The Social Play Academy was established in 2021 by William Ellison.
William is a Psychologist and Clinical Registrar, who has conducted research into social skills interventions as a part of his Clinical Masters. William is extremely passionate about social skill development in young people.
William developed the Social Play Academy with the sole focus of developing new, creative ways to teach social skills to children and adolescents.
Why Social Skills Groups?
Social skills are extremely important to an individual's functioning. Having adequate social skills allow people to engage with others, and interact with the world around them. Individuals with restricted or limited social skills can have difficulty developing relationships, functioning independently, and reaching their full potential.
There are many different social skills groups available, however very few are evidence-based, and even fewer are supported by research. Of those that have demonstrated effectiveness in teaching social skills, many of these groups struggle with generalisability: group participants learn ABOUT the social skills, but struggle ENACTING them in their day-to-day lives. All social skills groups either rely a preexisting motivation of members to improve their social skills, or they use simple reward systems in order to encourage their use - further limiting the social skill's generalisability.
Meet the Team
Founder & Creative Director
Will Ellison is a Clinical Psychology Registrar, after obtaining his full psychological registration in 2018. Will founded the Social Play Academy in 2021 while completed his Clinical Masters, which focused on social skills training in young people.
Lead Group Facilitator
Alex Thorpe is a registered Psychologist (provisional), and according to Will, looks like an Orc. Alex has extensive experience working in the mental health field with young people. Though he has represented Australia in sports, he is also a huge gigantic nerd.