4. Communicating Effectively with your Relative and Setting Limits


Effective speaking

The DESC framework will help you speak specifically, positively and assertively:

Describe the situation:

“When you . . .” (behaviour)

Express your feelings:

“I feel . . .” (emotion)

Specify what you want:

“I would like/prefer . . .” (need or desire)

Communicate the consequences:

“I will . . .” (positive payoff)


“You will . . .” (positive payoff)

(Adapted from Bower, S. & Bower, A. (2004). Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide for Positive Change. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.)

Empowering Families Affected by Substance Use © , CAMH.