Assertiveness Training in Addiction
Assertiveness training is recommended for all sorts of people
with all different life skill levels. But, assertiveness lessons
are particularly useful for the recovering addiction.
Talk to the Hand
Assertiveness can be a helpful tool for people who are just starting
their journey down the recovery path from addiction and are struggling
with various levels of denial and have a difficult time claiming
accountability for their actions.
Many drug and alcohol rehab
centers will offer assertiveness classes to those in recovery
as one technique that will help reduce stress and help the addict
achieve more control over their otherwise out-of-control lives.
Most addicts are low on the assertiveness scale when it comes
to dealing with family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and
the public at large.
According to a survey in Counselor Magazine, those who had undergone
recovery through a drug and alcohol rehab center were asked what
treatment the center offered benefited them most. Out of all of
the different treatment methods used, assertiveness training was
named the one that was the most beneficial.
Now, assertiveness lessons
may at times be dependent upon other treatment
methods so that the addict can receive full benefit of the training.
For instance, if someone in recovery for substance abuse isn't
in touch with their feelings, they will have a hard time asserting
their own needs based on their feelings. Treatment aimed at getting
the addict in touch with his or her own feelings may be required
first in order for training to be fully effective later.
Assertiveness involves the addict being honest and acknowledging
their own feelings to themselves first. Once the addict is clear
about what they are feeling, then they can take action to communicate
to others based upon their own clarity of feeling. Enablers and
others may not be used to this new assertiveness from the addict
and may react to try to restore the status quo.
Through assertiveness, the addict will be prepared to deal with
the reactions of others to this new assertiveness. This new assertiveness
may be threatening to others involved in close relationship with
the addict as all of a sudden, the relationship has changed and
their own role in the relationship may now be unclear.
Assertiveness classes will
teach the recovering addict to be clear about their
wants and needs, be consistent and be persistent. Expectations
will also need to be dealt with in a realistic manner. For instance,
some people think that by receiving training they will now be
able to get all the things in life that they were never able to
What most people who have been through training and practice the
techniques find, however, is a quiet confidence, a sense of empowerment,
a new found clarity and a lessening of stress in general. And,
to most of those who achieve these new life skills, assertiveness
is worth its weight in gold. You Got That?!