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Tough Conversations is a Course

Tough Conversations


$90 Enroll

Full course description

Important Registration Notice

Currently, we can only accept Visa and MasterCard payments. We are working with our payment provider to also accept American Express and Discover. Please check back soon if you must register with American Express or Discover cards.

Course Instructor

Cory Coppersmith, LCSW

Course Description


Course Overview

Jean Paul Sarte said “Hell is Other People” and both in our personal and professional lives, navigating relationships and communicating our needs and boundaries are often our biggest sources of stress. This 4.5 hour training will employ group discussion, case studies, and skills training to give participants a comprehensive knowledge of communication styles, systems theory explanations of why families and individuals often employ toxic communication, and how to teach others more adaptive communication skills. By the end of this training, participants will have a better ability to recognize and intervene into toxic/maladaptive patterns, and a better ability to help themselves and others learn to employ assertiveness, active listening, empathy and other skills. Finally, this course will differentiate conflict from abuse, and discuss how helping professionals can help others take control of conflicted relationships without resorting to self-denial, avoidance, or demonizing others.

Course Objectives

  1. Participants will discuss and explore the range of communication styles (withdrawn, passive, passive/aggressive, aggressive, assaultive) typical to their family of origin and relate those styles to systems theory.
  2. Participants will be able to define and describe toxic communication patterns such as gaslighting, triangulation, emotional blackmail etc.
  3. Participants will learn a working definition of Assertiveness and be able to differentiate it from aggression.
  4. Participants will learn specific language and strategies for discussing needs and wants in an assertive way.
  5. Participants will review basic active listening skills and how to educate others in their purpose, effectiveness, and importance.
  6. Participants will learn the difference between interpersonal boundaries and interpersonal barriers, and will learn language that helps individuals successfully make and maintain boundaries.
  7. Participants will learn the functional definitions of Empathy and Compassion and will gain knowledge on how to cultivate empathy as a learnable skill.
  8. Participants will compare and contrast definitions of Conflict and Abuse.
  9. Participants will learn ways in which trauma and shame compound conflict and often result in unnecessary harm and new trauma.
  10. Participants will learn restorative justice approaches to dealing with conflict through empathy, transparency, accountability, and reconciliation.