Would you know what to say or do in order to de-escalate from a client – or anyone – threatening to harm you if they don’t get what they want? Would you know – if all else fails – how to keep yourself safe in a violent situation? In this article, we share with you a set of responses for dealing with an angry person – safely – at each of seven levels of anger.
Because it is so multi-faceted, misperceptions about anger abound, and the question arises: how shall we regard anger? How do we advise the client to think about it? Folk wisdom often would say that the best thing to do is just let it all out, but is it? Clients complain that they cannot control it, that the tendency to be easily angered is inherited, but again, is there evidence for that? This article expores common myths people tend to hold about anger, and factual statements following them that you can use to clarify for the client why learning to deal with problem anger is time well spent.
Familiar with this scenario? The idiot cuts in front of you, causing you to nearly crash into him. Your pounding heart, flushed face, tight chest, and gritted teeth tell you: you are angry. Or, maybe someone you know violates you in a despicable way, steals from you or betrays you. You are a “nice” person, […]
“Relapse prevention began with the work of Marlatt and Parks (1982) and Marlatt and Gordon (1985) who noted that after success with the treatment of various behavioural problems – such as smoking, drinking, overeating, drug addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder and gambling – clients very often fell back into their old behaviours. In fact, between 50% […]
Richard is a 41-year-old plant operator in a heavy machinery company. He works long hours and must start very early each day. Twelve months ago he accepted a transfer from a country location to a capital city 250 kilometres away from his family. Due to financial obligations this was seen as a necessity. He travelled […]
The body tends to respond in an innate flight or fight response when faced with an anger-provoking situation. That means that reactions within your body call you to ask yourself whether you should leave the situation (flight) or use your newly produced adrenalin and cortisones to get through (fight). The body often responds to anger […]
“What we think affects the way we feel. Distorted thinking can increase the likelihood of negative emotions such as anger, while calming or challenging thoughts can reduce the impact of these feelings. Self-calming statements are thoughts that can be (1) prepared in advance to anticipate and cope with a situation or trigger; (2) used to […]
Once appraisals of triggers have been identified, it can be beneficial for both counsellor and client to consider the appraisal and evaluate its validity. This can be achieved through a number of questioning techniques (as outlined below). Examining the evidence What is the evidence to suggest that the appraisal is accurate? What is the evidence […]
To begin the management of anger, both counsellor and client require an understanding of the client’s expressive patterns. This can be achieved by encouraging clients to complete an Anger Episode Record. This is a record of each trigger, appraisal, experience, expressive pattern and outcome the client encounters during an established time period. Trigger The target […]
Kassinove & Tafrate (2002) developed the anger episode model after conducting research that observed individuals responding to anger in real-life situations. The model has five main components, each interlinked with the next (click on the image below). Defining the Components of the Anger Episode Model Triggers are external or internal events, words, thoughts or experiences […]
The anger thermometer can be used in counselling as a mechanism for discussing various anger-provoking scenarios and establishing the label befitting the feeling evoked. Scenarios can range from yielding reactions that are mild to reactions that are intense. Examples include, the feeling evoked when: you are woken up 10 minutes early (mild) you know someone […]
“Anger: Kassinove and Sukhodolsky (1995) defined anger as a felt emotional state. This private state varies in intensity and duration, as well as frequency, and is associated with cognitive distortions, verbal and motor behaviours, and patterns of physical arousal. Although anger may emerge spontaneously, another person is typically seen as the cause of anger. And […]