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.
He sits down and looks at you dolefully, his big eyes full of hurt and desperation. “I don’t know why she cheated on me,” he whispers hoarsely, “but this is the worst hurt I have ever felt. I don’t know how I will cope, or what it means for our kids. I guess my marriage […]
Counsellor to client mandated to come to counselling after an alleged domestic violence incident: “So, did you hit your wife?” Client: (Squirming in chair). “I love my wife. Do you think I would give a black eye to the woman I love? What happened was that there was this jar of honey that couldn’t be […]
“You should always believe your clients,” said the counselling-training professor to the trainees, “and you should always disbelieve them” It’s possible that that advice — confusing and impossible as it seems to be — is useful not only for therapists listening to clients, but to any of us listening to a fellow human being. Even […]
You know the feeling. The person seems to be making a reasonable request, or advising you to do something “for your own good”, but inside your guts are completely churned up! What’s going on? The chances are that you are experiencing an attempt to manipulate you. Sadly, manipulation is rife in the real world and […]
INTIMACY! Ok, now that we have your attention . . . let’s try another cue: SPIRITUALITY! And now, we’d like to know: what was the difference in your reaction to the two words? For many, intimacy conjures up juicy images of sexual trysts with the mythically perfect lover: one who attends to our every need […]
What do you say to a client whose presenting issue is deep angst over the question of relationship? Whether the person is in a primary relationship and deeply unhappy, questioning whether to stay or to go, or the person longs for that primary relationship in order to feel happy and fulfilled, the issue is a […]
Have you ever sat in session with a client pouring out their tale of woe about a certain relationship they’re in which is causing them untold amounts of stress and grief? Of course, you undoubtedly took it all in with supreme respectfulness, being able to see how the complained-about person’s behaviour was out-of-line, if not […]
Every year my siblings look forward to the visit my husband and I make to my country of origin. They are very glad to see me, but they can’t wait to see him. Why? When he is with each one, it is as if that person is the only human being on the planet. My […]
“Your meals are disgusting!” she shouted. A look of deep hurt flashed across his face before anger kicked in. “You don’t need to be cooked for anyway,” he retorted. “Your bottom’s gone way beyond cute!” Does anything familiar echo here? What about in the following exchange? “Darling,” he said, repeating his familiar compliment, “You’re beautiful.” […]
At a local café yesterday the sign said: “No free Wi-Fi. Talk to each other like before the internet.” What? And be there just for the coffee and conversation? We are more connected today than ever before (Facebook, for example, has more than 1.28 billion active users), but experts warn that we are also lonelier […]
Your phone rings. You grab it to answer but as the caller’s number flashes on the screen, you hesitate. It is someone you’re not sure you want to continue being friends with. Maybe the person has broken promises to you, cancelling get-togethers at the last minute, or perhaps – as entertaining as they can be […]
Whether you love it or hate it, most people will agree that the mother-child relationship is one of the most significant relationships in a person’s life, affecting your wellbeing throughout your life. At the same time, many of us will not have the perfect relationship with our parents. In fact, one psychologist estimates that 85% […]
We all know that we should exercise, eat sensibly, and generally take care of ourselves for good heart health. What might not be as clear is how good emotional health yields good health for the physical heart. With February being Heart Research month, it’s a great time to take a fresh look at how that […]