Assertive Communication Skills Group Therapy

Goals
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.

Group Process
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.

Meetings
The group meets over ten 1 1/2 hour sessions, scheduled at the mutual convenience of group participants.

Group Size
Single and mixed gender groups (6-14 participants) are scheduled on the basis of referrals.

Enrollment
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:

An individual may not benefit from this group if the following are present:

Screening
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.

Leaders
Groups are co-led by clinical psychologists from the Behavioral Medicine Section.

Outline of Sessions

1- DEFINITION OF ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION

2 - DESCRIPTION OF ASSERTIVE RIGHTS

3 - DESCRIPTION OF NON-VERBAL BEHAVIOR

4 - METHODS FOR LISTENING

5 - HOW TO EXPRESS NEEDS AND FEELINGS

6 - HOW TO MAKE REQUESTS

7 - HOW TO THINK AND ACT ASSERTIVELY

8 - HOW TO HANDLE ANGER AND CONFLICT

9 - HOW TO MANAGE AGGRESSION

10 - REVIEW & RECOMMENDATIONS