Children of Seperation and Divorce Center, Inc. / Columbia: 410-740-9553
Peer Counselors developed their interpersonal skills further recently in a seminar on Anger and Anger Management. Barbara Mandell, M.A, R.N., C.S. a therapist and co-founder of COSD led the seminar. Since anger is a feeling that all of us experience at one point or another, we decided to devote our entire April issue to the subject. Barbara began the seminar by asking the group if anger is a good or bad emotion. Peer counselors had mixed responses. Barbara explained that anger is a normal emotion. It can be good or bad in terms of how often you feel angry and how you express anger. “By paying attention to our anger, we can decide if this is
something we can do something about or something to let go of,” said Barbara. The group explored what causes or “triggers” people to become angry. Barbara posted a picture of a mom coming home from work to a messy house. Her children were watching television, while dirty clothes and old food littered the room. Arrows indicated that the mom felt tired, hungry and frustrated from a long day at work. “How do you think this mom will respond to her children in this situation?” asked Barbara. Katrina, 11 answered, “She has about a one in one hundred chance of responding calmly.”
Continued on page two.
Healing Hearts/ Volume 2, Issue 2 / Page 2 of 3
I am ten times stronger than the average boy when I feel angry, “ said Mark, 8.
“Give yourself twenty minutes to cool down;” advised Barbara. “Lots of people make the mistake of thinking they have to deal with the situation right away.” Later, after everyone has had a chance to cool down, the people involved can have a conversation about long-term solutions to the problem. In the example of the mom coming home to a mess, peer counselors suggested that the children have a schedule of homework and chores and they can play games after they are finished. “The mom and children could agree upon consequences if the children do not follow through with their responsibilities.” said Danielle, 9.
Peer Counselors Gaby and Ayse share a story
Anger and Anger Management, continued from page one
Peer Counselors Courtney, Danielle, Heather and Mark demonstrate the “STOP and Think” technique
Peer counselors pointed out that the mom would need to have a snack and a little rest from work before she tried to deal with disciplining her children. The internal triggers of feeling hungry, tired or distracted with other worries can make people react more strongly when they experience an external trigger, or the situation that makes them angry.
“There are different degrees of anger,” explained Barbara. A person’s anger may range from mildly annoyed all the way to a full-blown rage. By paying attention to how your body responds to anger, you may be able to catch yourself before you feel extreme anger. Peer counselors listed feeling flushed, tense and rapid heartbeat when they experience anger. “I feel like
“By paying attention to how your body responds to anger, you may be able to catch yourself before you feel extremely angry
Anger is a problem in my family. My dad goes from zero to ten in seconds. I never know when he is going to blow up. How do I deal with my dad’s anger?
K.L. Columbia, MD
Thank you for writing about this really important topic. The fact is, we can only control our own actions and we can try to manage our own emotions. We cannot control how others feel and act.
You most likely need to enlist the help of another adult in dealing
with your dad’s anger. If he ever physically hurts you when he is angry, tell your counselor, school nurse or teacher right away. They would call social workers that help families with the same problem to help yours. If the angry outbursts are limited to yelling and you feel safe enough to bring it up with your parents, give it a try. Remember to use the “I messages, to let your dad know how his anger is affecting you. “I feel worried most of the time because I don’t want you to yell. I need you to stop yelling at us.” This is not an easy statement to make, and, not knowing you or your situation,
“I would suggest that you speak with another trusted adult first.
Know that you are a good kid. Take good care of yourself, and share your feelings with others. You don’t have to go through this alone!
“Getting in Touch with Your Feelings” Danielle, 9, draws where she feels each of her emotions in her body.
Mark Your Calendars! Peer Counselor Celebration: Thursday, May 30 5:30 PM at COSD Center