This session was designed to inform the participants about the existing issues of improper anger management and to provide them with possible solutions for dealing with the problem. The group was formed from six students that were having troubles with anger management: Student A, Student B, Student C, Student D, Student E, and Student F. As the state of each participant is very dynamic in nature, it was important to collect as much information as possible before carrying out the session (Brown 227).
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All of the participants were teenagers of 20-22 age and were known for reacting with great anger towards the irritating factors. Some of the students had cases of abuse and violence caused by an uncontrollable rage. Not all students decided to participate in the session willingly, some of them (Student A and Student E) were forced by their parents, thus, more attention was given to those two students.
The meeting was held in a quite ventilated room that had almost no distracting elements. Seats were placed at a considerable distance from each other in order to assure that no member would be irritated by the close presence of another person. All these preparations have been done in order to reach the minimal number of possible distracting and irritating factors so that all members could feel comfortable and no pressure of any kind. The room was safe from outsiders’ watch as well.
As the goal of the group was sharing experiences between participants and learning to develop specific emotional skills in order to deal with the anger issue, the group can be referred to the support group type (Dominica par.5). Learning to control anger and to acknowledge the possible harmful consequences of actions caused by anger were the two primary objectives of this session. The session was carried out in the clean and cool room and in a friendly and calm manner.
It was done that way in order to avoid possible anger outbursts by some students if they were to be triggered. As the group leader, my task was to assure the participants that the purpose of this session was to help them discover the importance of anger management, rather than to tell them that being angry is bad. On the contrary, one of the main points I was trying to make was that anger is a natural emotion of every human and it cannot be avoided. Anger can occur as frequently as happiness, joy, sadness, etc., but what differs it from other emotions is that if left unchecked, it can lead to conflicts and abuse (Belmont par.5).
Most of the students agreed that they did not originally intend to offend or hurt people while being enraged and felt guilty afterwards for what they have done. Student A and Student E, however, did not share the same opinion. Student A reported to have actually beaten one of his classmates, Tim, because of a supposedly not-so-funny joke he made about Student A. Tim has received several bruises on his face and a brow dissection. Student E also shared her experience of anger bout with other participants; she talked about how one day her friend Lisa accidently dropped her phone by touching it with an elbow while turning to her.
The screen broke, and the very next thing to happen was Student E screaming at Lisa and impaling her hand with a pen. Both Student A and Student E did not think that they did anything wrong, arguing that by saying: “well, hey, they’ll be ok”. The other four students were slightly shocked by what they heard, and that is not surprising as in their case, there were no physical encounters or cases of violence. In order to prove the point about the importance of self-control, I listed a few extreme examples of what can anger lead to. In 2013, there was a case of 31 years old Milton Bangham shooting a 14 years old boy, Edward Barton, because of the latter’s complains about a frozen cup he bought earlier (DeBerry par.6).
Needless to say that, even by the expression on their faces, it could be seen that Student A and Student E were rethinking about what they have done and what could have actually happened. My advice for coping with anger was to use the famous “I-statements”. The reason for anger is often an accusation and blaming other people, often starting with “you” (“Anger Management Handouts” n.pag.). Instead of doing this, I recommended the group to use statements such as “I’m angry because” or “I get angry when”. When I asked students if they tried to put themselves in the place of a person they were angry with, the answer was negative.
Student F and Student B were even surprised they had never thought of that before and actually agreed it could help them to control their anger more effectively next time. Another very common method that I mentioned was the usage of relaxation techniques. During our angered state, the health rate and breathing rate rapidly increase, but you can prevent that by deep breathing and relaxing your tense muscles (Adamovicz par.2). More often than not, such breathing techniques can help a person to calm down. I asked students to recall some of the infuriating moments in their life, become angry, and then try to apply this technique and see if it works.
All students seemed to agree that by doing this it seemed for them to be easier to revert to their calm state. The overall impression of the group was quite definite – most of the students were aware of the harmful effect of anger and just needed to be informed about the possible solutions. Others, like Student E and Student A, did not fully comprehend the importance of self-control and did not realize the potential subsequences of their anger. Judging by the responsiveness and the will to cooperate by the participants, I regard the session as successful. Student A even came up to me after the session and said: “When you told us about that guy killing a boy over something as simple as a frozen cup, I then went back mentally to that point when I beat Tim over some joke.
I did not intend to kill him or even harm in a serious way, but I see now that my case is very similar to the one you mentioned. I need to rethink my moves.” That was definitely a sign of progress and a step in the right direction. Therefore, it was a pleasant experience for me to help these youngsters with their anger issues as I also learned something new from the experience they shared with me.
Adamovicz, Michael W. Anger Management Relaxation Techniques. 2015. Web.
Anger Management Handouts. n.d. Web.
Belmont, Judy. Sample Psychoeducational Topics. n.d. Web.
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Brown, Nina W. Psychoeducational Groups: Process and Practice. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge, 2004. Print.
DeBerry, Jarvis. Frozen Cups, Blunts and Quarters; Anger Causes Some to Kill Over Trifles: Jarvis DeBerry. 2013. Web.
Dominica, Sharon. How to Plan a Psychoeducation Group: Social Anxiety Disorder. 2011. Web.