PEERS® (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills)


PEERS® is an evidence-based social skills training intervention for motivated adolescents and young adults who are interested in making and keeping friends, and resolving conflicts with others. Participants will attend structured, 12-week group sessions for 90 mins per week. Participants will be taught social skills through didactic lessons and role-play demonstrations, and practice these skills during group socialization activities. 

Adolescents/Young Adults will learn: 

  • Finding, Developing, and Maintaining Friendships
  • Trading Information and Starting / Ending Conversations
  • Electronic Communication
  • Appropriate Use of Humor
  • Organizing and Having Get-togethers with Peers
  • Dating Skills
  • Handling Disagreements / Conflict Resolution


PEERS® differs from other social skills programs because it:


  • is structured like a class, not a therapy group.
  • breaks down social skills into understandable steps.
  • teaches ecologically valid social skills based on behavior of socially successful individuals.
  • generalizes social skills to “real life” settings and includes skills that transfer to the workplace.


The PEERS Program at Family Resource and Developmentv Center, LLC will be run through our partnership with two local PEERS educators who are well-versed in the model: Caitlin Merriman, LCSW and Natasha Erickson, MS, CCC-SLP


C. Merriman picture

Caitlin Merriman


Caitlin Merriman received her M.S.W. with a concentration in Casework from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. She received her B.A. in Psychological Science with a minor in Criminal Justice from Central Connecticut State University. Caitlin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience providing counseling, case management and mobile crisis services in homes, schools, hospitals, court and other community settings. Caitlin has experience working with children, adolescents and families providing therapeutic support for a variety of clinical needs including anxiety, depression, self-injurious behaviors, self-esteem, healthy relationships, social skills, trauma, and parenting skills.

Caitin has specialized training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) as well as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Caitlin is also a Young Adults PEERS certified provider.

Caitin began working as a School Social Worker in 2014 with Waterbury Public Schools. Since August 2017, Caitlin has been employed by West Hartford Public Schools working full-time as a School Social Worker at William H. Hall High School. She also works part-time as a Clinical Freelancer Writer for Everyday Speech. In 2023 Caitlin presented at the CT annual National Association of Social Workers conference.

For more information, please contact Caitlin at


Natasha Erickson


Natasha Erickson received her Masters Degree in Speech/Language Pathology from MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2007. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Psychology from Emerson College. Natasha is a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist with 17 years of experience providing speech and language intervention to individuals ages 2-21. Natasha has experience working with students with disorders in the areas of oral and written communication including semantics, pragmatics, syntax/grammar, auditory processing, fluency, and significant global delays. Natasha enjoys working with students of various ages and collaborating with their families. Natasha is also a Young Adults PEERS certified provider.

Natasha began working as a licensed SLP in 2007, in Willington Public Schools. Since August 2017, she has been employed by West Hartford Public Schools as a full time SLP at William H. Hall High School. 

For more information, please contact Natasha at