I always delight in hearing why coachees, students, clients, etc. decide to work with/enroll in a course with me. This morning, one of my students rather ruefully admitted he signed up for my course in order to develop strategies to address his almost always present anger. Ah, I can’t wait to challenge him! Everyone I’ve known who has gone to Anger Management has reported that s/he and his/her fellow angry compatriots just came back angrier. They spent a lot of time sitting around and hearing how anger is a maladaptive behavior, while never once learning or practicing strategies to more effectively negotiate conflict when negative feelings arise. My new student had the insight to admit that a lot of his anger stems from spending his life moving from one passive situation to another, never feeling like he has control over his learning or an opportunity to concretize what he has been asked to explore cognitively. So he sleeps. A lot. And bashes things. If only the criminal justice system took the time to explore adult learning theory and created a space for learners to role play effective conflict management strategies, perhaps folks wouldn’t find Anger Management so anger inducing.
But in the meantime, I hope the angry folks keep scouting me out. I don’t proselytize…. except on my blog!
“Just as war is more the absence of love than the presence of hate, and darkness is the absence of light, a negative attitude is the absence of a positive one.” (Unknown)