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Trina Swerdlow, CCHT

199 E. Linda Mesa, Ste. 4
Danville, CA 94526

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Trina Swerdlow is a certified clinical hypnotherapist. She is not a nurse or a physician. Offering hypnotherapy services in California is a certified credential that can be alternative or complementary to licensed healing arts, such as psychotherapy.

All testimonials appearing on this site reflect real life experiences of those who have used our services or products. These testimonials, and all professional endorsements for our services or products, were volunteered by the makers without an offer of compensation. The results referred to in these testimonials are individual results and results do vary. We make no claims that the individual results are typical results that all clients will achieve. Goal-reaching success is often related to a client’s motivation level to consistently utilize our tools or products and follow the suggested guidelines.

Passive, Aggressive or Passive-Aggressive?
What is Assertive Behavior?
Potential Benefits of Assertiveness Training

Passive, Aggressive or Passive-Aggressive?

Surprisingly, many people aren't clear about how assertiveness differs from aggressiveness. They also aren't clear what the difference is between passive or passive-aggressive behaviors.

Unfortunately, while we were growing up, healthy communication skills (or behaviors) weren't handed down to many of us from our family members. In addition, few of us learned healthy communication skills in our traditional schools. For this reason, you might want to ask yourself the following questions.

Do you often find yourself:

  • Lacking the ability to openly or directly express your emotions?
  • Expressing your opinion and then worrying excessively afterward (what did people think)?
  • Agreeing with others to avoid conflict or "rocking the boat?"
  • Avoiding (and unable to ask for) help from others?
  • Silently carrying a sack filled with resentments on your back?

If you can relate to several of these statements, then you probably find it challenging—and anxiety producing—to communicate directly. The good news is; it's never too late to seek new tools and skills. When Trina teaches assertiveness, she initially defines three behavioral styles. In short, they are:

1. Passive: Passive behavior occurs when someone is submissive, therefore allowing others to dominate.

Passive behavior focuses on others' desires and needs, rather than one's own desires and needs. People who behave passively are sometimes referred to as "People Pleasers."

In addition, someone who behaves passively suppresses emotions, which often results in anxiety. Passivity can eventually lead to resentment due to unmet needs and a lack of personal fulfillment.

When feeling threatened, a person behaving passively may resort to avoidance by fleeing or freezing. Fleeing and freezing are related to the Stress Response that animals exhibit when their survival is threatened, the fight-flight-freeze response.

2. Aggressive: Aggressive behavior occurs when someone is domineering. A fear of losing control and a sense of powerlessness are common vulnerabilities that trigger aggressiveness.

People with aggressive behavioral styles damage relationships due to their insensitive ways of getting their own needs met.

When feeling threatened, a person behaving aggressively may resort to fighting (verbally or physically). Fighting is also one aspect of the fight-flight-freeze response.

People who behave aggressively will need anger management
intervention before Assertiveness Training.

When people are unable to express frustration and anger directly, in healthy ways, they may exhibit a combination of passive and aggressive behaviors.

3. Passive-Aggressive: Passive-aggressive behavior occurs when someone passively resists the requests or demands of others personally and/or professionally.

Manifestations of passive-aggressive behavior can be inefficiency, procrastination, lack of commitment, stubbornness, resentment, sarcasm, and lying (to avoid confrontation).

When passive-aggressive behavior swings (more blatantly) toward the aggressive end of the scale, it could manifest in this way: An unhappy employee steals office supplies at work—as a way to "get even"—rather than making an attempt to get his or her needs met by communicating and trying to be heard.

When people who behave in passive-aggressive ways are confronted, they often blame, make excuses, or become sullen. Accepting ownership is difficult for people who cope with life through passive-aggressive behaviors.

Being willing to change is an important first step for those who want to grow beyond their current behavioral styles—whether they are passive, aggressive, or passive-aggressive. A positive alternative to these three behavioral styles is assertiveness.

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What is Assertive Behavior?

Assertive: Assertive behavior occurs when someone finds a middle ground between passivity and aggression.

An indication of assertive behavior is when people respect their own and others' boundaries. Rather than blaming others, people practicing assertiveness accept responsibility for their own feelings and behaviors. These people are emotionally healthy (and skilled) enough to directly express their power and their vulnerability.

People behaving assertively will defend themselves when threatened. However, they use aggressive behavior defensively, rather than offensively, to protect themselves.

In her training, Trina will teach you how to:

  • Recognize passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or assertive behavior.
  • Communicate assertively.
  • Say "no" without feeling guilty.
  • Set healthy limits and boundaries.
  • Balance asserting with compassionate listening when conflicts arise.
  • Pursue win/win (rather than win/lose) conflict resolution results.

Trina's Assertiveness Training offers interactive communication exercises that are educational as well as inspirational. During the training, you will have opportunities to practice communicating assertively in the safe environment of her office.

You will be developing your assertiveness skills while increasing your confidence and self-esteem. And, you may feel relieved to know that humor and playfulness are integral parts of this educational process.

So, if your current behavioral style is escalating your anxiety levels, then consider moving beyond passive, aggressive, or passive-aggressive coping mechanisms by flexing your "assertiveness muscles."

In addition, through various hypnotherapy experiences, you will have an opportunity to strengthen your connection to your own inner wisdom and authenticity.

Authenticity often lives underneath layers and layers of protective armor—it is the rich wisdom, the gold, which resides in the core of one's being.

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Potential Benefits of Assertiveness Training

  • Clarifying, "Who am I?"
  • Identifying: What are my healthy wants and needs?
  • Setting boundaries for self-care
  • Expressing authentically from the wisdom deep inside yourself
  • Increasing emotional intimacy in your personal life
  • Heightening personal effectiveness in your professional life

Call today for a short interview to discuss your goals. If Trina feels her training is an appropriate fit, and you choose to move forward, then get ready to take your personal and professional communication skills—to the next level.
(925) 285-5759

copyright © 2008 Trina Swerdlow