I say in my promotional material that I help people with anger management. I thought you might like to know how. So here are a couple of brief case studies, with personal detail removed for confidentiality.
Client A is a young married man with two children and a temper. So much so that he was persuaded by his family to seek help and he came to me. He recognised that he had a problem and that his anger at home was doing him no good at all, and was frightening away the people that he loved.
So after the usual therapy type chit-chat, we delved into his Timeline and identified that his anger came from BEFORE he was born, while he was still in the womb.
How can that be? I hear you ask.
His mother fell pregnant when she was 17. She was scared, and the father who was also 17 did not want to be involved. They had a lot of serious arguments, a lot of tears and upset. A mother and her unborn baby are inextricably linked, so whatever emotion the mother feels, the baby does too. Which is why your emotional health in pregnancy is just as important as your physical health.
What really cleared his anger was when he realised that his temper tantrums at home were not only frightening his young children, they were teaching them that anger is a ‘normal’ response to stress. At that moment, his perception changed.
Client B is very different. Client B is an older man who had grown up in a childhood where he needed anger to compete, and in an industry where being forceful and physical is an asset. But he changed recently and took on a career as owner of a business which requires regular government inspection from largely female inspectors.
He hated these inspectors and they disliked him. He dressed at that time in his leather jacket and tatty jeans, and used the same loud communication style he has always used. He came to see me because he realised that he was on the verge of being shut down, not because of his standards, but purely because of his personality.
So we worked on his understanding of others, explaining that the inspectors came from a very different background to him, and that they would very easily interpret his bluntness as bullying and intimidating. We worked on his language so that he learned the kind of vocabulary the inspectors would be used to. We also turned down the volume and tone of his voice and agreed that he would wear a suit. I even advised him how to set up his office so that instead of feeling trapped, the inspectors chairs were located near a door so they could get up and leave unhindered.
When they turned up for what could have been the closure visit, instead of Mr Angry, they met Mr Professional and the visit was a huge success.
Is that therapy? Yes, it’s also Coaching, and just as valuable.
When you come to see me, you will have all my therapy knowledge at your disposal, plus my coaching skills, plus loads of life experience as a hard working front line dogsbody, a manager of people, and a HR and Training specialist. Sometimes you need therapy, sometimes coaching, sometimes just a shove in the right direction. Usually all three!