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Book Review: The Assertiveness Guide for Women

Book Review: The Assertiveness Guide for Women

Reading The Assertiveness Guide for Women will help you identify your thoughts and feelings, communicate them effectively, and get your needs met!

The Assertiveness Guide for Women by Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D. is an essential read for women who struggle to assert themselves. Women are especially challenged by assertiveness as they’re often socialized to be compliant and “nice”. But Dr. Hanks takes a deeper look by helping you identify how your attachment style impacts your relationships and communication style.

“Assertiveness skills help you articulate your unique sense of self while maintaining your connection with others and allowing them to have an experience that is different from yours.” – Dr. Julie Hanks

You may fear that being assertive will lead to disconnection and conflict, but The Assertiveness Guide for Women explains that effective communication actually helps us connect with others.

According to Dr. Hanks there are five specific skills that you need to develop for greater assertiveness. These are explained in-depth in the book.

Self-reflection helps you understand how your attachment style and relationship patterns are impacting your current relationships and communication.

Self-awareness helps you gain awareness of your unique thoughts, feelings, and needs.

Self-soothing is your ability to calm and care for yourself emotionally.

Self-expression is how well you can express your thoughts, feelings, and needs.

Self-expansion is being willing to listen deeply and being open to differing opinions.

The book includes exploration of your barriers to assertiveness. Some of these barriers like the fear of disconnection and disappointing may be obvious to you. But you probably don’t have a strong understanding of how your early attachments – whether they’re secure, anxious, or avoidant – are playing out in your current relationships and creating barriers to assertiveness. This adds the important element of connecting the past and present that other books on this subject may miss.

Dr. Hanks presents strategies for moving from either “doormat” or “sword” communication styles to “lantern”. The lantern approach helps you to not only clearly communicate your needs and feelings, but also listen with empathy, be non-judgmental, and consider other points of view. It is a truly win-win communication styles that values both people as individuals and the relationship between them.

The Assertiveness Guide for Women provides clear examples and thought-provoking questions to help you gain self-understanding and practical skills for becoming more assertive. I highly recommend it.


For more information visit the author’s website: Dr. Julie Hanks




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Disclosures: I received a free copy of The Assertiveness Guide for Women from the publisher.

Book Review: The Assertiveness Guide for Women

Sharon Martin, LCSW

Sharon Martin is a licensed psychotherapist and codependency expert practicing in San Jose, CA. She is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism: Evidence-Based Skills to Help You Let Go of Self-Criticism, Build Self-Esteem, and Find Balance and several ebooks including Navigating the Codependency Maze.  

To learn more, visit Sharon's website. And please sign-up for free access to her resource library HERE (worksheets, tips, meditations, and resources for healing codependency, perfectionism, anxiety and more).

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APA Reference
Martin, S. (2018). Book Review: The Assertiveness Guide for Women. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Jan 2018
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.