Group Program

The program is designed to help boys and girls ages 5-16 develop self-confidence, self-esteem, and improve social skills. Children enrolled in an activity group are placed in groups whose members are comparable in age, physical skill, developmental level, cognitive abilities, and social/emotional maturity.

Each child's self-esteem and social skills may be enhanced because they are in a supportive, safe, encouraging environment in which rapport and trust are built up not only with the counselor but also with fellow group members. Self-confidence is also fostered by structuring the groups and activities so that each child can have fun while experiencing concrete success.

Groups range in length of time from 40 to 70 minutes and in composition from two to seven members. The groups meet weekly at the same day and time with the same counselors.

Goals of the Program

Children enrolled in an Academy group may benefit in one or more of the following ways:

  • Develop positive social skills
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Develop self-confidence
  • Improve body image / self-image
  • Learn to read social cues
  • Channel energy constructively
  • Improve communication skills
  • Increase peer interaction
  • Understand cause and effect of behavior
  • Manage transitions and frustration more effectively
  • Learn problem-solving and negotiating skills
  • Identify and express feelings
  • Learn to interpret non-verbal communication


The focus of each group is on physical, social, and verbal interaction. The Academy has created numerous games and activities which often involve group members working together toward a common goal rather than working against each other for individual accomplishment. Our activities include but are not limited to:

  • Cooperative group activities
  • Creative recreational games
  • Group problem-solving games
  • Traditional team sports
  • Challenge courses
  • Office games and discussion
* In April 2020 in response to the pandemic we moved all of our groups to Telehealth and were able to seamlessly transition all activities and group goals to this forum. Further, we have modified our physical activities in order to comply with safety, health, and distancing guidelines.


The fee for the standard Academy group is $85 per session. The 42 week program is divided into 3 fourteen-week sessions with most participants continuing throughout the school year.

To Enroll

The Academy offers many different services for children and their families. Visit our various links at the top of this page for descriptions of all services.

The Academy serves a wide range of children from the athletic child who needs a healthy recreational outlet to the child who has learning, developmental, emotional or psychological needs.

In order to determine which program or service is best for your child, an initial interview with parent(s) and child is required. Information from this interview is used as a guide in determining the best possible option for the child. Enrollment in the Academy group program occurs only after this process is completed. There is a $170 non-refundable fee for the initial interview which lasts approximately one hour. The interview can be arranged by calling (617) 969-2200 x10. If you are interested in individual counseling or parent support, you should contact the director, Ken Barringer at ext. 12 or email.

See also: Downloadable Forms

The Academy is a child and adolescent centered agency offering a social skills group program, individual counseling, and school-based services.