Anger Management

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    • 00:01


    • 00:11

      DR. TINA RAE: My name's Dr. Tina Rae,and I work at the University of East Londonas a professional and academic tutoron the doctorate course for educational psychologists.My special interest is in the areaof well-being and mental health.In this tutorial, I'm going to focus on the topic of angerand how anger is manifested, why it can sometimesbe problematic, particularly in the school context,and also how teachers can support childrenwho appear to present with anger management issues and problemswithin the school context.

    • 00:45

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: Anger is something those people feel quite nervous about,particularly in the social context.We're frightened because we feel that people will be outof control, that they might get aggressive,that they might hurt themselves or other people.I think this is really difficult,because from my perspective, angeris something that's evolutionary.It has a purpose.There are right times to be angryand there are reasons that we should be angry.

    • 01:08

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: For example, if someone is racist to me,I'm a child in the playground, thenI should be angry about that.If someone is bullying me, or someone's homophobic,or someone's being sexist.If someone's being unkind, or cruel, or tellinglies then, clearly, as a child, that's somethingthat I justly should feel angry about.But it's what I do with that anger that is important.

    • 01:29

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: Anger can be seen to be quite problematic both for adultsand young children when there is no kind of safe wayor they feel there's no safe way to express it.Problem anger emanates usually from children and adults who'vehad difficulties in their relationships,difficulties in terms of attachments,difficulties in terms of being able to feel socially secureand accepted.

    • 01:57

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: And it's also learnt behavior, and it's a pattern of behaviorthat goes on, and on, and on.It's repeated.So for example, if, within the home context,it's deemed to be OK to express your anger by punching,kicking, fighting, screaming, then, in essence,that's what you've learnt.So you will display that in every other situation.

    • 02:17

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: It's a problem when we express ourselvesso aggressively and violently that actually excludes usfrom the social sphere.So children who have problem angerare more likely to exhibit huge behavioral difficultiesin the school context, and they'refar more likely to be permanently excludedfrom school as well.I think typically the child who has a problem with angerwill be someone who flares up immediately if an issue arises,and they'll very often say to the member of staff who'sdealing with the situation after the event,I didn't see it coming.

    • 02:52

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: I just felt like this kind of red mist had descended.I just went for the person, because they cussed my mom,they gave me a dirty look or they put me down.Or with a teacher, exactly the same kind of difficultiesthat the child may feel that the teacher has put themdown or shown them up in front of the restthe class to embarrass them.

    • 03:14

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: And usually anger of that sort is a secondary emotionthat usually has to do with that child's self esteemfeeling or being dented.But the problem is when the reactionsare so swift, and so aggressive and violent, that, of course,that child then has to be removed from the classroom.And also, it clearly causes huge disruptionto everyone whose witnessed the event.

    • 03:39

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: For most teachers, they will needto be hugely observant in the classroom,they'll need to know who these children are,and they will need to put preemptive strategies in place.And that's around where the child's seated,who they're seated next to, having a peer or a buddysystem in place with them in the room.Also giving them time out strategy cardsif they need those to use if they can feel the anger comingon them in the sense of the physiological symptoms.

    • 04:05

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: But I think alongside that there hasto be some either individual or groupinput for that child or young personso that they can begin to reflect on those behaviorsand begin to analyze what's happeningand why that's happening.The anger management group formathas been very successful in many schools, both mainstreamand special.

    • 04:28

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: But I say that with a few caveats.What doesn't tend to work is that youput a group of very angry childrentogether in one room with a couple of adultsto talk about their anger.So this is not what I'm referring to.When we're talking about anger management, it's long term.The program has to be very often personalized for that child,as well as some group activities and some group work.

    • 04:49

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: And that group has to also have within it some very good rolemodels who can support those childrenand who can actually present and model appropriate behaviorsin a range of different contexts wherethey could be a problem for that child.The kind of format that I generally useis that I will meet with the childand we will be talking initially around whatit is that makes us angry, what that anger looks like,what that anger feels like, and also thinkingabout when that happens.

    • 05:16

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: So keeping a diary, keeping a logabout what the antecedents were, what the behaviors were,and what the consequences were.Because unless you know where your triggers areand what actually triggers your anger,then it's very difficult.So the child who says, I don't know where that came from,it just happened.I went for her because she said this.Oh, you think, well, she said that,so therefore what we need to do is actuallygive you a strategy in place so if someone says the same thingnext time, you're in a similar situation,this is what you do instead.

    • 05:46

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: In essence, they have to understandhow anger works and not just describe itas a redness or something that just comes over me.I would work through with the child specific anger models.So, for example, the Firework Model.And it's Novaco's Firework Model,but basically it's to actually show them visuallyhow the trigger makes a match ignite,and how that then ignites that firework and blows it up.

    • 06:15

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: And I think that that is something very important,because there is this notion that you have this triggerhere, and what you need to be able to dois stop that match from being lit.So it's about what do you put in place in termsof alternative thinking, alternative strategies,getting out of the situation, whatever you'regoing to do as opposed to letting that match ignite.

    • 06:36

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: So getting that child to actuallyknow where the triggers are so that theycan preempt them themselves.And in essence, that's about being more autonomous,being and feeling more in controlof your feelings, your emotions, and your behaviors.In so-called anger management groups,we will engage that group in making up their own grouprules so that they're going to be thinking about supportingeach other, recognizing when each other getsangry in the classroom, how they can actuallygo and support and intervene appropriately.

    • 07:07

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: So it's about being supportive of each other, not just aboutthe individual focusing on themselves.What is important is that when the Greek group meets each timethat there is a review of those behaviorlogs, and there is a review of how people have supportedeach other, and that's what tends to happen in the group.And also, there's a sharing of strategies, because very oftenwhat people will say is, teach somebodyhow to do deep breathing or to count to 10 when they getangry, and that will really help them.

    • 07:37

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: And these things do help the little children, the youngerones sometimes, but what tends to happenis that children will use them once or twiceand then not try again and not use them again,or not bother, or not practice.And managing your anger is just like anything else that you do.It's a skill.So you would practice playing the piano every day,you'd practice riding your bike or running, whateveryou do to keep fit, and you need to do it regularly,and it's exactly the same with anger.

    • 08:04

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: So what the anger management group format does is,it encourages children to keep going, to keep trying,to keep bouncing back on things even when it doesn't go right,and to actually make use of a range of strategies.For example, the traffic lights.And this is really important, because oneof the main problems with anger isthat people will just say they just go.

    • 08:24

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: So when they use that language for me,I say, well, if you think about traffic lights,you have to stop, and then you wait, and then you go.So we actually use this in terms of saying, right.I need to stop now.I'm feeling angry, so my personal script for myselfis what's happening here, what's the problem,how do I feel about it.And then the wait bit is about planning.

    • 08:47

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: What should I do?Who can help me?What should I do first?What should I do second?What would be the best thing to do now?So, again, it's engaging them cognitivelyrather than emotionally.I think very often people make the mistake of notunderstanding the process of angerand how long it takes to physiologically calmback down to normal, normal heart rate, et cetera,after you've had the so-called explosion where you'vegot really angry and felt very, very upset about something.

    • 09:16

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: One of the other ways in which I talk to children about angeris to present them with this assault cycle.And this comes from Breakwell in 1997.It's quite old, but it's still pertinent.And what he does is provides this visual image for ushere of how that assault cycle happens.

    • 09:38

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: So you have the kind of initial behaviors or the triggers here.That will then lead to the crisis phase,where there will be an explosion.After that, there is this de-escalation phase,and that's probably the longest phase there you can see.And I think the important thing that teachers need to remember,and anyone who works with young people,actually, is that this de-escalation phaseto get back down to the post-crisis phasewhere you're recovering from that anger outburst normallytakes between 45 to 90 minutes.

    • 10:13

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: And I think that's important because, in termsof how we support children who are angry in school,there's a significant problem here.I've come in from the playground,I'm a very angry boy, and I've had a fight with somebody,and I've been given 10 minutes to calm down.And I've been told what a naughty boy I am,and I shouldn't have lost my temper,and I've said I'm sorry.

    • 10:33

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: I've been taught to say I'm sorry properly,but of course I can't, because actually I'm not sorry yet,because I haven't calmed down properly.I go back into the classroom.The person who upset me gives me dirty lookso I punch them again, and then I thenhave it reinforced to me that I'ma very bad, angry, nasty boy.And I think this is really difficult, because actuallythat child shouldn't have gone back into the classroomafter 10 minutes.

    • 10:56

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: They're not down to the kind of physiological basethat they should be.They haven't deescalated from their anger.So I think it's about saying they need more time than that.So this is important because it willimpact on how schools support childrenwith anger difficulties and problems,and when this happens the systems that they shouldhave in place to support them.

    • 11:17

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: I think, ultimately, in a classroomyou need to be able to make sure that you continually vigilantaround observing children's behavior.My top tip is really that once you see something beginningto happen, you need to get in there quicklyand this is what lots of people do not tobecause they're not being hyper-vigilant enoughin their classroom in terms of watchingfor where the problems are.

    • 11:40

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: If you know a child has difficulty,then you need to be more vigilant.You need to be more reassuring to them,you need to be watching, and observingso that if you see something happening,you can actually get in early.So, for me, prevention is better than curing this.I do think it's important that children have accessto the support they need, but I alsothink we need to be actually preventing the difficultiesfrom escalating straight away in the classroomas soon as they arise.

    • 12:06

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: So, for example, giving that child access to time out,giving that child access to a buddy, giving them a job to doto that takes them out of the context of the classroom.So it's not saying, let's go out because you'rebeginning to feel angry.It's about saying, I can see this.An emergency strategy, very often, is here's a note.Go and take it to Ms. So and So.

    • 12:31

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: So what I hope that you've learnt from this tutorial isthat anger can be problematic, but also that it can be managedand there are things that we can do in a school contextto support both an individual, a group, and a whole class level.And my main message around this isthat some children will need more support,will need more input, but also that all children will needto become emotionally literate and be able to managethese kinds of difficult, complex feelingsbecause they are things that we're going to experience.

    • 12:59

      DR. TINA RAE [continued]: It's part of the human condition to experience anger.What we want to do this is ensurethat children can experience it in a healthy way.

Anger Management

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In this tutorial, Dr. Tina Rae, Senior Lecturer at the University of East London, discusses anger, how it is manifested and why it can be problematic in the classroom. She offers strategies that teachers can use to support students who present with anger management issues.

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Anger Management

In this tutorial, Dr. Tina Rae, Senior Lecturer at the University of East London, discusses anger, how it is manifested and why it can be problematic in the classroom. She offers strategies that teachers can use to support students who present with anger management issues.

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