Boundaries: Training Your Clients in Assertiveness Skills

Boundaries: Training Your Clients in Assertiveness Skills

CE Hours available

The function of much of therapy is to put clients firmly in charge of their own lives. But if they can’t be assertive, their lives are not truly their own.

Much of the time, clients come into the therapy room feeling caught in painful, intractable conflicts with those around them that leave them feeling hurt, angry, and helpless. And more often than not, these situations persist because clients are attempting the impossible:

They are trying to change what everyone else is doing.

And it doesn’t work.

But being assertive doesn’t mean attempting to control the behavior of others — it’s about controlling our own actions.

By helping clients develop their assertiveness skills, you can help them build healthy communication styles, stand their ground and become less buffeted by what everyone else expects of them, and effectively navigate conflicts in their relationships with less hostility.

And you can teach them how to live and interact with other people without losing themselves in the process.

Most clinicians have been shown the necessity and value of assertiveness, healthy communication, and boundaries at some point in their education. However, most clinical programs include little or no instruction on how to actually build assertiveness skills.

Essentially, you’ve probably been taught the rationale, but often not the technique.

That’s why we’re so pleased to introduce this new live, online course: Boundaries: Training Your Clients in Assertiveness Skills — a course designed to teach you the specific skills involved in assertive communication and how to help your clients master those skills.

About the Course

Inside the course, expert trainer, psychologist, and author of the Assertiveness Workbook, Randy J. Paterson, PhD., will teach you not only the importance of assertiveness skills, but how to impart those skills to your clients in an experiential way.

You’ll explore the four basic styles of communication (assertive, passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, plus a fifth: passive-to-aggressive alternator) and the motives and beliefs that drive them. You’ll learn about specific barriers that prevent clients and clinicians alike from using an assertive style, including:

  • How stress can pull people away from assertive responding
  • Social history and the unchanging, rigid expectations for others to act “how they always have”
  • The ways that beliefs — such as “assertive people are obnoxious” or “politeness means being a pushover” — shape behavior

And over 4 experiential sessions, you’ll practice specific action-oriented strategies to overcome those barriers. With these tools, clients will be able to recognize their own communication style and identify what is stopping them from being assertive.

With the techniques you’ll gain from this course, you’ll be able to train your clients to navigate boundary-challenging scenarios — such as saying “no,” giving and receiving feedback, making requests, and dealing with conflict — while feeling less threatened and staying true to themselves. And you’ll be able to help clients establish and maintain good interpersonal boundaries and cultivate more fulfilling relationships.

Throughout the course, you will be invited to perform the exercises in your own life as a way to fully embrace the material and prepare to apply it in a clinical setting. And you may discover how these skills can benefit you and your practice as well.

Join us for this important new online course, and learn to help your clients develop the essential assertiveness skills they need to take back control of their own life.

This training is worth 8 CE credit hours if attended live. While we can only provide CE to those who are present – i.e. logged in – for all live sessions, Praxis webinars are recorded for later viewing. Registrants may access these recordings at any time for up to nine months from the conclusion of the training to which they pertain.

Prior to registering, please click here to review speaker-planner conflict of interest disclosures and complete CE information.

Session 1 | September 7, 2022, 1 PM—3 PM EDT

  • Indications and Contradictions
  • Training Strategies for Individual Therapy

Session 2 | September 14, 2022, 1 PM—3 PM EDT

  • Stress-related Barriers
  • The Assertive Mindset

Session 3 | September 21, 2022, 1 PM—3 PM EDT

  • Giving and Receiving Positive Feedback
  • Giving Corrective Feedback

Session 4 | September 28, 2022, 1 PM—3 PM EDT

  • Making Requests
  • Coping with Confrontation

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the four basic communication styles in action – and teach this recognition to clients.
  2. Discuss ways to explore with clients the barriers (personal and interactional) that prevent them from using assertiveness skills more effectively.
  3. Name the eight types of interaction
  4. Identify ways to train clients in the skills involved in assertive communication in eight types of interaction
  5. Discuss how to use specific experiential training skills in session with clients, including modeling, rehearsal, role reversal, and shaping.

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This live online course is sponsored by Praxis Continuing Education and Training and is approved for 8 CE Hours by the following listed below. There was no commercial support for this activity. None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Praxis CET maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below:

Joint Accreditation: In support of improving patient care, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 8 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.

Nursing: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this activity for a maximum of 8 ANCC contact hours.

Physicians: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this live activity for a maximum of 8 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Psychologists: Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibly for the content of the programs.

Social Workers: As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 8 clinical continuing education credits.

Drug and Alcohol Counselors: This course has been approved by Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 8 CE hours. NAADAC Provider #165310, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, is responsible for all aspects of its programming.

National Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6759. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

NY Social Workers: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0467

NY Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0198.

NY Psychologists: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0002.

NOTE: Many state boards accept offerings accredited by national or other state organizations. If your state is not listed, please check with your professional licensing board to determine whether the accreditations listed are accepted.

Mental health professionals – psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, occupational therapists, psychiatric nurses, psychotherapists, coaches, and counsellors (beginner-intermediate level)

Speed, BC, Goldstein, BL, & Goldfried, MR (2017). Assertiveness training: A forgotten evidence-based treatment. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 25, 1-20.

Barth, J et al. (2013). Comparative efficacy of seven psychotherapeutic interventions for patients with depression: A network meta-analysis. PLoS Medicine, 10, e1001454.

Omura, M, et al. (2017). The effectiveness of assertiveness communication training programs for healthcare professionals and students: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 76, 120-128.

We understand, sometimes things come up!

Praxis will offer a full refund to registrants of both live and live-online trainings who cancel their registration up to 14 days before the course or workshop start date, minus an administrative processing fee of $30 for a 2-day workshop or online course, and a $50 fee for a 4-day workshop. If cancelled within 14 days, no refund will be issued, however, a credit for the same amount will be applied toward another learning product, which expires within 1 year. Please email us at to cancel a registration.