Social Thinking® 2 Day Conference

High Wycombe – 20th and 21st May 2019


Day 1 - 20th May 2019



Emotions Part 1: More Than You Think and All That You Feel


Speaker:  Michelle Garcia Winner


This course is the first of a two-part series.  Michelle Garcia Winner, the founder of Social Thinking, will examine how emotions are the undercurrent of all forms of social communication and are at the heart of personal problem solving and life memories (episodic memory)—plus fuel our motivation to tackle social goals. She will explore emotions and self-regulation across three contexts: 1. pursuing goals to meet our own singular needs; 2. part of an experience shared by many (e.g., classroom, playground, restaurant, team); 3. interacting with a small group of people.


Attendees will engage in hands-on activities and explore use of treatment scales and frameworks to unpack the social-emotional experience.   Strategies will be discussed to improve self-regulation, problem solving, and social communication.


In this first course, attendees will explore information and research-based treatment ideas that focus on our emotional selves. Join Michelle to explore these topics:


  • The negative–positive emotional framework and how the brain processes different types of emotional information
  • Emotions and personal memory making (episodic memories)
  • Memory and narrative language: how emotions impact how we explain ourselves to others, and what to do if a student is stuck recalling only negative experiences
  • Hands-on activities to explore the depth and complexity of feelings and emotions, and practice using treatment tools (e.g., visual scales, treatment frameworks, etc.) to help make the implicit more explicit.
  • The definition of self-conscious emotions and their tie to social anxiety
  • Introducing three levels of Social Thinking’s Social Competency Model, how social learning challenges impact social cognitive self-regulation.
  • How Superflex’s Worry Wall and other Unthinkables can be used to encourage expression of the emotional self while developing self-regulation
  • Use of manipulatives to guide individuals to express their feelings, experiences and problem solve when language falls short
  • Case-study: Review of longitudinal treatment for a grumpy 13-year-old; how the invention of the Pyramid of Dislike used with Social Thinking’s Friendship Pyramid provided self-discovery and motivation to increase peer engagement and emotional satisfaction
  • And much more!


Attendees will learn a lot about themselves given how this fascinating topic impacts us all!



Explore these topics and more:


How emotions are the undercurrent of our daily experiences and practical ways to teach this information

Hands-on activities to explore the depth and complexity of feelings and emotions, and practice using treatment tools (e.g., visual scales, treatment frameworks, etc.) to help make the implicit more explicit.

Use of manipulatives to guide individuals to express their feelings, experiences and problem solve when language falls short

How the brain processes negative versus positive emotions and how this impacts our personal memories

How emotions impact how we explain our experiences

The power of self-conscious emotions: why they can feel great and awful

Defining three levels of social-emotional learners

Worry Wall and the Dark Defeatist: How Superflex may help

Case study of a grumpy 13-year-old and treatment tools that helped him become happier with himself and others.




Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe two major ways our brains process negative emotions differently than positive emotions.
  2. Explain how graphing one’s feelings across a day contributes to the development of emotional self-awareness.
  3. Explain the role of self-conscious emotions play in social self-awareness.
  4. Explain how emotional reappraisal helps ward off depression and why.
  5. Illustrate how to create a Pyramid of Dislike to complement an individual’s exploration of Social Thinking’s Friendship Pyramid.
  6. Explain why getting perspective is more important than taking perspective when seeking to understand an individual’s experience.



Day 2 - 21st May 2019



Emotions Part 2: More Than You Think and All That You Feel


Speakers: - Michelle Garcia Winner


In this second course in our two-part series on emotions, Michelle Garcia Winner will explore how emotions play a large role in the social interactive process and in relationship development, including when greeting someone in the hall, developing relationships for team work, creating social networks and longer-term friendships, etc. Emotional intelligence is also required for certain academic learning and is embedded in academic standards worldwide. Explore many strategies that can be used immediately in the classroom, at home, and at work related to these topics:


  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD) and autism spectrum disorders:
    • the overlap and need to focus on developing social competencies
    • what to be aware of with regard to depression and sadness
  • Social-emotional learning:
    • How to validate the social-emotional learning process, as students explore their social vulnerabilities
    • Recognizing the power of one’s inner critic and coach
    • Case study on a student’s tracking of his emerging social operating system
  • The social evaluative process: how we account for each other’s intentions
  • Interpreting the hidden emotional messages of others
  • Your personal self-marketing campaign: what message is your face sending?
  • Use of scales for many different reasons:
    • Evaluation of social risk
    • Helping students evaluate their own social-emotional experiences
    • Getting a student’s perspective
    • And more
  • Case study: working with a school-phobic student
  • Relationship development and social-emotional competencies:
    • Don’t start with conversational skills! How little acts of positive kindness go a long way toward relationship building
    • Use of emotional syncing to share our experiences in a manner that is interesting to the listener
    • The emotions behind adding a thought and asking questions to others
    • Using physical manipulatives to encourage social-emotional reappraisal of people in context
  • Social-Emotional Chain Reaction: Introducing three levels of teaching Social Behaviour Mapping
  • If time permits, personal problem solving
    • Case study of an adult engineer in a Silicon Valley company
    • How the game of chess is an analogy for the social evaluation process inherit in social communication
    • Getting stuck on the negative: re-framing how negative moments can be part of positive experiences


To maximize your learning, we recommend attending the course Emotions Part 1 before attending this course.





Participants will be able to:


  1. Explain how Evaluation of Risk scales can be utilized to guide socially anxious students toward social engagement.
  2. Explain why social anxiety is common in individuals with ASD and ADHD who have awareness of their history of relationship development.
  3. Describe what is meant by acts of “micro-communication.”
  4. Explain how the Emotional Syncing thinksheet helps individuals learn to describe their emotional experience in narrative language.
  5. Explain the three levels of teaching Social Behaviour Mapping.
  6. Describe how to help students document the development of their social operating system.





Note: To benefit from the programme the children and young adults need to have sufficient verbal comprehension skills. For more information contact:





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