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Strengthening Families
Session 06: Overcoming Anger

The Danger of Anger


Why Anger?
Intimidation Avoidance of responsibilities Control Perceived threat

Feeling Anger


Anger is Natural (Normal)

Ignore it Suppress it Talk about it (entertain it) Be controlled by it

Take a break Release it appropriately Share it (with God even)

Expressions of Anger
Positive Expression
Exercise, talking, working, connecting

Negative Expression
Aggression (physical, emotional, sexual) Internalization (self harm, negative thoughts) Passive Aggressive Behavior (tardiness, sarcasm, irritability, procrastination)


Your Anger CYCLE!

Pretends to be normal
Beneath the surface

Downward Spiral
Guilt and shame

Build up
Distorted thinking

Acting out
Venting of anger

Thoughts before Feelings

Interpretation matters
All-or-nothing (I used to think he was decent, but I saw his true colors today) Jumping to conclusions (She is so conceited, I mean nothing to her) Catastrophizing (response to a furrowed brow, I screwed up. Im just know theyll fire me now)

How would a camera interpret the event?


Challenging Negative Thoughts

Share with your partner three negative events you have experienced lately. Together write down two coping statements that counters the negative interpretation. Both partners should get a chance to do this.

Share Your Core Concern


Increasing Spirituality
Living in a Christ-like manner, increases your capacity for compassion. Knowing you are loved by your Father in Heaven, increases your ability to forgive. With your partner, develop a spiritual plan to decrease your anger.

Preventing Relapse
Pay attention to your body. Note your episodes of anger (with the anger log). Increase spirituality. Develop a relapse plan (using handout and your anger cycle).


What Questions do You Have?

Role Play Effective Commands

Commands need to be clear, consistent and age appropriate. Wait 10 seconds before issuing the second command. Praise child after compliance (sincere, glowing praise).


A Word About Time-Out

Find an appropriate Time-Out spot.
Kids under 3 need to be viewable to parents. Older than 3, any boring and safe spot is okay.

Mutually decide on 1-3 behaviors that will be punished by Time-Out.

More causes confusion and doesnt change behavior.

Introduce the concept and consequence of Time-Out during peace-time.

Time-Out Cont.
4. Start with 1 minute, gradually work up to 10 according to compliance. 5. After 10 minutes, warn about a privilege withdrawal if non-compliant. 6. Always use a timer. 7. Dont speak to the child until time is up.
1. Child must remain quite in time-out for 2 minutes minimum before being allowed to leave.

8. When the time is over, speak with the child about the misbehavior.


Time-Out Cont.
9. When the time is up, let it be over.
Welcome the child with love and praise.

Tracking Problem Behaviors

It is important to keep in mind that when you are tracking problem behaviors in your child/ren, that you only track ONE (1) child and a maximum of THREE (3) problem behaviors. In deciding what problem behaviors you want to track, make sure you choose behaviors that comply with the following standards:
Specific A behavior is specific if three different outside observers would label it as the same thing. Examples include: hitting, biting, yelling, throwing a ball, etc. Nonexamples include: talking back, disrespect, bad attitude. Measurable A behavior is measurable if three different outside observers could count how many times it occurred. Relevant A behavior is relevant if it is performed in an abnormal circumstance. For instance, throwing a ball is normal when done in the context of sports.

An example of a specific, measurable, relevant problem behavior is as follows:

My child yells when he does not get what he wants. This usually happens right before bedtime. His yelling occurs for about 10-30 seconds, arguing to try to get his way.

A demonstration on how to track this behavior with the chart below follows: Monday 1 time at lunch, lasted 2 min. No yelling occurred 1 time at bedtime, lasted 3 min. Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 1 time before school, lasted 5 min. No yelling 1 time after dinner, lasted 3 min. No yelling No yelling Friday Saturday Sunday

Behavior: Yelling (when not getting way)

1 time at dinner, lasted 1 min.

Possible Causes: (what happened before, during or after behavior)

Lunch wanted different food Bedtime wanted to stay up longer

Dinner no nap during the day, wanted less food than given

Morning struggled getting to sleep yesterday, struggled waking up.

Use the Chart on the following page to track behaviors in the same manner.

Compiled by Michael R. Whitehead, LMFT 2013

Tracking Problem Behaviors

Monday Behavior: Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Possible Causes:


Possible Causes:

Compiled by Michael R. Whitehead, LMFT 2013

Tracking Explosive Episodes Date Time Words Used (Be specific) Emotions Expressed (Guess if you dont know) People Around (Be specific) Duration of Explosion