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
Watch for my advice on getting better at saying “no” in Jan. 2017 Real Simple Magazine cover story!
This month’s Real Simple magazine cover story is about the power of saying NO. I chatted with article writer Jennifer King Lindley and shared tips for setting healthy boundaries.
We are socialized to feel responsible for the feelings and well-being of those around us,” says Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D. a licensed clinical social worker in Salt Lake City and author of The Assertiveness Guide for Women.
How to say no to a friend who constantly sends emails and invitations for product lines she sells from home?
Be supportive but direct. “I’m so glad you’ve found a passion you can use your great skills in!” suggests Hanks. “But I’m just not interested in buying any candles right now. Humor can help, maybe, “I have enough candles for the rest of my life even if the power was out forever.” End it there or, if you’re close, offer to support her in a way that doesn’t involve your credit card.
My sister is going through a divorce and asked to move in with us until she can get back on her feet. My own marriage is strained, and having her in the house would ratchet up the pressure even more.
Think of your priorities as concentric circles. In the center is you, then your spouse and kids, then your extended family, then friends, then acquaintances,” says Hanks. “Reframe how you think about the decision. You are saying no to save your marriage, not because you are a bad sister.”
There are many other great tips for saying no in the New Year. Pick up your copy at the grocery store, book store, or magazine rack.
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.
Heated political discussions have only escalated since the election leaving many with heightened anxiety about gathering with family and friends during the holiday season. I share my thoughts on navigating this difficult topic in this Shape.com article. Here are a few highlights:
“If you’re hosting an event, I think it’s totally acceptable for you to say: ‘No politics today,’ says Julie de Azevedo Hanks, PhD, LCSW “Because of the volatility and the intensity of the election, as a host, I think you have every right to set that ground rule.”
Families are central to Mormonism, and creating eternal families through making and keeping covenants with the Savior is at the core of our work here on earth. However, it seems that primarily mothers, are talked about as the heart, or the center, of the families. Preparing to be a “good mother” is emphasized in Primary, Young Women’s, and continues as a central thread woven throughout Relief Society lessons and discussions.
When we speak of “good mothers” in church, we often hear stories of mothers’ great sacrifices (like a pioneer women burying a child along the trail West), frequent heartache and long-suffering (Elder Holland’s talk ‘Behold Thy Mother’), and the great joys, blessings, and the eternal significance of mothers. These themes echo family research that highlights a paradox of parenting — it is considered to be one of the most rewarding aspects of life while simultaneously being associated with increased stress, dissatisfaction, and even depression.
Do you have an adult child and sometimes struggle to know how to have proper boundaries in your relationship? You’re not alone! When our kids are little, it’s appropriate for us to tell them to brush their teeth and eat their vegetables, but when they grow up and have their own identities, it’s easy to get confused about how much input we should give into their lives. For example, should we be giving them advice on their jobs, their finances, and their dating lives? Of course we shouldn’t be helicopter parents to a man or woman in their 30s, but what if they’re really struggling and need some direction?
I shared my thoughts on this topic in a new Marriott Alumni magazine article written by Holly Munson. Here’s a summary of common scenarios parents face with adult children and my take on how to best handle them:
Over the past several months, I’ve noticed that in LDS circles, we often use the term “role” in reference to gender. From official talks over the pulpit, to blog posts, to casual conversations, it seems we’re always hearing about “gender roles”: role of men and women, role of mothers and fathers. The more I’ve noticed its use, the more uneasy I feel when I hear the word “role. ”
Maybe it’s because it seems to be used more frequently in conjunction with women’s roles so it seems odd or out of balance. After a quick search of LDS.org for “role of women” (8 pages of results) and “role of men” (1 page of results) I realized that it wasn’t just my imagination. We are hearing a lot more about women’s roles than men’s roles. Hmmmm. Interestingly, “role of men” was only used in the phrase “the role of men and women.” Maybe that’s why I feel uneasy. But I knew there was more to it. So I’ve continued to pondered.
I’m excited to share this new podcast interview I did with for with Laura Reagan, LCSW-C’s Therapy Chat Podcast. We chat about my new book The Assertiveness Guide for Women and key elements in the book, including:
How does attachment relate to our ability to ask for what we need?
What is assertiveness?
Why is assertiveness difficult for some women?
What makes The Assertiveness Guide for Women different than other assertiveness books?
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.