Anger Awareness Week

Anger Awareness Week
The aim of Anger Awareness Week is to identify anger as a disturbing social issue which needs to be brought out into the open and addressed effectively (The British Association of Anger Management 2018). Given that anger is a natural human emotion we should understand when we talk about anger as a ‘disturbing social issue’ we are highlighting the inappropriate displays of anger emotions – primarily, aggression and violence and even misguided passion. Manging anger on a personal level can be, for most people, difficult - that ‘emotional flooding’ (a term I have borrowed from one of my participants on a conflict resolution course) can be all consuming. However, that anger release is a secondary response to the primary trigger - that primary trigger lets you (your emotional homunculus) know to charge up your emotions because you are going to need them. As we know that sometimes we can overload this emotion to the point where it is released in a harmful and destructive way. “What can we do about it?” I hear you cry. Well, that depends on you - you have to recognise that primary trigger and at that point do something that will help you self-regulate; for example, taking big deep breaths, taking yourself out of the conflict zone or distracting yourself or others to break the escalation of the (anger) emotion. Remember - once you trigger that emotion you cannot put it back in its box. It has to be released, so either rechannel it into something positive or regulate it so that it dissipates in a non-destructive way. In respect of the social issue, it is the causes we need to address that cause the symptoms that lead to the behaviour. There is an argument for going back to basics to refresh life skills of communication and meaningful relationships, cornerstones of creating healthy and supportive communities and families.

This image was made by a young person I work with to describe his feelings towards his anger. The gloves touching represent his go-to response to anger of lashing out and hitting people. The campfire like structure situated underneath symbolise his desire to burn this action away and choose differently

Quite a powerful explanation of the representation of the piece Alan. Well done to the young person for being brave enough to express their thoughts honestly. For me it also highlights some of the frustration that young people feel with their own emotional responses, with such statements as “his desire to burn this action away”. Thanks for the insight, any other relevant comments from young people are most welcome as they are appreciated.

Contact us

0131 475 2493
Norton Park 57 Albion Road EH7 5QY Edinburgh