the group will go over what the learning goal is for that session and will focus on using the strategies discussed when needed during game play. During debrief the party will discuss what they found worked well ans what might be strengthened for next sessions.

The characters are premade and will be assigned to participants during the introduction session. Participants are encouraged to bring any materials they use for self-soothing purposes.

Ages: 12-14 years old and Year 7

Group size: 2-5 participants only

2024 D&D Group Availability

  • Term 1: 3.30pm-5:30pm, Wednesday 6th March to Wednesday 10th April, 6 Weeks in Berry

  • April School Holidays: 2:30pm-4:30pm, Monday 15th April to Thursday 18th April – 4 days in Berry

  • Term 2: 3.30pm-5:30pm, Monday 29th April to Monday 3rd June – 6 Weeks in Kiama

  • July School Holidays: 2:30pm-4:30pm, Monday 15th July to Thursday 18th July – 4 days in Kiama

  • Term 3: 3.30pm-5:30pm, Monday 29th July to Monday 2nd September – 6 Weeks in Kiama

  • Sept/Oct School Holidays: 2:30pm-4:30pm, Tuesday 8th October to Thursday 11th October – 4 days in Berry

  • Term 4: 3.30pm-5:30pm, Monday 21st October to Monday 25 November – 6 Weeks in Kiama

DnD Groups for 2024 

FUNDING: You may choose to pay privately for this service, or if you have NDIS funding you may use the funding allocated in your capacity building supports – improved daily living. Please note that when you enroll your teen you are booking a place in the group. Your commitment to group membership depends on a therapist to participant ratio so casual attendance is not available.

To register interest please complete this intake form or email admin@shoalhavenpsychology.com.au

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TESTIMONIALS

“thank you so much, I think you have helped me a lot with my anxiety. It was great meeting you!”
 
“Engaging and at the kids levels, fun whilst being educational”

 

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