Effective Communication with the DEARMAN Technique

On July 1st, 2024, we started our daily group sessions at the Crisis Houses. We discussed effective communication strategies for handling intense emotions. We learned about the “D.E.A.R.M.A. N” technique. The D.E.A.R.M.A.N technique is a communication strategy often used in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help individuals effectively express their needs and negotiate in challenging situations.

Let’s apply this method to a scenario where you want to visit the park, but your friend prefers to stay home and watch TV.

D – Describe the Situation: Explain that you want to go to the park while your friend prefers to stay home.

E – Express Your Feelings: Share that you feel anxious and really need some fresh air at the park.

A – Assert Yourself: Kindly ask if your friend could join you at the park.

R – Reinforce the Other Person: Point out that going to the park could be beneficial for them too, offering fresh air and exercise.

M – Mindful: Stay focused on discussing this calmly and clearly.

A – Appear Confident: Show confidence in your request by speaking clearly and maintaining eye contact.

N – Negotiate: Listen to your friend’s viewpoint and work together to find a solution that works for both of you.

The DEARMAN technique provides benefits to residents in communal living settings. Through DEARMAN, residents gain skills in clear and respectful communication, enhancing mutual understanding and minimizing conflicts. This fosters a peaceful environment and boosts residents’ confidence in expressing themselves calmly and assertively, thereby improving their self-esteem and social interactions. Overall, DEARMAN facilitates structured conversations that promote clarity, empathy, and constructive resolution of interpersonal issues.