Ironwood Maine Web Update


The label above is given to a form of communication that is often practiced here at Ironwood and can be easily transferred into our life after graduation, as well. 

“D” is for Describing the situation

“E” is for Expressing how you feel

“A” is for Asserting how you feel, and last

“R” is for making a Request from someone. 


“M” is for Staying Mindful, keeping focus on your goals.

“A”   is for Appearing confident.

“N”  is for Negotiating, being willing to give in order to get.

This strategic tool is helpful for all Ironwood students and I see it increasingly being practiced throughout the peer groups. I often hear, “When I see you_______, I feel _______, because I need to __________.” Many times, this has helped us respectfully communicate and resolve conflicts. 

I have personally been using this communication strategy with my peers and can confidently say that we are increasing our ability to work together and to overcome frustrating situations. I have also had success in several situations with my parents that began to get tense, and this tool helped cool it off and direct us to a resolution. 

I am looking forward to using “DEAR MAN” after Ironwood. I’m aware it may come off somewhat strange to some of my friends, however it can be rephrased to sound more socially correct. I could say, “I feel________ when you do__________.” and it doesn’t sound quite so awkward. I plan to use this when I go home to respectfully communicate my needs and desires in a clear way. 

While applying this tool it has helped me build rapport and strengthen relationships with my peers. It is a very non-aggressive, helpful way to communicate how you feel. I have seen this help many people, including myself, and I think it would be beneficial if more people used this “DEAR MAN” tool.

*This week’s Ironwood Student blog focuses on a specific topic that has been taught to our students in DBT group throughout their program.  Each week, students have the opportunity to create a blog that is either a general update of weekly events, or a focus on one aspect of the Ironwood program that has been meaningful and/or useful. This level 4 resident elected to speak about this “Dear Man” topic because it has helped him with his family relationships.

We hope you have a wonderful late summer weekend…and please keep sending along your priceless love and support!  😊