New Girls Social Skills Group in NYC: Moon Dancers!

Moon Dancers Shine Together!

Moon dancers at the Sachs Center, is a unique art therapy group where girls similar in age come to meet with one another and engage in a safe therapeutic atmosphere and explore social situations. Our social skills group specializes in using the creative process to allow the girls to explore positive ways to gain insight into self-awareness and increase social skills. Through art and play, they will address ways to help with self-management including how to build positive relationship skills.

Through implementing therapeutic activities, the girls learn how to increase their problem-solving skills and create something positive from negative situations that may occur in social settings. In our “scribble talk” art therapy intervention, each member of the group is asked to pick a different color crayon and take turns drawing on the same surface but can only communicate nonverbally and through their drawings.

During one’s experience in the “scribble talk” exercise, it can offer a method to increase insight into how to respond to social cues using appropriate responses, increase awareness of personal space, as well as learning how to respect others boundaries. It also helps to explore alternative and nonverbal ways of communicating effectively with others in social situations and gain insight into how one’s behavior can be perceived and can impact interactions with peers.

Our main focus of the Moon Dancers group is offering middle school girls the opportunity to meet and engage with other girls of similar age. Aside from exploring ways to increase social skills, each member of the group can take part in creative and self expressive activities that can help increase their self esteem and can learn more effective tools or skills to help regulate their emotions and respond to social skills.

An example of how self-esteem and regulation of emotions can be addressed is during the session called “book inside yourself, where each member is given a blank book, a variety of art materials and tools to create their own special personal journal or inspiration book. The purpose of this activity is to create something meaningful and tangible that could be a safe place to channel, process and contain thoughts and feelings. Furthermore, journal making can hope to increase the ability to gain insight into self awareness and one’s behavior in regards to social situations and how it may effect their ability to make friends, while fostering a sense of mastery in creating something personal for oneself.

The Moon Dancers group is a safe and empathetic place for middle school girls to join and socialize, while engaging in fun and creative self-expressive activities. Throughout their participation in the social skills group, they will learn positive ways to make and keep friends, address tools to help with emotion identification and regulations, as well as explore social problem solving and methods in avoiding aggression. We hope that each child will achieve a positive sense of self and partake as an active member of the group and all together create a circle of trust and unity.

By Rena Grosser, MA, ATR, CCLS