Saturday, April 5, 2008

Educating The Public On Anger Management - The Why's And How's by Karen Golob

A Need to Educate

Several years ago I discovered the importance of integrating a structured anger management program into my private practice. I recognized that there were significant problems in managing anger that went hand and hand with aggressive behavior and behavior attributed to substance abuse. This was also the case where substance abuse was not a factor leading to a client's maladaptive behavior. In some cases anger served a purpose by discharging tension and stress. Some clients experienced a momentary strong feeling of control, which led to unresolved conflict and aggressive acts.

In this age of media overload and the lack of effective skills to monitor and manage stress, it is necessary that new resources of information (the 411) be available to men, women and adolescents in order to avoid resultant anger and frustration that we see in daily life. My education and experience as an Anderson & Anderson Certified Anger Management Facilitator and Executive Coach, has successfully assisted me in gaining useful information in order to teach clients and counselors in simple and effective ways how to recognize the "red flags" that set up aggressive behaviors and destructive reactions. Anger management is a skill enhancement program which teaches practical skills in recognizing and managing anger, stress, assertive communication, emotional intelligence and improving interpersonal relationships.

What Is Anger?

Anger is a basic human emotion that everyone feels. According to the American Psychiatric Association, anger is a normal human emotion. It is not a pathological condition and is not listed as a defined illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Nervous and Mental Disorders. Anger is considered to be a lifestyle and is a reaction to an inner emotion which is used to express a feeling. Anger is energy and can be a signal that tells us something about ourselves, someone else, or a situation in which we find ourselves. It can serve a purpose by giving people the drive and determination to cope with difficult situations. It is important to recognize that anger is a secondary emotion, which means we feel something else first...even if we don't notice it. For example, a primary emotion might be fear, frustration, disrespect or perhaps rejection. Learning how to identify this primary emotion and appropriately express one's feelings before they are elevated to anger, is an important factor in emotional intelligence. Because anger is a "learned response", we have the ability to unlearn negative reactions and "retrain" ourselves to respond in a healthy manner. When skills are not made available to help individuals with their set and solidified responses, it is evident that underlying anger problems add to the source of substance abuse and eventually affect depression and anxiety.

A Program for Understanding Anger

Everyday life is a challenge. We constantly face situations in which our self-control and communication skills are tested at work, at school, at home, on the roadways and with a myriad of personalities in the general public.

A certified anger management facilitator designs a program to help individuals gain a better understanding of acceptable and productive ways to express anger and eliminate violent and self-destructive behaviors. Clients learn to recognize and identify the role of individual responsibility in changing their maladaptive behaviors.

In this program, an assessment is given which is designed to determine the client's level of functioning in the areas of anger, stress, communication and emotional intelligence. The client's session is then based on the results of the assessment and skills are taught in these four areas. The same assessment is administered at the completion of the program to determine the success of their program. By gathering this information, the facilitator is able to provide clients with new insights into their life's situations and educate with skills to transform destructive interactions into constructive responses.

Karen Golob, CAMF, CCDC, CH, owner of Anger Management Services, is a Certified Anger Management and Certified Executive Coaching professional helping individuals gain self-awareness, identify and develop strengths, and learn how to problem-solve in order to manage life's challenges. Karen is Certified with the State of California as a Chemical Dependency Counselor and utilizes her extensive knowledge in substance abuse counseling when working with addicts who exhibit maladaptive behaviors with their anger. She offers private sessions that provide confidentiality, individual attention and anonymity. Her curriculum is based on the Anderson & Anderson model.

Karen is a Fellow of the American Assoc. of Anger Management Providers, a member of the National & California Assoc. of Drug and Alcohol Counselors, the American Counseling Assoc., and Speaker's Bureau of Olive View/UCLA Medical Centers. She has a diverse and expansive background in teaching, training, public speaking and counseling.

Karen receives referrals from the Calif. Superior Courts, Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers, mental health professionals and those in the corporate and private sectors. She holds Certifications in Chemical Dependency Counseling, Anger Management, Executive Coaching and Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapy.

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