1. How do I get started?
The first step is to call 201-670-6450 ext. 1 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and request an initial appointment. An initial social skills intake appointment is an hour long, divided so that both parent(s) and child meet with the clinician for a half hour. After the initial appointment is completed, the clinician will give parents feedback and provide details about the group (if appropriate). The fee for the hour intake is $175.
* In complex clinical cases, it may be necessary for a clinician to schedule an additional 45 minute session to gather additional information and to review treatment recommendations.
2. How long do social skills groups run?
Each social skill group runs on an 8-week cycle (8 groups total). The group meets for one hour weekly at an afterschool designated time (determined by the availability of the group members). We have groups that meet in the Englewood, Montclair, and Waldwick offices. To maximize the effectiveness of treatment, children are encouraged to attend all sessions within the cycle. It is not possible to give make-up sessions for children who miss a group.
3. How much does the group cost?
An 8-week social skills group cycle is $480. There are no refunds for missed groups or vacations.
4. Does the Koch Center take Insurance?
No. The Koch Center is an out-of-network outpatient provider and does not contract directly with insurance companies. We have instead chosen to direct our efforts toward excellence in clinical treatment. We are able to help assist you in dealing with your insurance company.
- Payment is made directly to The Koch Center at the time of service. You will be given a statement to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
- It is important for you to call your insurance company in advance so that you are clear about what your out-of-network benefits are. You should also find out if you need any preauthorization for treatment. We need you to let us know if we/your clinician need to do anything to facilitate preauthorization or ongoing authorization.
- Your insurance company may be able to tell you how much they will reimburse for various services. Each type of psychotherapy service has a CPT code recognized by insurance companies. The CPT code for an initial evaluation is 90791. The CPT code for group therapy (which is what our social skills groups are termed) is 90853. The CPT code for individual psychotherapy (45 minutes) is 90834.
- If you have any questions about insurance and treatment at The Koch Center, please feel free to call or email us. We are glad to answer any questions and to help guide you in this process.
5. How much contact do parents have with the social skills leader?
At the end of every social skills group for children Pre-k through Fifth grade, parents are given a handout on the skill that was learned and how to practice the skill at home. Parents also will receive a 15-minute phone call from the group leader after the 3rd group session to discuss their child’s progress in group. At that time, if parents feel they would like to discuss something in more detail with the group leader, they may schedule a 45 minute session. Parents will be told the fee for the session during the phone call.
At the end of the 8 week group cycle, parents also have the option to schedule a 45 minute individual feedback session with the group leader to receive feedback on their child’s progress and to hear ongoing recommendations. If interested, parents can discuss the fee with their child’s group therapist. If your child has an individual therapist who is not a part of The Koch Center, then with your consent, the group leader will contact that therapist at the end of the 8 week cycle to inform him or her of your child’s progress.
5. How should I prepare my child for the first session?
It is important to provide your child with an age appropriate understanding of the social skills group, or as some parents call it – a “playgroup.” If your child has anxiety related to meeting new people and being in a new environment, it is important to let your child know what to expect when s/he comes to the group. It is important to answer your child’s questions, to arrive a few minutes early so s/he has a chance to get acclimated to the office, and to allow him/her to bring something that makes him/her feel more comfortable.
6. Can I bring my other children with me to the first and additional sessions?
If possible, it is best not to bring other children to the intake session. However, we do understand that this is not always possible. We do have a small waiting room where parents and other siblings can sit comfortably while waiting for a child who is participating in the social skills group. We encourage you to bring a quiet activity to occupy your other child.
7. Do I have to wait in the waiting room while my child is in the group?
It is important that parents stay while their child is in group. Sometimes situations arise in which the parent is needed. For example, if a child gets sick while in group, it is important that s/he be taken care of by a parent. Or if a younger child needs to use the restroom, it is important for a parent to take him/her, as the restrooms in our office buildings are in a communal hallway with other practices.
8. Can my child be in individual therapy and be in a social skills group?
Yes, many parents decide to have their child in individual therapy to have more intensive individualized attention to their child’s areas of difficulty.
9. How many children are in each social skills group?
Our groups typically range from 3-6 children per group. The average number of children per group is 4, but this may vary.
10. What happens in a group? What is the structure of each session?
Within the group hour, there are four different 15-minute components. The first 15-minutes are spent on the “News of the Week,” where each child presents something about his or her week and the other children are encouraged to ask questions and make comments. During this segment, many skills are practiced, such as making eye contact, body language, initiating and maintaining conversation.
During the second part of the group, children are presented with a social skills lesson that may be taught with a role-play activity or a game. During the next “free play” segment of the group, therapist observes the progress of each group member and coaches him or her to use the skills previously taught in the day’s lesson. During free play, children are given direct guidance if necessary as they play with another child (versus play in a solitary activity). In the last section of the social skills group, there is a group discussion in which the skill of the day is reviewed, practiced, and then children get to choose a prize from the treasure chest.
As kids get older, the groups are adjusted to allow for more opportunity to practice appropriate socialization and to troubleshoot difficult scenarios that may arise with peers. Prizes are not used for tweens and teens.
Groups for tweens and teens are structured so that a sense of maturity and mastery are encouraged. Group members identify the high and low points of their week and discuss ways they used/or struggled with using skills. As new skills are introduced, group leaders facilitate the proactive use of skills through role-playing, relaxation activities, and overall brainstorming and troubleshooting regarding the navigation of difficult social situations. An objective of the group is socialization in a safe, therapeutic environment.
11. Is there anything else that I should know?
If your child will be absent from the group, please let the group leader know with as much notice as possible.
Please let the group leader know of any food allergies or dietary restrictions so that snacks can be planned accordingly.
If a significant event at home, school, or community occurs, such as the death of a pet or a fight on the bus, please bring it to the group leader’s attention.
If there is inclement weather, assume that the group will be held. You will receive a phone call if group is cancelled for extreme weather circumstances.