This article will give more information on how to improve your assertiveness.

Assertiveness means being able to stand up for your own or other people's rights in a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive or passively accepting 'wrong'. Learning how to communicate assertively is a very useful life skill and this article tells you how you can get support with this from the University or via other resources.

It is always advisable to let your personal tutor or course leader know if you are having difficulties affecting your studies - they are there to help, and can offer useful advice and support. It is also advisable to consult your GP if you are feeling persistently low, or if your difficulties are significantly affecting your daily functioning.

The Student Wellbeing Service is available to all students free of charge and is experienced in providing confidential support to students for assertiveness. You may find one or more of our courses and workshops helpful in teaching useful skills to promote your wellbeing. The list of recommended resources will give some ideas for other strategies or sources of support:


Courses and workshops

The Student Wellbeing Service hosts a range of workshops and courses for learning skills to tackle common issues like stress, anxiety and low mood. Consult our course and workshop programmeto see if any of them seem relevant to your concerns. For example, the 'From Stress to Success' course includes a section on assertiveness and communication. The 'Facing feelings' workshop also teaches skills to help you overcome emotional barriers to living life more fully.


Online resources

All students also have free access to a set of short online courses, called SilverCloud, to learn evidence-based strategies for tackling the common issues of stress, anxiety, depression and poor body image. The stress course includes some material on assertiveness. These courses can be accessed confidentially and completed independently, in your own time and at your own pace. Find out more and register directly from the online resources article.


Student Wellbeing Service

The Student Wellbeing Service offers confidential help with a wide range of personal and emotional concerns and is available to every student at the University, free of charge. All kinds of students find their way to us from all over the University and for all sorts of reasons.

The service has three strands: wellbeing advice, counselling, and mental health advice. They are all linked together so when you apply you only have to approach us once – we will sort out which one is most likely to meet your needs.

To contact us or register for support see our article on accessing support from the Student Wellbeing Service.


Library books

The University library has copies of the following books which could be useful:

  • Lindenfield, G - Assert Yourself - 158.2/LIN
  • Galassi, MD & Galassi, JP - Assert Yourself! - 158/1/GAL

You can search the Library Catalogue here.


Other resources

If you would like to research more around the topic of assertiveness, the Student Wellbeing Service can recommend the following self help resources:

  • Assert Yourself From a very well-regarded Australian site, these popular downloadable CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) workbooks provide clear, easy to read information along with short exercises and activities to learn and apply skills for tackling common issues - in this case assertiveness. Many students have found these materials helpful.


University of Portsmouth Student Wellbeing Service Contact Details:

Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 3466


Location: Nuffield Centre, Second Floor, St Michael's Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2ED

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