Communication Skill Building
Communication is central to every relationship. Over the years, it has become evident how crucial effective communication skills are to women’s empowerment. Many women avoid speaking up because they do not like confrontation, are afraid of hurting others’ feelings, or because they want everyone to like them. Some women may attempt to speak up but do so in an indirect manner, asking questions rather than making statements.
As girls are taught from a young age that being too outspoken will make them a “b*tch,” it is not surprising why communicating indirectly is common among women. However, it often forces the listener to guess what the woman really means to say. This can be very frustrating for both parties.
Download my Free Guide on effective communication skills, “Say What You Mean.”
Learn and Practice Direct Communication Skills
When I work with a woman on communication skills, the first thing we do is identify a situation where she would like to speak up, but is having trouble doing so. I ask her what she really wants to say. We then refine it into something that truly expresses her message. We shorten it to make it concise and to the point. Then, we practice saying it together until she is confident to say it to the appropriate person. During our next session, we will discuss how it went, how she feels, and how we can possibly improve her approach for next time.
The more she practices effective direct communication skills, the easier it becomes. Her self esteem improves and she is equipped to clearly say what she needs to.
Saying No and Setting Boundaries
Some clients struggle with setting boundaries and saying “no.” In our work, we delve into the past to understand why this is so. Oftentimes it will be due to others repeatedly violating her own boundaries; as a result, she may not feel entitled to personal space or know how to properly set and maintain boundaries.
Boundary setting goes hand in hand with self worth. When a woman understands her worth, it is easier for her to honor her own boundaries, knowing the importance of respecting herself and those who care for her.
A woman who sets healthy boundaries is equipped to readily command what she wants and to be taken seriously, improving her overall efficacy in life.
What My Clients Say
I started seeing Heidi when I was having trouble at work. I really liked her practice of meeting with you so we could both decide whether we were a good fit for one another. Her warm and welcoming demeanor put me at ease almost at once. Heidi is a great listener, and very thoughtful in her responses. As a result of her guidance and support, I was able to overcome my fears of career growth. Her techniques made it possible for me to succeed in my endeavors to find a new, more suitable position. After 20 years in the workforce, thanks to Heidi, I was finally able to find the right professional environment. Heidi has also helped me grow in my personal life. She has opened my eyes to focusing on what is important to me, and not just accepting things as they are if it is not right for me. I have gone through a few heartaches, and thanks to Heidi, I have been more selective and that has led to a much more fulfilling outcome in terms of relationships, whether it be friends or romance.
I would not be where I am today without the work I've done with Heidi. This includes navigating a career as an educator, aiming for growth and still maintaining my sanity. It also includes learning about myself, my impulses and strategies to deal with those, as well as learning to set boundaries with those around me. Heidi has helped me not just find my voice, but to clarify it and use it to support my strengths and goals.
It has been difficult for me in the past to open up completely to therapists in the way that I needed to in order to benefit from the service. From day one, Heidi always made me feel comfortable through being genuine, present, warm and non-judgemental. This allowed for me to completely open up, be vulnerable and bring to sessions the topics that I deeply needed to speak about. Heidi is creative and open-minded and she helped me to have to develop a more hopeful and expansive worldview. I always looked forward to our sessions together.
I remember I was so nervous to have my first session with Heidi because I did not know what to expect but because she was so patient, kind and understanding she made me feel very comfortable to open up. One of the main things she’s helped me accomplish is to stand up for myself, communicating, and also has helped me to not overthink my decisions. I look forward to our sessions every week because it gives me a chance to talk about the strengths and weaknesses I’ve come across and her guidance has really helped me. Thank you Heidi!
Empathy is the truest mark of a psychotherapist, and Heidi's ability to truly listen and care is what makes her such a fantastic therapist. Throughout my time with Heidi I always felt supported. Her understanding and flexibility went a long way towards creating a safe space. I can honestly say much of the progress I have made, the confidence I feel now, is directly because of our time together.
Most of my life I lived with a feeling that something was off. I could never tell what it is, but the feeling was always there. I came to Heidi in hopes of "saving" my relationship, and through our work I found something better, I found myself. Before Heidi I was skeptical of therapy, I thought only "crazy" people went there. At first I was nervous and uncomfortable, but Heidi was so gentle, empathetic, and non judgmental that I soon was looking forward to our sessions. She gently guided me on the journey of discovering truth about my childhood and the suppressed feelings that I've been carrying around for decades. With Heidi I discovered psychosomatic therapy (somatic experiences), and consciously experienced parts of myself I didn't know existed. I now know where the feeling of something being off comes from and why it's there. I've become connected to my body and my emotions, I've learned how to be empathetic, non-judgmental, and loving towards myself. Heidi showed me how good it feels to be seen and heard for who I really am.