Friday, July 6, 2012

Healthy Arguing- Anger Management Classes for couples

As a therapist, I once worked with a couple that told me that they had never argued in their 13 years of marriage. I was astonished. I first wondered how emotionally involved they were with each other. The truth is that arguing is a part of a healthy relationship. We all come to a relationship with our individual perspectives, beliefs, values, experiences and issues from our families of origin. It doesn’t make sense to expect to agree on everything. “Expectations” and “Empathy” are 2 of the 8 tools taught in anger management classes at Daybreak Counseling Service These tool help to decrease anger and increase harmony. Unhealthy arguing is often a way some people use to release resentments or to punish the other. In a healthy argument, issues can get resolved and we learn more about the other person. Healthy arguing is considered a hallmark of a healthy relationship. When we come to understand that others have their own “opinions” born out of their own experiences, we will feel less threatened and not demand that they agree with us. When I see a couple seeking out anger management therapy because of a “hostile environment” in their relationship, I ask about the topic of their spats. They seldom remember what they had fought about. This is because “spats” are usually about old grievances or resentments. When issues come up in a relationship and they are not dealt with at the time, the parties build hostility towards one another. The resentments become a wedge between parties and lead to negative thoughts which then breeds petty and misguided exchanges. This can be resolved by “telling the truth faster”. When one partner is hurt or disrespected he or she needs to tell their partner immediately! This is how to keep the channel between them clean and harmonious. It is harmful to a marriage or relationship for partners to hold on to past anger and leads to “kitchen sink” fights, which can incorporate all past grievances in one moment. This is much to stressful for a relationship to sustain. We can come to believe in the normalcy of 2 people having diverse viewpoints on the same subject and that we don’t need to demand they agree with us. Stay emotionally current with your partner and your arguments will be about today and not the past. Shannon Munford Daybreak Counseling Service 855-662-6437

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Anger is "All the Rage" these days

As an Anger Management Facilitator at Daybreak Counseling Services in Santa Monica, CA, for several years, I have watched the level of anger, rage and resentment rise in the general population and most certainly in political and financial affairs throughout the country. Stories abound of out-of-control anger to murderous rage. An angry Connecticut man strangled his dog when the dog urinated on his leg. In another article it was published that a man in Philadelphia threw scalding hot coffee in the face of a donut shop owner when she questioned whether or not he paid $2.40 for his muffin. A 14-year-old boy in Alabama recently hung his 12-year-old sister from a rope when she made him angry. In New York City a man punched a young female in the face over a parking space. In Little Rock, Arkansas yesterday, a newlywed husband shot to death his pregnant wife of one week. It would appear that our whole culture is in need of “anger management!” From the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida to hundreds since (only 9 weeks later) we are constantly reading about knives, guns, violence and unbridled rage. Why? What is going on? Some say it is simply that that the Internet has given us more access to the news. I am not sure what is causing more and more people to act out their fury and do the damage they do. It is utterly horrifying and speaks to the general corruption of our society’s moral fiber. I am blessed to have the opportunity to help clients at Daybreak Counseling Services with their anger management challenges. Clients who attend are either mandated by the courts, or come voluntarily because their anger has had a negative effect on their lives and relationships. It has been said: “You don’t need to do great things. Do small things in a great way”. Keeping our anger in check and a head-on commitment to peace and dignity in our own lives can guarantee our personal contribution to the benevolence and harmony so crucially needed in our country. Susan Levy MA Daybreak Counseling Service 3301 Ocean Park Blvd #111 Santa Monica CA 90405 855-NO ANGER 855-662-6437