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Assertiveness Training

Assertiveness Training and Healthy Relationships

AToN Center’s Clinical Team has created a curriculum that assists our residents in developing assertive communication skills. As relational conflict can often contribute to relapse, AToN residents learn how to communicate in a respectful and effective manner in order to foster healthy relationships.

AToN residents identify their typical styles of communicating and learn how their communication affects their recovery. Many of our residents default to an aggressive, passive or passive-aggressive style of communication, which can be a detriment to relationships and recovery. These less effective styles of communication can foster anger, resentment, hopelessness and helplessness.

Assertive communication is the ability to request your needs in a manner that is respectful to yourself and others. Assertive communication requires one to develop the ability to remain calm and collected during confrontation. This is a skill that requires much practice. Residents learn ten assertiveness techniques, including the DESO script, “I” statements and the broken record technique.

At AToN Center, residents participate in assertiveness role plays in both a group and individual setting. We help our residents create healthy communication skills that allow them to express their needs appropriately. We foster interdependent social behavior and allow our clients to appropriately address any discord in relation to others. After completing the Assertiveness Training curriculum, residents are better able to reflect on their emotions and navigate potentially volatile situations by reacting with healthy assertiveness.

Additionally, residents practice social refusal skills which are helpful during business dinners, weddings, vacations and other triggering situations. After program completion, many residents must manage social situations in which substance use is the norm and report that AToN exposure sessions, Relapse Prevention and Assertiveness Training have been helpful in addressing these obstacles. Many family members report a significant change in their loved one’s style of communicating after completing treatment at AToN Center. Assertiveness Training is a central component of Relapse Prevention and recovery.