Definition

15 Assertiveness training is a form of behavior therapy designed to help people stand up for themselves—to

$ empower themselves, in more contemporary terms.

< Assertiveness is a response that seeks to maintain an appropriate balance between passivity and aggression. Assertive responses promote fairness and equality in human interactions, based on a positive sense of respect for self and others.

Assertiveness training has a decades-long history in mental health and personal growth groups, going back to the women's movement of the 1970s. The approach was introduced to encourage women to stand up for themselves appropriately in their interactions with others, particularly as they moved into graduate education and the workplace in greater numbers. The original association of assertiveness training with the women's movement in the United States grew out of the discovery of many women in the movement that they were hampered by their inability to be assertive. Today, assertiveness training is used as part of communication training in settings as diverse as schools, corporate boardrooms, and psychiatric hospitals, for programs as varied as substance abuse treatment, social skills training, vocational programs, and responding to harassment.

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