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Social Competence Training

Abstract: Social well-being depends on the capabilities to express one's own wishes and reasonable requirements, setting limits and requiring that others respect your needs.

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Social Competence Training

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Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 19 Aug 2003.
Latest revision: 25 Jan 2013.

What is meant by "Social Competence Training" (SCT)?


Social well-being is the capability to realize one's own wishes and reasonable requirements, setting limits and getting them accepted, expressing feelings and realizing interpersonal relations. Many people lack the necessary self-confidence and self-assurance to express their needs.

Social competence consists of the capabilities which are necessary for a nice and comfortable relation with other people, in order to get one's own requirements and limits respected.

Different training programs have been developed to teach these capabilities. These training programs have a clear structure and are oriented towards practical usefulness and exercise of such capabilities. Commonly, such training is done in groups of about ten participants and one or two therapeuts.

Important goals of the therapy are the following aspects:

  • Information and distinguishing of socially appropriate conditions (separating self-security and self-insecurity and aggressivity). These are described and trained both theoretically and in practical exercises (role playing).
  • Establishing and keeping contact (in conversations and co-operative activities).
  • Constructive relations management, for example how to express critique.
  • Setting limits on unreasonable demands or abusive actions.

It's important that the training sessions include the individual problems of each individual and specific training needs. There are standard situations, which correctly represent many commonplace situations. Between the exercises, participants can exercise their new capabilities in real life.

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