Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia

Second Edition
A Step-by-Step Guide

Alan S. Bellack, Kim T. Mueser, Susan Gingerich, and Julie Agresta

A Paperback Originale-bookprint + e-book
A Paperback Original
April 7, 2004
ISBN 9781572308466
Price: $59.00 $44.25
337 Pages
Size: 8½" x 11"
July 29, 2013
Price: $59.00 $44.25
337 Pages
print + e-book
A Paperback Original + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $118.00 $64.90
337 Pages

In a large-size format for easy photocopying, this manual presents an empirically tested format and ready-made curricula for skills training groups in a range of settings. Part I takes therapists and counselors step by step through assessing clients' existing skills, teaching new skills, and managing common treatment challenges. Part II comprises over 60 skill sheets. Each sheet—essentially a complete lesson plan—explains the rationale for the skill at hand, breaks it down into smaller steps, suggests role-play scenarios, and highlights special considerations. Appendices include reproducible client handouts and assessment tools; purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print these materials for repeated use.

“This book should be required reading for all those involved in the comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with schizophrenia. We recommend it highly.”

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

“The major strength of the book is that the authors provide all the necessary ingredients for implementing state-of-the-art social skills training as they focus on assessment, group leadership skills, and carrying out the group tasks with specific and well-designed curricula....This guide lives up to its step-by-step" promise. It reflects the many years that the authors have spent in their collective careers translating a behavioral model of social skills with intended functional outcomes into clinical practice for a specific population....This guide also serves as a textbook for students, enabling them to make giant leaps in their understanding of the nature and execution of evidence-based practices for individuals with persistent mental illness, making clinical experiences more rewarding for trainees and more precise for their supervisors. This instruction manual has the makings to become a classic reference book on the topic of social skills training.”

Community Mental Health Journal

“This volume provides clinicians with a hands-on volume that will teach them to conduct clinically sophisticated and effective social skills training groups....Any clinician, regardless of experience level, who is interested in providing social skills training to individuals with schizophreniaor to their familieswill find a wealth of practical, clinically and empirically sound information.”

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

“This book is an essential tool for psychiatric rehabilitation. As with the previous edition, these eminent and highly regarded authors present a step-by-step guide to developing extremely successful social skills training programs. The second edition addresses the significant problem of substance abuse by providing carefully planned, customized group procedures and clever handouts specifically designed to address social skills deficits in the dual diagnosis population. Another highlight of this edition is its comprehensive review of the many clinical trials that have established social skills training as a decidedly effective, evidence-based practice for improving a wide range of community outcomes for those with schizophrenia.”

—Dawn I. Velligan, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

“The second edition of this highly successful book is a very useful guide for all mental health professionals who work with persons with chronic schizophrenia. After stabilizing the acute episode with antipsychotic medications, the rehabilitation begins, and this book enables practitioners to optimize clients' functional outcomes. The new chapters about social skills training as an evidence-based practice and about working with clients who abuse drugs and alcohol are particularly relevant and useful. As a clinical supervisor of psychiatric trainees, I will strongly urge my supervisees and other members of the mental health treatment team to use this guide to facilitate the integration of biological and psychosocial management approaches.”

—Henry A. Nasrallah, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati Medical Center

“The definitive text on the topic. This second edition will be extraordinarily valuable both for experienced clinicians with a background in social skills training and for those who are interested in expanding their skills by adapting this evidence-based practice. The strength of this volume is that it provides a scholarly discussion of social deficits in schizophrenia together with a highly practical approach for conducting social skills training.”

—Stephen R. Marder, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

Table of Contents

I. Principles, Format, and Techniques for Social Skills Training of Clients with Schizophrenia

1. Schizophrenia and Social Skills

2. Social Skills Training as an Evidence-Based Practice

3. Assessment of Social Skills

4. Teaching Social Skills

5. Starting a Skills Group

6. Using Curricula for Social Skills Training Groups

7. Tailoring Skills for Individual Needs

8. Troubleshooting: Common Problems and Challenging Clients

9. Working with Clients Who Abuse Drugs and Alcohol

10. Reducing Relapse by Creating a Supportive Environment

11. Parting Tips for Social Skills Trainers

II. Steps for Teaching Specific Social Skills: Curricular Skill Sheets

Appendix A. Materials Useful to Group Leaders

Appendix B. Materials Related to Assessment

About the Authors

Alan S. Bellack, PhD, ABPP, is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Psychology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of the VA Capitol Health Care Network Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC).

Kim T. Mueser, PhD, is Executive Director of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Boston University. Dr. Mueser's clinical and research interests include psychiatric rehabilitation for persons with severe mental illnesses, intervention for co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders, and the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. He has served on numerous editorial boards, has published many journal articles and book chapters, and has coauthored over 10 books. His book The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia (with Susan Gingerich) received the National Alliance on Mental Illness NYC Metro Ken Book Award.

Susan Gingerich, MSW, is a full-time trainer and consultant based in Narberth, Pennsylvania.

Julie Agresta, MSS, MEd, is a licensed social worker in private practice in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania.


Practitioners working with clients with severe mental illness in inpatient and residential settings, community mental health centers, special education classes, and other settings.

Course Use

Serves as a text in clinical practica, field placements, and internship and residency programs in a range of mental health fields.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 1997
ISBN: 9781572301771
New to this edition: