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Anger Management groups
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Cowboy Joe    Posted 08-27-2001 at 21:46:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
As part of my psychotherapy practice, I conduct a weekly Anger Management group. Most of my clients are referred by ACS and family Court. There's a lot of anger going around. Has anyone ever had an anger problem that escalated into verbal or physical abuse? Is anger a normal condition of every day life? How do you deal with anger? Do you stuff it or dish it out? Just curious.

Hogman    Posted 08-31-2001 at 18:39:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
The old sayin bout not gettin Your blood pressure up has a lot of meaning.
I had a good buddy for many years ,developed such a foul temper we all tried to stay away from Him. One day He dropped an item oin the shop,leaned over to pick it up and had a king size nose bleed. Had ta take Him to tha hospital,found out His BP was thru tha roof. Got'im on medication and he returned to tha same ole sunny out-look feller He'd been long ago.
Over time I had cranked up a pretty lively fire pot,had a good fizacal a while back,was put on BP pill,take one about 4:45 (thats 0445 hours) each mornin ,eat breakfast an hour later,can go most uv tha day without kickin maw,tha dawg er a fence post. SO CBJ I think along with the others that this is an item worthy of consideration. Beware, one little pink pill could force You to become a welfare dependent. Jokin aside, I think it's an important aspect.

Spence - Natural venting.    Posted 08-31-2001 at 09:29:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Today there is much emphasis on anger control. But that is not to be confused with anger
obliteration. Society doesn't want to see anger
displayed at all in my view.

There is a place for anger as a release valve and that is where the confusion lies.

Take the case recently in our town where a school child is angry at his teacher. One day in his english class he is asked to write a short story. He chooses to write one about how a child gets even with his teacher. Now it is against the
law to write or utter hate words. The authorities
took the essay as a hate threat and arrested the youth and charged him with threatening injury. This looks to me like a youth who simply wants to get it off his chest and is getting punished for it.

We have to distinguish between what is natural venting and who the psychos are, and not simply lashing out in all directions brandishing our rules and laws. We have to be careful we are not simply passing the pressure cooker on to the next generation, buying time for ourselves and patting ourselves on the back at the excellent job we are doing.

I recall in my younger days when expressed
anger was handled through sports and boxing in particular. The youth would be recommended to phys ed teacher and parents to take a physical activity to focus aggression in another area. At least back then it was realized that suppression was not the answer. Society wants a quick fix but it doesn't work that way.

Another fine example is in Paris, France. I
witnessed a car who almost hit a cyclist crossing on foot at an intersection. I watched in amusement as the yelling and finger gestures were
passed between them. They both settled down and went on with their business cussing as they went their own way.

In most cases venting is what is going on and is natural. We can not make presumptions at every
one who displays it. We have to recognize our own limits, and this is one of them.


easy_irv    Posted 08-31-2001 at 07:25:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
My 2c: People are reacting to a loss of control in thier lives. I watched a guy get bent out of shape at a gas station Weds. The price has gone up 20c in a week. The girl behind the counter had no control of this. But she gets a lot of grief about it. I think a lot of people are dealing with stree poorly. I have done dumb things like this myself. After thinking about it, my reaction was not justified. I personally think a lot of things get back to economics, and feelings of security. If you are insecure, you get defensive. FWIW Irv

Terry    Posted 08-31-2001 at 06:22:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The way I see it is a lack of shame. People don't have the conscience to feel ashamed for their inappropriate actions.

Perhaps society has been conditioned to this state of mind. A former 'president' that commited numerous infidelities (seems to be a rite of passage for politicians), perjury, and got away(?) with it. No shame, no remorse. Doesn't that adjust or modify societies collective conscience? And then what of legalized murder? If it's acceptable to terminate human life (YES it is a LIFE) in the womb, why not terminate a life that's slightly older, 1-100 years?
Right and WRONG need to be taught in this country again. Yes, alot of toes are going to be mashed, but that's what it's going to take. God will judge us.


AD    Posted 08-29-2001 at 05:26:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
The next time some one says they have a quick temper and that they just can't (Control)help it,ask them this question. If you were at a "Hell's Angels gathering" and one of them made you mad would you be able to control your (temper)anger or would you pop off and be ready to suffer the consequences?
My opinion is that most people cultivate a bad habit to the point it becomes a part of their life style until some one bigger comes along and suggest they change or else. It is amazing how fast a bully can change his tactics when a bigger bully shows up.

OW - scaring a punk    Posted 08-29-2001 at 09:59:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
You're right - there ain't no universal "fastest gun"!
Watch a bad*ss "veteran" street punk when you get him in the woods for his first camping trip, and you'll see him jump at EVERY sound! By morning they're sucking every thumb they can reach! Maybe that's why there's very little graffiti on trees ........ lol

Clover Honey    Posted 08-29-2001 at 14:09:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Speaking of graffiti on trees...don't you all hate it when you go out in the woods to get away from people, and then see initials and dates carved into trees? This usually happens in the woods near cities, not way out in the boonies.

OW    Posted 08-28-2001 at 22:11:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think the big issue is one of responsibility - we each need to accept responsibility for EVERY action we take. If a person doesn't have the backbone for that, he doesn't belong around me & mine and i don't care where he goes - period.

I spent 30 years in the city making money regardless, and thanks for that. Now we're home and it's more like the 60s. Everybody goes home sooner or later. This is the payoff and believe me, this is better. :)

Here's a look at my office.

Dreamweaver    Posted 08-29-2001 at 15:01:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Got any openings?

Denise    Posted 08-28-2001 at 19:04:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I been pondering your post too -
my concern we be rather than helping those who need help we are providing a ready excuse for those who do something in the heat of the moment.
Having moved from the Chicago area I am very familiar with the road rage issues there. Thought we were getting away from that when we moved here.
Then on the news this summer was a story about that very thing, some a***hole got annoyed with the lady in front of him - put his car in park and proceded to let her know *he* was irate -
(big deal!) but he grabbed her dog out of the car and threw him out into traffic. The dog died, when he was arrested he claimed 'he couldn't help it - he has an anger management problem' (don't know how it turned out)
so reading all the posts makes me wonder alright -
I'm not saying it is not a problem and people don't need help. But there is a limit as far as I am concerned, it should not exempt anyone from responsibility.
By the way - when we went back to visit the family in Illinois - we noted that the drivers there have a hard time sharing a 12 lane highway! Yet here we routinely pullover and wave to share a 1 lane bridge. Hhhhhhmmmmmmm, definitely an attitude.
Ok, enough rambling - til next time,
take care
~wave~ to all,

Cowboy Joe    Posted 08-28-2001 at 19:15:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Denise - I read about that incident. What a big price that idiot paid for a moment of anger/rage. All it did was land him in the slammer. I bet if he could do it again, he wouldn't. But then again...

Denise    Posted 08-28-2001 at 19:46:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
ooohhh, I don't know- we saw him do an interview on the news.
He didn't understand what he did wrong - it was just an impulse - he didn't mean anything...
do you think he will ever realize he is an a**hole?

Cowboy Joe    Posted 08-28-2001 at 19:49:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
Probably not.

Dreamweaver    Posted 08-28-2001 at 13:22:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
You know Joe, I admire the cause, but don't put a lot of faith or stock in those anger management classes. My ex was physically abusive for years, and he was also court-ordered into these classes. The problem is that if they are not motivated to change, and usually the ones that are ordered to attend and pay the 10 bucks a week to go are pis*** off, will gain nothing from them. You have to want in your heart to change or it just won't happen. But I do applaud your efforts. Just be careful of the cons. They are all around you, trying to beat a stiff sentence into a slap on the hand. You will know in your gut if they are sincerely trying to change. Good luck!

Cowboy Joe    Posted 08-28-2001 at 18:49:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
DW - You've made some good points. I have some clients who are in my group because they are mandated by Family Court or Depts of Probation/Parole. I have a couple of clients who semi-volunteered to be in my group.

IHank    Posted 08-28-2001 at 14:27:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dream Weaver- We've heard some about your times with your abusive hubby.

Please, tells us true... If you had a big brother nearby, that would have severely beat the shi* out of your worthless hubby each time he abused you, what is your guess as to how things might have been different in your life?

Inquiring minds want to know... IHank

Dreamweaver    Posted 08-28-2001 at 14:38:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
I believe that men (sorry for the stereotype) that beat women are actually the wimps. He never gave any lip to anybody bigger than him, especially a man. Usually the type preys on people they can feel superior over, like women and children. In all truthfulness, they are scared children in mens bodies. They know they can bully women and get away with it (well sometimes). If my bro had been nearby, he would be 10 feet under right now.

Joe Cowboy    Posted 08-28-2001 at 18:50:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
DW - I agree with your view.

IHank    Posted 08-28-2001 at 16:05:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dream Weaver- Thank you for confirming one of my observations on life. I'm not advicating "10 feet under", but crutches, wheel chairs, and seeing eye dogs, seem about right to me. And I'm a kind and gentle man... No grin, but real glad for everybody that's got them bad times behind 'em. IHank

More from IHank    Posted 08-28-2001 at 12:09:56       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Joe- You got me thinking and introspective. In early 90's I went to CA for a visit with my sis in Palmdale. While there I had an interesting and mind opening discussion with my ornery niece, "Cessna Cindy".

I asked Cindy what was the deal with the freeway shootings. She replied that they were the greatest thing to happen in CA in years. That reply stopped me for a while...

I followed up with a request for her to explain that position on what was being hyped as a near national epidemic and disaster. She replied quick and simple-

There is no "conspracy". It is that one morning a bunch of people got up and pondered the idiots they had to deal with in their long LA area freeway commutes to work. From there some of 'em took their pistol out of the nightstand and dropped it in their brief case or purse.

Out on the freeway they simply popped off a round or two at the first dirt bag idiot that they encountered. The result was mostly bullet holes in yuppie cars, stained seats, and thrown away underwear by the drivers. A few people were unintentionally hurt, but that emphasized the need for marksmanship training in the game of "sending the a-hole message".

She went on to say that the benefits of the clandestine shootings were that many of the creeps, incompetents, rude a-holes, and mis-fit drivers, were now riding the bus or taxi cabs, or staying home, and it was just plain wonderful.

My next question was about me as a visitor being at risk. She replied that there was nothing to worry about, because I had good Midwestern manners and that my rust bucket F-100 would keep people away anyhow.

Other than some of her flying activities that worry me a little, Cindy was/is wise beyond her years.

After that I drove from Palmdale to Westminister in Orange County and visited a friend on the other side of LA with no problems.

My point here is that as long as some people think they can get away with bad behavior they'll try it. When they know there will be prompt and nasty retribution they tend to stay on good behavior.

Hope this helps give some perspective, IHank

Cowboy Joe    Posted 08-28-2001 at 18:54:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
IHank - I particularly agree with your last paragraph.

Franz    Posted 08-29-2001 at 00:02:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Danged if that last graph of Hank's come up with a sure cure for Oppositional Disfunctional Disorder.
Better hope nice folks don't figger that out, or shrinks might suffer an income loss.

IHank    Posted 08-28-2001 at 11:34:26       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Joe- I've been pondering the posts here on this topic. As others tell, I too have and have had problems with outbursts of anger. Lately I'm into the VA PTSD program and hard telling what's to come...

The comment about blood pressure makes a huge pile of sense to me. My VA med doc has been trying different medications and dosages on me for several years. I wasn't up to powering a back hoe, but I could probably have run an 8N hydrastic system! Now, my numbers are pretty good.

I'm noticing that I'm less quick to flash off at real and imagined provocations. Possibly the thought that a 2nd offense armed assault charge might get me some hard time helps me hold my temper...

Three things seem to be important in dealing with and lowering "rage"-

1. A case of cold beer and a combination pizza. this usually mellows people out.

2. A good old fashioned M-1911A1 .45 on the nitestand. This takes care of situations where idiots are running amock.

3. Letting everybody in town know your attitude and dispositon. This discourages problems in the whole neighborhood and causes the creeps to hang out on the other side of town.

hay    Posted 08-28-2001 at 03:03:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
anger mangagement group in texas means 4 big texas rednecks goin' to "talk" to a surly neighbor.

Fred Tx    Posted 08-28-2001 at 07:18:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yeah. Sometimes an attitude adjustment helps. An neighbors do help each other around here.

scooterhead    Posted 08-28-2001 at 02:59:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You have to let anger out of your system , you need that vent so it can get away . Never did have much of a problem , most times I can find a joke about what would pi$$ a guy of , it`s generaly somthin stupid or a stupid person doin somthin stupid . Somtimes it`s me doin somthin stupid . Life up a dead end road is a lot of help . Look at the whole picture then laugh it off !!!!!!

Ole Cuss    Posted 08-28-2001 at 02:57:11       [Reply]  [No Email]

There seems to be an epidemic lack of self-control nowadays, coupled with a failure to realize that actions have consequences. People will just pop off their mouths and cop an attitude at the drop of a hat, and from there it is a mere hop to physical confrontation. I agree that people seem to be so angry, and get ridiculosly exercised over the smallest things. The worst and most common place that I see anger and aggression is on the roads, where high speed games of malice and vindictiveness against total strangers is standard operating procedure for many drivers. It's frightening.

Joe Cowboy    Posted 08-28-2001 at 07:32:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with your post. Unfortunately here in NYC, if you stop for a red light, and then it turns green, these NYC idiots will honk their horns if you don't move your butt in a split second. HOW RUDE!

Dreamweaver    Posted 08-28-2001 at 13:17:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
The idiots do that here in Raleigh too, Joe.

hay    Posted 08-28-2001 at 08:19:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
unfortunatly the same thing and more happens here in rural s.e. texas. i guess everyone but me is in a big hurry. sure wish they would find someone else to "flip off".

Franz    Posted 08-27-2001 at 22:11:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Joe, ya just might want to run yerself a little study with that group to see how many of em have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Anger control, that's all covered under hittin the sumbich yer shootin at, right?

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 08-28-2001 at 06:58:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Franz, you might be onto something there. Before my high BP was found, I started popping off at folks for little, or no, reason. Went for a check-up, and found out I had enough pressure to run a backhoe. As soon as we got it under control, I was my normal, sweet self again. No doubt, it was the BP doing it.

Cowboy Joe    Posted 08-28-2001 at 07:33:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for all your posts. They're all good. Any more comments about how to control anger?

Franz    Posted 08-28-2001 at 18:38:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Just one little question here Joe, Will you be sending us all PayPal for this consultation?
Ya never did answer my question about a blood pressure study running along with the anger management BS.

Cowboy Joe    Posted 08-28-2001 at 19:01:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Franz - I was hoping my post would serve as a sounding board for how to deal with anger, a problem that city AND country folks have to deal with every day. I can't cite a particular study linking high blood pressure with an increase in anger, but I am sure there's a positive correlation. However, you don't need to have high blood pressure to have an anger problem.

Franz    Posted 08-29-2001 at 00:11:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Joe, I'd bet ya a subscidized Neuevo Hillarea subway token you'll find a lot of High BP that isn't bein treated among that group of angry people.Lopressor
Pronounced: low-PRESS-or
Generic name: Metoprolol tartrate


Why is this drug prescribed?

Occasionally doctors prescribe Lopressor for the treatment of aggressive behavior, prevention of migraine headache, and relief of temporary anxiety.

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 08-28-2001 at 12:11:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Well, as a matter of fact, I do have some more thoughts on the matter. For me, anger threshholds have always been metered by my pre-existing moods. If I let myself get frustrated by other little life situations, none of which amount to a hill of beans, anyway, I find myself to be a lot quicker on the trigger. On the other hand, if I take a couple of seconds to put the day into perspective before I plunge into it, I find that the little inconveniences that other people like to heap onto us just don't matter so much. I like to avoid placing blame by telling myself, "If he does that to me, it's his fault. If I let it ruin even a part of my day, it's MY fault." That way, I'm not blaming the *^%$%* for ruining my day, therefore, I'm not angry with him.

We all do things, sometimes, that cause us to feel bad about ourselves. We have to learn to forgive ourselves for these things, and realize that we are not perfect. This forgiveness allows us to start, and maintain our day without feeling frustrated with ourself. When you feel good about yourself, it is a lot easier to eliminate anger.

While it is important to feel good about yourself, you also have to guard against feeling too important. Remember, you are just another face on this planet, and things will go on after you're gone. By the same token, whatever we are in such a hurry about just ain't that important, either. It's true, some of us are seemingly at the mercy of those who DO think it's that important, such as our boss, but ultimately, we are the ones who decide.

This is just a little bit of what I think about that keeps me mellow. I hope it can help someone else chill out and enjoy life.

Cowboy Joe    Posted 08-28-2001 at 19:03:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
DanG - EXCELLENT post. Congrats!

Ole Cuss    Posted 08-28-2001 at 09:18:45       [Reply]  [No Email]

I think when we were were a predominantly agricultural and rural culture, people knew how to be patient and forbearing, were less frenetic in lifestyle, and had an outlet for any excess energy because so many jobs involved sustained physical work. Now that America has become largely urbanized with an indulgent "I want it all and I want it now"
mass-media-driven consumer culture, our citizenry has become exactly like the classic population studies on rats: when kept in increasingly confined and stressful surroundings, the rats show a corresponding increase in antisocial and aberrant social behaviors like aggression and cannibalism.
I don't know how you can deal with a nationwide attitude problem with such farflung and multifaceted roots, but I know that you have your hands full to honcho those seminars (I bet some days you'd rather sandpaper a bobcat's butt in a phonebooth than deal with some of your clients).

Joe Cowboy    Posted 08-28-2001 at 19:05:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ole Cuss - Another EXCELLENT post. Thanks.

Clover Honey    Posted 08-28-2001 at 10:42:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hee hee...Ole Cuss, you do have a way with words! And I think you're right about the pace of life today and/or less living space making people more angry than in the past.

As for Joe's original question, I for one do have an anger problem. I have such a quick temper, that hurtful words pop out of my mouth before I even know I'm going to say them! (How is that possible, I wonder?) I definitely tend to get angry at stupid little every day frustrations that don't even matter, but again my temper explodes so FAST I don't have time to tell myself it's not worth it. And city traffic seems to be the worst catalyst! But I am working on being more patient.

Not to blame my parents, but both my folks have hot tempers (one Irish and one Italian!!!) and I think to some extent I inherited an angry attitude, and I learned growing up that was how my folks responded to problems. (Boy, I think I'm psychoanalyzing myself!) But I know it's mostly my own fault.

This is probably boring to everyone else, but you asked, Cowboy Joe.

Cowboy Joe    Posted 08-28-2001 at 19:11:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Clover Honey - I appreciate your feedback. Sometimes it's better to retreat from the fray, and think things through before addressing the person, place or thing which triggered your anger. Sometimes a no response is better than a quick, possibly negative consequence of venting verbal or physical abuse upon another person. Remember, how important is it to respond to every provocation? Is that person or situation important enough for you to react in kind?

Clover Honey    Posted 08-29-2001 at 13:58:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for the advice, CJ. I'll try to keep that in mind.

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