Professionals dealing with teenagers, in particular, are vulnerable to burn out from the impact of constant exposure to anger. Students may express this anger in different ways, such as avoidance of doing their tasks, procrastinating, being forgetful, being sarcastic, or, unfortunately, using abusive language. Some writers use the phrase projective identification, whereby one person (a teacher) absorbs the anger of another (the student) and acts out the other’s anger. Teachers have many sources of frustration. Sometimes the job seems impossible and despite very hard work they are open to criticism because they cannot cater for the educational needs of the wide variety of students they deal with. I think that students nowadays feel much freer in expressing their anger. In my school days we would not dare show it and the result was buried anger and fear. The lesson to be learned from the past is that anger is a feeling and its expression is important, but such venting must be within proper boundaries.
There is a workbook entitled The Anger Workbook for Teens. Activities to help you deal with anger and frustration, which is a practical and useful tool for school staff to help angry teenagers explore their anger. Compiled by Raychelle Lohmann, a professional school counsellor in North Carolina, this workbook contains thirty-six activities and advises that two or three is the maximum that should be done each week. Some of the most important sections deal with keeping an anger log, recognising anger buttons, understanding family dynamics, physical symptoms of anger, burying emotions, using anger positively, relaxation techniques, an anger contract, taking responsibility for one’s own actions, stages of anger, coping with conflict, good listening, clear communication, assertiveness and change. Photocopies can be made of each section, for example, the anger log or family anger pattern (a type of genogram looking at anger in the wider family.
Extract from Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood. Publication 2018
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
DEATH OF A CHILD
ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE