Innovation Fund Feedback from our friend Alina at The Upper Room
The Upper Room was awarded the Innovation Fund to provide a 10 session Assertiveness Programme to help people gain knowledge about what assertiveness is and to learn how to use the skills they learn in their everyday life to improve wellbeing.
Alina stated that during first week they explained the aims and content of the project, asked the individuals for their expectations/goals to achieve in the course and set out behavioural expectations for her and the participants.
After the group agreed on the ground rules so that all participants could work best together, they progressed through the following modules:
- Explaining what assertiveness is.
- How to build healthy self-esteem.
- How to think more assertively.
- How to behave more assertively.
- Reducing physical tension and mindfulness.
- Strategies How to say ‘no’ assertively.
- How to deal assertively with criticism.
- How to deal with disappointment assertively, how to apologies and receive apologies assertively.
- How to give and receive compliments assertively.
Throughout each module Alina said that she introduced several exercises with the themes of improving self-esteem and self-confidence, as she identified low self-confidence as a underlying issue with most of the clients.
The content of the modules was delivered through short theory, group exercises, role play and coaching and motivational techniques. Alina stated that a wide range of learning paths was covered throughout the programme which includes:
- Communication with yourself and others.
- Listening skills.
- Knowledge about your own strengths and weaknesses.
- Recognising different communication styles.
- Awareness of non-verbal communication in yourself and others.
- Recognising assertive behaviour.
- Recognising and expressing emotions better.
- Mindfulness skills.
Each session lasted for a duration of 2 hours and participants were asked at the end of each session to complete an evaluation form. Approximately 90% of participants found the workshops ” excellent “or “very good”, 10% found it as “good”.
Alina stated that on the evaluation form the clients had a section to fill out and expound upon what they found particularly useful and they had always put some individual outcomes down.
The total number of clients who attended first programme was around 12 in total with an average attendance in a given session of 5-6 participants. The Second programme had 10 in total with an average of 3-4 participants in a session. Alina said one reason for the drop in attendance could be due to changing the location, which was far from any bus stops or tube stations.
Alina highlighted a range of successful outcomes that have occurred through this programme which include participants:
- Gaining a clear knowledge and understanding of assertiveness.
- Individual goals being achieved or in progress of being met.
- Learnt their assertive rights.
- Being educated on how to improve their self-esteem.
- Developing their CBT techniques how to challenge unhelpful thoughts.
- Learning practical ways how to deal with their worries.
- Improving their communication with themselves and others.
- Finding more productive ways to better deal with stress.
- Working through their communication difficulties and learning new ways of communicating through role play exercises.
- Discovering out where they can find additional help and resources.
Alina fed back: “although the number of participants was lower that I would have liked those who attended the course found it very useful and I have received great written and verbal feedback. I am unable to use the feedback forms because they are stored in the office and due to corona virus I have not been there since February”.
Feedback from one participant that Alina received via email said: “I am very grateful for the fruitful workshops, the knowledge I gained I use in everyday life. I learnt about my emotions and how to better deal with them, How to improve my communication with my ex-husband and my daughter after a difficult experience, my divorce. The workshops helped me to regain my self-esteem which was destroyed, helped me to learn how to set new goals and persuade them. Particularly I found it useful how to deal with criticism and communicate assertively my point of view. I enjoyed relaxation and mindfulness as well. Thank you.”