I have worked in the counseling field for over 10 years. My passion is helping families.
Kids, teenagers and adults have all shared their unique upbringing with me. Sadly, at times, upbringing may include divorce, substance abuse, untreated mental illness or child abuse.
When young patients share the story about how they were raised, I try to help clarify the role their behavior played in getting their needs or feelings met. I want my patients to know and understand the roles of family members, the patterns of behavior from their family and how this could be affecting their daily lives in relationships, working and setting goals.
When a young child comes to me as an “identified patient” due to behavior, I try to help the parents or guardian understand their role in and during the behavior.
For example, I have asked parents to soften their voices and squat down to offer a redirection of a child’s behavior before a punishment or consequence. A child may feel fear or anger, so providing time for a calm approach first may allow time for the child to make a better decision.
Where there are patterns of anger, I ask patients to discuss ways they saw anger at home or what is happening when they are feeling angry. Often anger may be as extreme as breaking objects or physical fights or be limited to sarcastic jokes or demeaning tones.
Anger is often a secondary emotion to first feeling hurt, sadness or fear.
What would be a healthier way to express anger? This can involve changing family patterns, not yelling. Instead of saying something to hurt the person back, acknowledge how the person may be feeling or for help understanding: “You sound really upset. What happened?” or “Help me understand what’s going on right now.”
Showing an interest instead of a reaction out of anger could change how families communicate with each other.
How is anger expressed in your family? How can you express your anger in healthier ways to better you and your family?
Thank you for sharing my passion by reading this blog.
For questions or to make an appointment, call the Willowbrooke Counseling Center at 770-812-8863.
Learn more at WillowbrookeCounselingCenter.org.