Our new girls-only social skills groups are starting soon, designed for girls ages 7-11 and 12-17!

Our social skills groups will meet weekly to help girls learn vital social skills in a supportive environment optimal for learning and growth. Facilitated by Dr. Sarah Rangel, our bilingual staff psychologist and specialist in child and adolescent assessment and psychotherapy. In addition to reinforcing crucial social skills, this group will cover strategies for coping with social anxiety, teach important self-regulation skills, and will help group members learn how to self-advocate.

What is a social skills group?

You might be wondering what happens in a social skills group, and how it could benefit your child/teen. At San Diego Kids First, our social skills groups are small groups of children/teens, led by a trained professional who helps the group members develop social skills such as appropriate conversation, friendship, and perspective-taking skills, as well as how to problem-solve with their peers.

Is a social skills group right for my child/teen?

The new school year is in full swing, and your child/teen has experienced a huge transition – into a new classroom/classes, surrounded by new routines and new faces. If your child/teen is struggling to interact appropriately with others, make friends, respect rules/boundaries, or if they just aren’t developing these crucial social skills at the same rate as their peers, this group could give them the boost they need to succeed.

  • Our very own Dr. Sarah Rangel will be leading two weekly group programs that were created especially for our community.
  • One group will be for girls ages 7-11, and the other will be for girls ages 12-17.
  • Both groups will meet once a week for 10 weeks at our office in Carmel Valley.
  • Dates and times are TBA.

At San Diego Kids First, we aim to support the whole individual in their growth and development, which means supporting their families, too! As a result, we’ve chosen to include complimentary access to the Bright Stars video parenting workshop, and bi-weekly complimentary parent education sessions with both Dr. Rangel and Dr. Pontillo, director of San Diego Kids First. Dr. Rangel will also meet with each family prior to the first group to devise specific goals tailored to the needs of each child/teen. This allows for optimal progress and an individualized program within the group setting.

If you think this group might be a good fit for your child/teen, don’t hesitate to reach out! We intentionally keep our groups small, allowing us to individualize goals for each group member, but this means spots in the groups go fast! To make sure your child gets a spot, be sure to reserve yours today – just email us at

If you would like to make an appointment with another clinician on our team, please visit us at or email us at


Deb Pontillo, Ph.D.
Director, San Diego Kids First