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Essential Communications Skills Group Starting in 2023!

This two-part workshop series starts on January 19, 2023 and will be facilitated by Diane Duan, M.A. and Antonia Jurkovic, Psy.D..

What is the Communication Skills workshop?

The Communication Skills workshop is a virtual skills-building group consisting of two parts: “Speaking Your Truth” and “Difficult Conversations.” Each part will meet once per week for 4 consecutive weeks. Each meeting will consist of a psychoeducational component followed by paired practice.

“Speaking Your Truth” covers the basic tools we need for effective communication, including active listening, speaking with compassion, and communicating needs and requests. “Difficult Conversations” applies the skills learned in “Speaking Your Truth” to some common challenges faced during communication attempts, including identifying and managing triggers, emotional regulation, and addressing ineffective cycles of communication.

Why did you start the Communication Skills workshop?

As a relationship therapist, I often witness partners repeating the same, unproductive cycles of arguing or avoiding.  When this happens, partners often feel unsatisfied, invalidated or unheard. Part of my job is to help bring out the message from one partner to the other in a way that can be well-received and understood, and help the listener empathize and validate their partner’s experience — with the goal that they will eventually be able to do that on their own.

Unfortunately, most of us have not been taught explicitly to listen, speak or communicate emotions effectively. As children, we usually pick up lessons about communication from observing the interactions in our families. Unfortunately, many of our caregivers did not receive instruction or modeling of healthy, effective communication. Other important elements of communication are the ability to listen empathically, to suspend judgment and to set boundaries. These skills can be very difficult to develop when people who have not had their own emotions validated or have not had their boundaries respected as a child. As a result, we may have difficulty with communication as adults.

My hope is that participants of this workshop will walk away with meaningful and practical communication skills that will help improve their relationship with themselves and with others.

Who can join, and who would benefit from attending the Communication Skills workshop?

This group is appropriate for anyone 18+ years of age who would like to communicate more effectively in relationships of all kinds, including with friends, partners, family members, coworkers, etc. We welcome all genders, sexual orientations, ethnic backgrounds and relational styles! You do not need a partner to attend.

Why is this workshop important?

Knowing how to communicate effectively and in a healthy way is important because maintaining strong and productive relationships is important! Having safe and secure relationships is crucial for our psychological wellbeing. The ability to share our experiences with people who matter to us, listen to their experiences, and engage in difficult conversations when necessary are fundamental skills that strengthen meaningful connections, reduce tension and pave the way for sharing more satisfaction with others.

Any closing words?

Because the skills presented each week build upon previous weeks, we request that participants commit to attending the full four weeks. While we recommend attending “Speaking Your Truth” as a prerequisite of “Difficult Conversations,” we offer the choice to take only one or the other or both. This workshop is meant to be both instructive and interactive. It works best when people actively participate in the full group and with small practice groups!

Learn more and register for the group here!