Two Days of Social Thinking: A Focus on Emotions

Registration for this workshop has now closed. ACT is unable to accommodate further requests.

Thursday & Friday, August 20 & 21, 2020

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP
Founder & CEO of Social Thinking

Web streaming to B.C., Alberta and Yukon

Two Days of Social Thinking: A Focus on Emotions

You can also register by calling us.

Level Intermediate/Advanced
For Educators; SLPs, OTs, PTs; psychologists; social workers; para-professionals; family members
Approach Social Thinking methodology
Focus Across the life-span from age 5 through adulthood
Autism-specific? No, relevant for a range of individuals with diverse diagnoses
Co-sponsored by

Page Index


Web-stream live to your home, school, or office! 

Special Rate for B.C. Educators: These free spots have now been filled. See details here.

This event is only available to web streaming registrants in British Columbia, Alberta and Yukon - ACT cannot accept registrations from other provinces or countries.

Post-live stream, the recording of this presentation will be available from Tuesday, August 25 to Tuesday, September 8.

About the Event

This two-day workshop explores how emotions are the undercurrent of all forms of social communication and are at the heart of personal problem solving, motivation, relationships, and life memories (episodic memory). This information applies to everyone, including typically developing individuals, but this series focuses on teaching about emotion to individuals with social-emotional learning challenges. Across the two days, discover how to teach students, clients, and patients about their emotions and build self-regulation across three contexts:

  1. Me: pursuing goals to meet the individual’s needs;
  2. We: working collectively to be part of a group (e.g., in the classroom, on the playground, at a restaurant, on a team);
  3. Us: interacting face-to-face with one or more people. Engage in hands-on activities and explore use of treatment* scales and frameworks to help your students, clients, and patients unpack the social-emotional experience and understand how emotions take center stage in all aspects of life.

Day 1: Understanding Emotions and Strategies to Develop Self-Regulation

Explore information and research-based treatment ideas to help individuals understand and regulate their emotions.

Details of topics covered in Day 1:

  • The negative-positive emotional framework and how the brain processes negative emotions differently than positive emotions;
  • Emotions and personal memory making (episodic memories), which are required in all environments, including school, community, home, and vocational settings;
  • Memory and narrative language: how emotions impact how we explain ourselves to others;
  • Strategies to break the cycle when a student, client, or patient gets stuck recalling only negative experiences;
  • The difference between feelings and emotions;
  • Hands-on activities to explore the depth and complexity of an individual’s feelings and emotions. Practice using treatment tools (e.g., visual scales, treatment frameworks, etc.) that help make the complicated social experience more explicit and understandable;
  • The definition of self-conscious emotions and their tie to social anxiety;
  • How emotions are embedded within the Social Thinking–Social Competency Model;
  • How Superflex’s Worry Wall and other Unthinkable characters can be used to encourage expression of the emotional self to foster self-regulation;
  • The use of manipulatives to guide individuals to express their feelings and experiences, and to problem solve socially when language falls short;
  • Case study: Review of longitudinal treatment for a grumpy 13-year-old; how the invention of the Pyramid of Dislike, paired with Social Thinking’s Friendship Pyramid, provided self-discovery and motivation to increase peer engagement and emotional satisfaction.
  • Treatment refers to using conceptual and strategy-based frameworks to help individuals improve their social competencies.

Day 2: Emotion-Based Strategies to Foster Relationship Development and Academic and Career Performance

Emotions are at the heart of connecting with others and forming community. In Day 2, learn novel treatment tools and strategies to help students, clients, and patients develop emotional awareness, explore how to read the emotions and intentions of others and work through social anxiety. Many of these skills are required for developing friendships, understanding the actions and reactions of characters in literature and history - impacting performance on academic standards, and working with others as part of a team - impacting success in the classroom and 21st century workforce. Discover a variety of strategies that can be used immediately in the classroom, at home, in the community, and at work.

Details of topics covered in Day 2: 

  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD) and the autism spectrum:
    • Recognize the overlap of these diagnoses and the importance of developing social competencies as part of treatment*
    • Determine key things to be aware of when working with an individual suffering from depression or sadness
  • Social-emotional learning:
    • Validate the social-emotional learning process as individuals explore their social vulnerabilities
    • Recognize the power of one’s inner critic and coach
    • Understand how managing emotions is part of executive functioning and how this relates to tracking the development of one’s own Social Operating System

Who should attend?

Professionals supporting ages 5 – adult, including: speech-language pathologists, special and general education teachers, social workers, counsellors, clinical and school psychologists, occupational therapists, behavior specialists, and school administrators to name a few. Family members and caregivers across settings are also welcome.

About the Presenter

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP specializes in the treatment of individuals with social learning challenges and is the founder and CEO of Social Thinking®, a company dedicated to helping individuals from four through adulthood develop their social competencies to meet their personal social goals. Michelle coined the term “Social Thinking” in the mid-1990s and since that time has created numerous unique treatment frameworks and curricula that help educators, clinicians, professionals of all types, and parents/family members appreciate that social capabilities are integral to a person’s success in life, socially, academically, and professionally.

Workshop Schedule

8:30 - 10:00 Session 1
10:00 - 10:15 Morning Break
10:15 - 11:45 Session 2
11:45 - 12:45 Lunch Break
12:45 - 2:15 Session 3
2:15 - 2:30 Afternoon Break
2:30 - 3:30 Session 4

This schedule will be used for both days.

Post-live stream, the recording of this presentation will be available from Tuesday, August 25 to Tuesday, September 8. There will be no extensions provided.


  • Get 10% off by registering three or more attendees at once (not valid with other discounts).
  • This web cast will come directly from San Clara, California. Please note if you wish to register for this event, you must give permission for ACT to share your name and email address with Social Thinking so they can provide you access to the presentation.
  • Registration closes Wednesday, August 5th, 2020.
Date Para-Professionals & Parents Professionals
Early Bird rate ends July 2, 2020 $150 $200
Regular rate begins July 3, 2020 $225 $275

Special Rate for B.C. Educators

We have had a tremendous response to this generous offer funded by the Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders (POPARD), which kindly increased the number of free seats available to 600, from the initial 200, because of the intensity of interest. Due to the volume of applications received, over 750, we have closed this offer and will be contacting the applicants by next Monday, June 29th.

Surrey School District provided sponsorship for a number of their staff to participate. These spots have been filled and registration through the SD 36 Portal is now closed. 

Questions? Email


Please note the bursary application deadline for this workshop has now passed. The online application portal closed July 22nd at 4:30pm.

ACT’s live events are self-supporting through registration fees and sponsorship; we do not receive government funding. ACT fundraises to provide bursaries for low-income participants. We prioritize family members and autistic adults for bursaries which are given in the form of lower registration fees. You are welcome to call or email ACT's office ( for more information. ACT provided over $11,000 in bursaries in 2019 and gratefully accepts donations to our bursary fund to allow us to provide a greater level of support. Donate to our bursary fund.

Autism Funding

Parents who receive Autism Funding may use 20% of the total for equipment, books, training and travel costs. ACT's live events are considered eligible expenses by the Autism Funding Branch. Please pay when you register; the Autism Funding Branch will reimburse parents after the event.
More Autism Funding Information