What does resiliency have to do with anger management?

Posted on: June 18, 2008

All around us are symbols of adaptation and the management of change. It can also be argued that the fact that humans still exist is a representation of our ability to adapt to our ever changing environment and more so the adaptation to our human need to do and be more. However anger is one of those emotions that resist change and for good reason. The sole propose of anger is to hold in place what already exist. It role in the human world is to protect the belief and values we hold dear. One can see how this can be a good thing. Anger allows us to set boundaries and maintain a sense of identity.

Unfortunately the positive value of anger can be a real negative in allowing us to adapt to the world around us and by extension be able to survive. Resiliency is in a sense the ability to face challenges, even challenges to our beliefs and bounce back in a way that promotes not only survival but adaptive growth. Therefore learning ways to adapt to change is essential in true anger management. Change is a fact of life. If we decide that we will hold on to non adaptive beliefs and values the end result will be extinction—which can take various forms. What I am advocating for is teaching skills in resiliency in anger/conflict management programs so that when change confronts us our automatic reaction will not be to just protect in anger but to process and consciously make a decision to adapt, alter or accept the challenge to our current beliefs. This in my mind is true resiliency based anger/conflict management.

Much more can be said about this concept so stay tuned.

Carlos Todd, LPC, NCC, CAMF
Conflict Coach


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