Assertiveness class set for women

Published 9:10 pm Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Up Center will have a class on assertiveness for women beginning in two weeks.

The Obici Healthcare Foundation-funded program will teach good communication and the ability to stand up for oneself and say “No,” clinical manager Mary Brantley said. She will lead the class along with Angela Callahan.

“A lot of women who come through our doors have a trauma background” and have been subjected to various types of abuse, Brantley said. “It starts this perpetual cycle of not being able to stand up for themselves.”

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Brantley said the class will teach about assertive communication, which is different from aggressive communication.

“The best way to communicate is to be assertive,” Brantley said. “It states how you feel, and you’re confident in doing that. The other person may not agree, but that’s OK. That’s one of your rights. You get to state how you feel.”

Brantley said participants will receive a copy of the “Assertiveness Bill of Rights,” which includes the right to be treated respectfully, make mistakes and change your mind and refuse requests without feeling guilty.

“If we lay down and let people walk all over top of us, they’re going to walk all over top of us, and then we feel guilty and there goes that cycle again,” Brantley said.

While both men and women sometimes struggle with being assertive, the class is for women only, Brantley said.

She cautioned that the class will not encourage a woman who is currently involved in a domestic violence situation to put herself in danger by antagonizing her abuser.

“We’re not going to tell a woman in a domestic situation to stand up for herself and put herself in danger,” Brantley said. The class can help in other ways, though, she added.

The class will be held on Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. starting July 9 for eight weeks. If it’s successful, another session will be held, Brantley said, as well as possibly a “Part B” for the first group to delve into specific concerns.

The class is free, but prospective students should call Jessica at 965-8652 to sign up so the Up Center knows how many to expect.

Other programs and services the Up Center provides include foster care and adoption, youth counseling, parenting support, job training, housing and financial counseling, support for those with disabilities and more.

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