Assertive Communication Skills Group Therapy
Group members learn and develop skills to manage every-day, social interactions including how to clearly and effectively: (1) express needs, feelings, opinions, & preferences, (2) handle criticism, rejection, and aggression, and (3) negotiate conflict. The group focuses on both verbal and nonverbal aspects of communication. Enhancing interpersonal communication skills is an appropriate objective for individuals who wish to improve their relationships and mood, or to reduce anxiety and manage significant life stressors. This group may be the principal therapy modality for some participants or a supplement to ongoing individual or other therapy.
The group process involves the presentation of educational information as well as interaction among group members. A variety of exercises such as self-monitoring, role-plays, discussion, and constructive feedback are conducted in session and practiced at home in order to increase awareness and communication skills. Videotape feedback is available on request.
The group meets over ten 1 1/2 hour sessions, scheduled at the mutual convenience of group participants.
Single and mixed gender groups (6-14 participants) are scheduled on the basis of referrals.
Enrollment is ongoing and groups begin when a sufficient number of referrals are received.
Who May Benefit?
Individuals who wish to cope better with emotional difficulties or relationships may benefit from communication skills training. Clients commonly referred to the group include those with the following:
- Social Anxiety
- Chronic Worry
- Anxiety Attacks
- Post Trauma Reactions
- Relationship Problems
- Occupational Stress
An individual may not benefit from this group if the following are present:
- Thoughts or actual acts involving harm to self or others
- Unusual beliefs or sensory experiences
- Behavioral or medical problems that would interfere with skills training or disrupt the group process
Participants must attend a brief screening interview to establish diagnosis and personal group goals. The screening is not necessary for those who have already had an evaluation within the past six months.
Groups are co-led by clinical psychologists from the Behavioral Medicine Section.
Outline of Sessions
1- DEFINITION OF ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION
- What it means to be assertive
- The impact of different communication styles
2 - DESCRIPTION OF ASSERTIVE RIGHTS
- Recognizing and accepting personal rights
- Developing a mindset for personal change
3 - DESCRIPTION OF NON-VERBAL BEHAVIOR
- Awareness of non-verbal communication
4 - METHODS FOR LISTENING
- The role of listening in communication
- Developing nonverbal/verbal listening skills
- Interpreting underlying messages
5 - HOW TO EXPRESS NEEDS AND FEELINGS
- Learning to express openly and assertively
6 - HOW TO MAKE REQUESTS
- Making requests of others
7 - HOW TO THINK AND ACT ASSERTIVELY
- Recognizing obstacles to assertive behavior
- Learning to think assertively
8 - HOW TO HANDLE ANGER AND CONFLICT
- Learning strategies for handling anger
- Learning how to negotiate conflict
9 - HOW TO MANAGE AGGRESSION
- Persisting in difficult situations
- Responding to aggressive behavior
10 - REVIEW & RECOMMENDATIONS
- Review of personal goals for communication
- Practicing and refining skills
- Recommendations for personal change