Marsha Linehan, the prime proponent of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (a cognitive therapy) suggests the acronym ‘GIVE’ to help people think about and manage difficult one-to-one relationships [1]. 

Assertiveness is achieved by being Gentle, Interested, Validating and Easy.

In the words of an ancient proverb, ‘a gentle answer turns aside wrath’.

As we will see shortly, Beth’s assertive discussion with her supervisor led to a subtle change in the working relationships within the team …




[1] Lewis, L. (2006) Enhancing mentalizing capacity through dialectical behaviour therapy skills training and positive psychology. In Allen, J. G. & Fonagy, P. (eds.), Handbook of Mentalization-Based Treatment (p. 179). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.


(This is an edited excerpt from my book A Lawyer’s Guide to Wellbeing and Managing Stress published by ARK Group in 2015.)

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