Groups | Excursions | Surviving Schoolwork | Stress Busters | Rock Band l Wii with Friends |

Aspire's Teen Programs help teens between the ages of 14-18, make social connections and develop independence. Our goal is to help our participants maximize their potential at home, at school or work and in their community. Developing self-awareness as well as social thinking, executive functioning and life skills are key areas that our participants work on with the help of our dedicated and talented staff. 

Social Skills/Social Thinking™

Social Skills/Social Thinking™ groups give adolescents and young adults the opportunity to improve self-awareness, and to learn social, communication and perspective taking skills by using their own interests as a means to connect with one another. Stress management and coping strategies are also covered. These therapeutic groups meet weekly for 90 minutes to focus on shared positive social experiences. The format includes interest-based activities, supportive discussions, social coaching, direct instruction and monthly community outings. Groups are held in our Charlestown, Lexington and Wellesley sites. Schedules are determined by the availability of group members. Ages 14-26. 

Excursions (formerly known as Explorations Program)

These programs take place in the community where teens, through Excursions, share in recreational experiences while learning a variety of practical life skills. Areas of focus include: money management, transportation, peer negotiation, dating and time management. Participants are encouraged to balance their needs with those of the group. Activities, community location, and relevant social topics are geared to the ages of participants. Offered on Saturdays as well as weekdays. Excursions: Ages 11-22. See flyer for more details (pdf).

Thematic Groups

Thematic groups are based either on a particular need currently facing our clients or inspired by areas or activities of interest that brings like-minded individuals together. Participants acquire skills in such areas as: executive functioning, wellness, and stress and coping. These groups typically meet for 6-10 weeks.  Examples of thematic groups offered are below. However, check our website for updated information. 

Surviving Schoolwork: In small groups with a high staff-to-youth ratio staff provides individualized and personalized coaching in Executive Functioning (EF) including stress management and self-awareness. EF skills include the ability to use time efficiently, initiate tasks and plan short- and long-term goals, among others.  For middle school 11-13 and high school 14-18. See flyer for more details (pdf).

Rock Band Groups:  Rock Band-based group combines rock music with social skill development. Being in a band is an ideal medium for developing social thinking skills because it naturally combines musicianship with cooperation and social interaction.  Ages 14-26.  See flyer for more details (pdf).

Stress Busters: Everyone experiences stress, but the trick is learning how to manage it!  In this group, participants will learn to do just that.  In a small group setting, participants will learn about the biology of stress, including how exercise, nutrition and sleep all influence stress levels.  A variety of stress and anxiety management strategies will be covered such as progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, yoga, and biofeedback. Participants will additionally explore their own triggers.  Within the safe and supportive group environment, participants will be encouraged to try multiple stress management strategies to find ones that work the best for them. For ages 13-18. See flyer for more details (pdf)

Wii with Friends: This group gives participants the opportunity to develop and practice communication, social and play skills by playing in pairs or in groups on the Nintendo Wii®.  Emotional regulation, social skills and thinking, and winning/losing will be addressed in a fun and supportive group setting.  Having fun while learning important social and play skills is the goal. See flyer for more details (pdf). 


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Meet the Staff
David Gotthelf, PhD