Group Information:

This group is presented for teens (ages 12-18) who are gender diverse and driven to enhance their social relationships and skills.

The tools taught during group are based on the PEERS® curriculum, an evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated young people interested in learning skills to make and keep friends and develop relationships. The program sessions includes a focus on the unique experiences of gender non-conforming youth. During each group session, young people are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in a safe and welcoming environment amongst other teens. The PEERS® curriculum may be appropriate for gender diverse teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression or other social and behavioral disorders. Young gender diverse people must be socially motivated and attend each session with a social coaches (such as parents, an adult sibling and or other support person).


Group Services Will Provide:

  • Conversational Skills
  • The appropriate utilization of humour.
  • The ability to explore and communicate via electronic devices safety
  • The ability to handle direct as well as indirect bullying
  • Skills to maneuver arguments and disagreements
  • Learning to organize/conduct group get-togethers with friends
  • The tools for self advocacy and growth
  • The ability to navigate and manage social situations
    • e.g. relationship pressures like attraction and dating


PEERS® Trained Group Leaders:

The PEERS® trainers include:

  • Dr. Claire Winson-Jones R. Psych
    •  Claire has worked with diverse populations including individuals diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, individuals with a history of trauma, and individuals with high-risk behaviours.  Her focus includes treatment for a variety of psychological conditions including anxiety, depression, intellectual disabilities, ASD  and a variety of behavioural disorders.
  • Dr. Leslie Blake R. Psych
    • Leslie‘s clinical experience encompasses a wide range of clinical settings with diverse client populations, including counselling students at UBC-Counselling Services; assessment and counselling of young adults diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, and psycho-vocational and rehabilitation assessment and counselling of individuals with trauma and chronic pain.
  • Robyn Lalani MSW, RSW
    • Robyn has worked in various capacities within the mental health field. She has supported children, youth, and adults across the lifespan, working through issues related to anxiety and depression, adoption transitions, adjustment to medical diagnoses, abuse and neglect, trauma, LGBTQ2S+ identity, grief and loss, separation and divorce, and complex familial relationships. More recently, Robyn has specialized in gender affirming and transgender care, supporting gender diverse children and youth, and their family members.
  • Darcie-Anne Bailey Psychology Resident
    • Darcie-Anne Bailey is a psychology resident working at ABLE Clinic under the supervision of Drs. Winson-Jones, Blake, and Johnston.  Darcie-Anne has worked in a variety of settings including private and public schools, Child and Youth Mental Health and private clinics. She provides treatment, assessments, and consultation to children and families for challenges including depression, anxiety, learning disorders, intellectual developmental disorders, attention challenges, and social skill difficulties.


Schedule and Attendance Policy for Groups:

Group work is dependent upon all group members attending as many sessions as possible.

Groups run weekly Monday from 6pm to 7:30pm from May 1st, 2023 to August 28th, 2023 at the West Vancouver ABLE clinic with the exception of May 22nd, 2023 and August 7th, 2023.

To ensure group fit, a brief phone consultation with Dr. Winson-Jones will occur prior to acceptance into the group.

Additionally, to avoid absences, Zoom attendance will also be available, but primarily these sessions will be taking place in person.


Parent Involvement:

Group sessions require a commitment from a social coach for the entire duration of the program (16 weeks). Social coaches can include – parents, an adult sibling, or other support person. Note that social coaches are not charged extra to attend these sessions.



The total cost for 16 sessions is $2,500.

Those using Autism Funding are asked to please have forms submitted prior to the start of therapy. If you would like to use your extended benefits towards these sessions, please note that we do not direct bill; however, if your insurance covers Psychological Services our receipts can be used towards those claims.



Contact our West Vancouver office at or 604-922-3450 for more information or to register.


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