Most human needs are met through interpersonal and social interaction. People equipped with appropriate interpersonal and social skills are more likely to experience need gratification, goal attainment and fulfillment. Some people who are not as skilled may find the same events threatening, scary, painful, or even traumatic. The inability to enjoy social interactions and to use them to realize other goals such as intimacy, emotional support, or career advancement severely compromises our sense of well-being and quality of life.
The SSLD System was initially created to enhance interpersonal and social functioning. People needing to learn the relevant strategies and skills can benefit from SSLD programs emphasizing experiential learning and real life implementation.
In March 2017, University of Toronto's very first massive open online course (MOOC) was launched on Coursera. The response to The Arts and Science of Relationships: Understanding Human Needs has been immensely positive. The course serves as a platform for learners to connect, and as a foundation to understanding other advanced modules.
In recent years, there have been specific requests for developing special modules that aim to develop and improve personal and social skills such as:
- Dating and intimacy
- Couples counseling
- Use of group dynamics
- Conflict management