The PEERS® Program
If your goal is to make and keep friends...
PEERS® might be for you.
The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is the leading research-based social skills training program for youth with social challenges. PEERS® has a strong evidence base for use with adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders, and is also appropriate for adolescents and young adults with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other socioemotional problems. PEERS® has been disseminated to over 40 countries worldwide.
PEERS® IN THE NEWS:
PEERS® for Adolescents (ages 12-18)
14 sessions - Thursdays, 4pm-5:30pm
October 12th - February 1st
(no group on 11/23, 12/21, or 12/28)
14 sessions - Mondays, 6pm-7:30pm
February 26th - June 4th
(no group on 5/28)
PEERS® for Young Adults (ages 18-28)
Please complete the form below if you would like to be contacted when the next Young Adult group is scheduled
If you are interested in enrolling in any of our programs, please complete the secure and confidential questionnaire below to help us determine if PEERS® may be a good fit for your family.
You may also contact us anytime with questions at (206) 588-6648.
What skills are taught in PEERS®?
- How to use appropriate conversational skills
- How to find common interests by trading information
- How to appropriately use humor
- How to enter and exit conversations with peers
- How to reduce teasing and bullying
- How to handle rumors and gossip
- How to plan and host get-togethers
- How to skillfully use electronic communication
- How to choose appropriate friends
- How to be a good sport
- How to handle arguments and disagreements
- How to change a bad reputation
The PEERS® Program for Young Adults also includes skills for:
- Dating & Romantic Relationships
What makes PEERS® unique?
Ecologically Valid Skills.
In other words... we teach the skills that are proven to work in the real world for adolescents and young adults.
For example: when teens are getting teased, adults often give advice to: 1) walk away, 2) ignore the teaser, or 3) tell an adult. Do these strategies work? Not usually. In fact, these moves often make the situation worse.
So what do most socially savvy teens and young adults do?
They give a short comeback that shows that what the person said didn't bother them, and, in fact, what he or she said was kind of lame.
Our program rests on the basic principle that any complex skill requires instruction and lots of practice with targeted feedback. Without feedback, it's easy to end up rehearsing errors rather than skills.
The PEERS® Program emphasizes live practice with continual close guidance from our team of behavioral coaches. We also focus on promoting real-world practice each week, and we help parents and other allies to provide effective support for developing social skills.
Mandelberg et al., 2013
This 1-5 year follow-up study with previous PEERS® participants describes their continued progress, and highlights the treatment gains that are maintained for years following participation in the PEERS® for teens intervention.
Laugeson et al., 2011
The 2nd randomized controlled trial of the PEERS® intervention shows improved social skills and peer interactions among youth between ages 12-17, with treatment gains maintained or improved at 14-week follow-up.
Gantman et al., 2011
In this randomized controlled trial, the PEERS® intervention is shown to be help improve social skills and friendships for young adults between ages 18-23.
Andrew Fleming, PhD
Licensed Psychologist, Teen Group Leader
Dr. Fleming completed his doctoral study in Child Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington, his internship in Child & Adolescent Psychology at the UCLA Medical Center, and fellowship at the UW School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. He completed a specialty rotation with Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, creator of the PEERS® program, and is a certified PEERS® provider.
Karen Barnes, PhD
Licensed Psychologist, Parent Group Leader
Dr. Barnes earned her doctorate in Child Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington, and completed internship and fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychology at Seattle Children's Hospital. She is currently a Staff Psychologist at the Seattle Children's Autism Center. Dr. Barnes specializes in assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, and has extensive experience delivering social skills interventions for teens and their families.
Colleen Harker, MS
Colleen is an advanced doctoral student in the Child Clinical Psychology program at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on improving ways in which evidence-based interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders are delivered in community settings. Colleen has experience working with children and adults with developmental disorders in a variety of capacities and is a certified PEERS® provider.
Sarah Edmunds, BA
Sarah Edmunds is a doctoral student in Child Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington. Her research interests include early identification of ASD and improving delivery of effective, easy-to-implement interventions to families of individuals with ASD. Sarah has substantial experience working with youth of all ages, including many years as a tutor and camp counselor, both here in Seattle and in her home state of North Carolina.
Elizabeth Karp, BA
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Karp is a doctoral student in Child Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington. Her research interests include improving early intervention for young children with ASD and working to understand and alleviate barriers to treatment that families face. Elizabeth has previously worked with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families at the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA.