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Dealing with Anger

Anger is a natural emotional state that all humans experience. It is our natural response to criticism and threat. Anger may be a secondary response to feeling sad, lonely or frightened. When anger becomes a full-blown rage our judgment and thinking can become impaired and we are more likely to do and say unreasonable and irrational things.  Anger has survival benefits, and forms part of our fight or flight brain response to a perceived threat or harm. Anger is an unpleasant feeling with negative consequences physically and emotionally yet it is the most difficult emotion to control.

Anger is Not

Anger is not just an emotional response; it is also a physical one, it causes our heart to beat faster and creates a surge of adrenaline. Anger is not hitting, yelling, or sarcasm; these are behavioral reactions to the negative emotion.

Who Gets Angry?

Everyone from time to time will get angry and loose their temper. But, how do we know when anger is no longer normal, and is actually a problem? Getting angry often, holding onto your anger for long periods of time, “everything” makes you angry, and if your anger holds those you love “hostage” may be signs of problematic anger.

What Causes Anger?

Anger is based on our perception of a situation; it is greatly influenced by our thoughts. People become angry when they perceive their well being as being threatened. External stresses such as being hit, being caught in traffic, exposure to regular violence and many others can cause anger. Internal stresses such as individual’s own actions, mistakes, forgetfulness and the inability to meet one’s own expectations also cause anger.

Your Therapy at Dr. Angela Fountain & Associates?

At Dr. Fountain & Associates we provide a safe and fun atmosphere for children of all ages to explore their feelings and behaviors. We provide an interactive country setting that enables children to explore their concerns in a way that is non-threatening and enjoyable.  Cognitive-behavioral play therapy (CBPT) is an approach to treating children in a developmentally sensitive way. Cognitive-behavioral play therapy involves your child in the treatment through play, using art materials, baking, stuffed animals, puppets, live animals and other toys. CBPT includes the establishment of specific goals, the therapist playing an active role in selecting materials and activities, using play to educate the child, and using praise and rewards to encourage positive behaviors.


How can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy/ Cognitive Behavioural Play Therapy (CBPT) Help?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBPT) is a technique that teaches skills for handling life challenges and overcoming negative thoughts. CBPT for children with problematic Anger is aimed largely at improving their behavior through praise and rewards. Children are taught a vast array of copying strategies to help themselves to stop, identify the problem, list possible solutions to the problem and see which one works best.


CBPT uses cognitive reframing, relaxation training, guided imagery, and roleplaying to help cope with problem situations. In therapy children are taught to recognize and list “triggers” which precipitate the onset of the anger response and how to appropriately cope with them.

The following outlines the different phases of the Cognitive Behavioural Play Therapy treatment that your child would receive for Anger at Dr. Angela Fountain & Associates:

Phase One: The Foundation

  • Establishing a therapeutic relationship

  • Explaining what Anger is and isn’t.

  • How to set and make personal goals

  • Understanding how our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all interconnected

  • What are Thinking and Behavioral Traps

  • Identifying and building Feelings and Emotions Dictionary


Phase Two: The Nuts and Bolts

  • Identifying triggers that are problematic in social and educational environments

  • Learning how to Stop once a trigger is identified

  • Learning how to relax

  • Identifying calming thoughts and coping statement

  • Identifying situations that may cause problems

  • Learning how to create and identify a good plan to a problem

  • Learning healthy social skills and maintaining friendships

  • Learning to reward yourself for your Efforts NOT just your Success


Phase Three:  Practice Practice Practice

  • Practice Role playing the different coping and problem solving skills

  • Applying what is learned to real life situations

  • What coping plan works best for you in different situations

  • Continue practicing and developing positive assumptions, schemas, thoughts and self-talk


Phase Four: On the Right Path

  • Re-visiting goals and making changes if necessary

  • Concrete plan on how to do things on our own

  • Phasing out Therapy (monthly visits)

What Can Be Expected as a Client Recieving CBPT?

CBPT is a treatment that requires your active participation. You will be asked to attend therapy weekly for the initial phase of your treatment (first 3-4 sessions). You will be given out weekly take home assignments to be completed at home to help you practice the tools learned in therapy that encourage modifying your behavior, your thoughts, and your relationships.

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