Based on both clinical wisdom from working with women and from her own experiences, Dr. de Azevedo Hanks invites women to embark on a journey to create a stronger sense of clarity, confidence, connection, and compassion by increasing their assertiveness in the areas of their lives that matter most. This book is useful to any woman who desires to increase her assertiveness and is a good tool for clinicians to use when addressing issues of connection, gender, attachment, and assertiveness. This wonderful guide is highly recommended for anyone who wants to be more assertive.
Reviewed by Beth Russell, Ph.D., LCSW, Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work, The College at Brockport for New Social Worker
From Lean In to The Female Brain, experts from diverse fields, with varying degrees of success, have tried to empower women to best understand their feelings and behaviors and act accordingly. The Assertiveness Guide for Women, by psychotherapist and clinical social worker Hanks, follows in a similar vein, with the particular goal of helping women improve their communication, set healthy boundaries, and benefit their personal and professional relationships.
It is important to note Hanks’ areas of expertise in considering this book, because they have a significant impact on her approach. Her method is thoroughly imbedded in psychotherapeutic technique and theory, which may limit the scope of its applicability. Indeed, a book that is more concerned with childhood attachment types than the societal obstacles women face each day may not work for everyone.
Do you struggle to hold firm boundaries with your kids? These 3 tips for assertive parenting may help. It just posted on my publisher New Harbinger’s website:
“Assertiveness is a topic that I care deeply about. As a clinical therapist of over twenty years, I love to help women find and use their voice to clearly express themselves in a way that strengthens their connections with others and gets their own needs met. While assertiveness may seem more relevant to adult relationships, it also has great application in how we raise and interact with our children. Here are three ways to practice assertiveness in parenting…”
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The Assertiveness Guide for Women by Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D. is an essential read for women who struggle to assert themselves. Women are especially challenged by assertiveness as they’re often socialized to be compliant and “nice”. But Dr. Hanks takes a deeper look by helping you identify how your attachment style impacts your relationships and communication style.
According to Julie, think of a recent situation where you experienced pain, whether from a physical injury or an emotional one. It might be anything from a fight with a friend to a breakup to someone’s passing. She suggests asking ourselves these questions:
“What did I tell myself about my pain?
Was my self-talk nurturing or was it critical?
Did I validate my suffering or minimize it?
How did I behave toward myself when I was hurting?
Was I able to provide nurturing, comfort and validation to myself?”