Strategies & Skills Learning & Development

SSLD is an intervention system for bringing about change in human life, including our thinking, action, motivation, emotion, body, as well as our environment.

It is developed by Professor Ka Tat Tsang of the University of Toronto, and first named in 2005, based on over three decades of research and practice experience in social work, clinical psychology, and different areas of human services (Tsang, 2013).

The SSLD System meets the definition of an invention according to University of Toronto Inventions Policy and Professor Tsang has completed the invention disclosure procedure with the University in the Fall of 2015.

SSLD is a registered trademark. Permission from Professor Tsang is required to use the system. Request for permission please click here.

SSLD is a learning process.

People using SSLD service first learn to know themselves better. This includes a better understanding of their needs, circumstances, characteristics, and capacity. We call this N3C.

Based on this understanding, people become better able to articulate realistic goals that address what they really need, taking into account the reality of their circumstances. The goals will also be compatible with their characteristics, and will allow them to maximize their capacity and potential.

In SSLD, these goals are attained through systematic learning and development of relevant and effective strategies and skills.

The learning can take place individually with the help of an SSLD practitioner. It can also take place in groups with people sharing similar needs, circumstances, or characteristics and capacity.

Problems and Challenges in Life.

The SSLD System understands problems and challenges in human life in terms of human needs. Problems in life are translated into human needs that have not been effectively met. Following such problem translation, new strategies and goals can be learned to address these needs more effectively, thus solving the problem. Please refer to The Mechanism of Learning and Change to learn more.

SSLD bridges the knowledge-action gap.

A lot of education and training programs ignore the knowledge-action gap and assume that people will apply what they learn to be good or right. SSLD recognizes that most people do not do that. People often need to have the right combination of motivation, conceptual understanding, technical know-how, emotional support, social facilitation, and hands-on skills coaching in order to develop new patterns of behaviour or action. Instead of assuming that conceptual learning will be automatically translated into action, SSLD aims at ensuring effective transfer of classroom learning to real life. SSLD learning programs usually involve intensive use of simulation, demonstration, role-playing, brainstorming, experimenting with new strategies and skills, take-home exercises, opportunities to practice in the real world, reporting and reviewing. Video-recording and review is often used to facilitate learning and the fine-tuning of skills. Programs can take place in a small group format, while customized individual learning programs are also available. Please refer to Basic Principles to learn more.

SSLD is a practice system developed for a globalized context.

It is built upon multiple-contingencies thinking, which allows the practitioner to engage with complex human realities, including the intersecting diversities associated with gender, age, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, religion, socio-economic status, ability, and other characteristics.

SSLD has been applied extensively in different areas of professional practice in Canada and internationally. Programs have been developed for mental health intervention, interpersonal relationship development, management training in both corporate and non-profit sectors, public relations, parenting and child development, and specific areas of health care. Click here to view a list of SSLD applications.