In assertiveness training, you certainly do not want to encourage outright forceful or confrontational behaviors that would be counterproductive.
Rather, what you are working toward is a motivated, active, and enthusiastic commitment, coupled with an understanding that as new approaches are learned and employed, a sense of anxiety and even fear may be present.
With his cooperation and clear understanding of a treatment plan, we began to address Anthony's three spheres of problems that he wanted to face and resolve: • How to overcome his dependence on coworkers.
• How to learn to ask for work-related needs, such as vacation time.
For assertiveness training, back-and-forth dialogue, partnering with the patient, and patient involvement in the process are all very important and necessary.
Informing the patient and explaining what you are doing as you enlist his cooperation are also critical aspects of behavioral therapy.
These two new strategies initially appeared alien to Anthony.
But they were nonthreatening and put him in no psychological jeopardy. He reported a significant difference in coworkers' attitudes toward him within weeks after he had taken the computer class and started trying out the new behaviors.
He felt he would be rejected or chastised for asking his manager.
Assertiveness training is a useful type of behavioral therapy I use with such people, and it can make an enormous difference for them.
Let's look at the case of a 30-year-old I'll call Anthony.
It is important to provide a time frame for evaluating results.
That is the best way to avoid the open-ended, no-end-in-sight approach to therapy, which often leads patients to feel discouraged and unmotivated.