Assertiveness Training in Clinical Practice

Strategies, Resources, and Exercises for Clinicians

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How many of your clients' difficulties involve communication, relationships, and boundaries?

The ability to set and maintain effective and fulfilling interpersonal boundaries is a core aspect of personal confidence, self-esteem, social success, positive psychology, and mental health. Yet many of our clients - and many of US - struggle when faced with challenging interpersonal situations.

Assertiveness training is one of the prime building blocks of skills-based therapies including cognitive behavior therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy. Yet many clinicians have scant instruction in this therapeutic fundamental. We are told how important it is, yet given little training in its implementation.

That's where this course comes in. In eight hours of instruction you will learn not only the foundations of assertive communication, but the strategies involved in imparting these skills to your clients.

But that's not all. Clinicians routinely say that this material has helped in their own lives as well. There is a mantra repeated throughout the course: Those who teach must be able to do. You will be encouraged to consider your own challenges, your own relationships, and to practice the skills and exercises that we recommend using with clients.

The course material is divided into a series of bite-sized lectures, most between 5 and 15 minutes, so you can work at your own pace.

Course Content

  • Guidelines regarding appropriate clients
  • Suggestions for group and individual interventions
  • Instructional strategy - making it experiential rather than didactic
  • The four primary communication styles
  • Nonverbal behavior
  • Barriers to assertiveness: Stress, gender, and social history
  • Beliefs that get in the way - and an alternative assertive mindset
  • Giving your opinion
  • Giving and receiving positive and negative feedback
  • Saying no
  • Making requests
  • Coping with conflict and confrontation

You Will Receive

  • Ongoing access (without expiry date) to all video lectures and materials.
  • A pdf of the text slides from the presentation.
  • A set of 20+ downloadable documents that you can reproduce for your own clients.
Get CE Credit
Upon completing the course you can submit a brief quiz and a feedback form, and we will provide you with a certificate of completion for 8 CE hours. Changeways Clinic is an approved provider of Continuing Education under the Canadian Psychological Association (see note at the bottom of this page).
Learning Objectives
By the completion of this course, qualified and trained mental health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify the four basic communication styles in action – and teach this recognition to clients.
  • Explore with clients the barriers (personal and interactional) that prevent them from using assertiveness skills more effectively.
  • Train clients in the skills involved in assertive communication in eight types of interaction (providing opinions, receiving compliments, giving positive feedback, receiving criticism, providing corrective feedback, setting boundaries / saying no, making requests, and handling conflict).
  • Make use of provided exercise handouts with clients to enhance knowledge and skill transfer.
  • Use specific experiential training skills in session with clients, including modeling, rehearsal, role reversal, and shaping.

A Note Regarding CPA Approval: The Canadian Psychological Association's approval of an individual, group, or organization as a CE Sponsor or Provider is restricted to the activities described in the approved application or annual report form. The CPA’s approval does not extend to any other CE activity the Sponsor or Provider might offer. In granting its approval, the CPA assumes no legal or financial obligations to Sponsors, Providers, or to those individuals who might participate in a Sponsor or Provider’s CE activities or programs. Further, responsibility for the content, provision, and delivery of any CE activity approved by the CPA remains that of the CE Sponsor or Provider. The CPA disclaims all legal liability associated with the content, provision, and delivery of the approved CE activity. This program adheres to the ethical standards of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists.

Your Instructor

Dr Randy Paterson
Dr Randy Paterson

Randy Paterson is the Director of Changeways Clinic and author of The Assertiveness Workbook, How to be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use, Private Practice Made Simple, and Your Depression Map. He is also the lead author of the Changeways Core Program, one of the world's most widely used group therapy treatment protocols for depression, and coauthor of The Antidepressant Skills Workbook. He has presented over 300 workshops on psychotherapy for professional mental health providers across Canada and internationally.

Course Curriculum

  Wrapping It To Go
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!