Assertiveness Training

This group is designed to help participants develop an assertive communication style, set healthy boundaries with others, and deal with criticism in healthy ways. The Assert Yourself Workbook from the Centre for Clinical Innovation (it is in Australia, hence the different spellings below) will provide the group structure and what skills are to be developed. Two topics about assertiveness will be examined in each of the 5 sessions.

Session Topics

Session 1

What is Assertiveness?

This module introduces the concept of assertiveness, describes some myths about assertiveness, identifies reasons why we become unassertive, looks at the effects of not being assertive, and also what factors stop us from being assertive. It also gives you the chance to assess how assertive you are in a range of situations.

How to Recognize Assertive Behaviour

This module shows you how to recognise the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive communication and introduces the verbal and non-verbal characteristics of each communication style.

Session 2

How to Think More Assertively

This module introduces the concept that it is how we think that can stop us from being assertive. It identifies a number of unhelpful thoughts, and then gives the more assertive counterpart to this thought. It then introduces two techniques for changing your unhelpful thinking: thought diaries and behavioural experiments.

How to Behave More Assertively

This module introduces a number of techniques designed to help you become more assertive.

Session 3

Reducing Physical Tension

This module helps you to identify areas of physical tension in your body and introduces a number of techniques designed to help you reduce this tension and become more relaxed.

How to Say “No” Assertively

This module examines the effects of not being able to say “no”. It identifies a number of unhelpful thoughts that may make it difficult for you to say “no” and helps you come up with a more helpful thinking style. It then introduces a number of ways to say “no”.

Session 4

How to Deal Assertively with Criticism

This module identifies the different types of criticism and why we may have trouble responding well to criticism. It looks at the underlying beliefs which may stop us from being able to deal with criticism and helps you come up with a more helpful thinking style. It then gives some tips for dealing with criticism and also for giving constructive criticism.

How to Deal with Disappointment Assertively

This module helps you identify how you deal with disappointment and examine the unhelpful thinking that may be making it difficult for you to deal with disappointment. It then helps you come up with a more helpful thinking style to deal more assertively with disappointment.

Session 5

How to Give and Receive Compliments Assertively

This module addresses coping with compliments; it helps you recognise passive and aggressive responses to compliments and then helps you to develop more assertive responses by uncovering and challenging the unhelpful thoughts that make you uncomfortable with compliments. It then takes you through the steps for giving compliments appropriately.

Putting it All Together

This module summarises the skills you have learnt so far. It then helps you build a hierarchy of challenges to help you practice to become more assertive. It provides a worksheet to help you work through the challenges you set for yourself. Finally it gives you a chance to reassess yourself to see if you have become more assertive.

Who can join the group

This group is for anyone age 15 and up who struggles with social skills and social anxiety. The maximum number of participants in the group is 10.

When & Where

Group will start in February or March 2021, actual time TBD based on participant availability.

4041 High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214 (map)

Conveniently located next to the Park of Roses with great parking. On the COTA #2 Bus Line with building very near the N. High and Glenmont bus stop.


$150 for all 5 sessions ($15 per hour, what a deal) due before sessions start. Insurance may be used only if the group member is an individual client of CAASS because a person using insurance must have a mental health diagnosis.

How to sign up or get more information

Just fill out the contact form below and someone from CAASS will get back to you shortly.