Interpersonal Skills Training


​​​​​The Boys Town Interpersonal Skills Training 4 Kids (IST4 Kids) program offers group sessions for elementary, middle and high school students who struggle with peer and/or adult interactions, such as making and/or keeping friends, talking with peers, or starting conversations.

These difficulties may be associated with specific concerns, such as ADHD or anxiety, or they may simply be the result of being shy or unsure. IST4 Kids is designed to teach youth critical skills for interacting and talking with others that they can practice in and between sessions with peers as well as adults. ​

Basic and Advanced Groups

The program offers both basic and advanced groups. Once participants complete both groups, they are eligible for the IST4 Kids Club, which is offered monthly and provides an opportunity for youth to practice their skills with peers their own age in a semi-structured format. All three groups provide a fun and engaging setting for learning and developing interpersonal skills.

The IST4 Kids Experience

Each group (basic, advanced and Kids Club) consists of no more than six youth and two psychologist trainers. Participants are provided with a handbook that they bring to each group session and use to record notes and keep track of practice assigned as homework.

Each week's content builds upon the previous week. Each session includes video recording to assist participants in seeing how they perform skills initially and how they progress by the end of each session. A summary report is provided to parents at the end of the final session.

Parents are invited to return to the first session 15 minutes early for an overview of the program and instruction on how to support their children between sessions. Parents and teachers are asked to complete standardized rating scales at the beginning and upon completion of the basic IST4 Kids group. This data is used to assist us in program development and evaluation.​


  • For basic and advanced groups, curriculum is delivered weekly during 90-minute sessions. Groups meet from 4:30 to 6 p.m., one night weekly for six weeks.
  • Elementary groups meet on Mondays; middle school groups on Tuesdays; and high school groups on Thursdays. As one group completes six weeks, another group starts once six participants are signed up.
  • The Kids Club is held on the first Thursday of each month from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.


How do I know if this program is appropriate for my child?

If your child struggles with any of the following, then this program may help:

  • Making and/or keeping friends
  • Talking with peers or others
  • Starting conversations​
  • Joining conversations
  • Keeping conversations going

Will my insurance pay for these services?

These services are considered skills-based (not medically necessary) and are, unfortunately, not covered by medical insurance.

What is the cost?

For basic or advanced groups, the total cost is $350 for all six 90-minute sessions during the 2017 calendar year. Payment is collected at the first session to ensure that the group can be offered. The Kids Club costs $50 per session, with no minimum attendance requirements (participants may attend monthly or less often).

If your child currently receives services at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health, and your provider has referred you for services, you can be assured that the program is a good fit for your child.

If your child does not currently receive services at the Center and you are interested in the program, an appointment will be scheduled to determine whether the program is appropriate for your child.​



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