Social skills are the behaviors, verbal and non-verbal, that we use in order to communicate effectively with other people. Social skills are governed by culture, beliefs and attitudes. They continuously change and develop throughout our lives. Somebody that uses social skills to effectively interact with friends, family, workmates and strangers is said to have social competence. Social Skills Training (SST) is a type of psychotherapy that works to help people improve their social skills so they can become socially competent.
SST is predominantly a behavioral therapy but cognitive therapy can also be used in some situations to maximize the success of SST. This psychotherapy can be done one-on-one or in a group situation. We often combine SST with some other type of psychotherapy, most often cognitive-behavioral therapy. The amount of time needed to complete an SST program varies depending on how well you are learning the techniques and how much confidence you have in using the skills in a social environment. Typically, eight one-hour sessions are standard (Knell, 2010).
Knell, S. M. (2010). Cognitive-behavioral play therapy. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 27(1), 28-33.