Lesson Eight

Lesson 8: Anger and the Family – How Past Learning Can Influence Present Behavior

Checking In This Week

As you look at your homework you completed for last week, what was the highest level of anger you reached on the anger meter? Be sure you reserved the number 10 for situations where you lost control of your anger and experienced negative consequences.

Be sure you described the anger-provoking event that led to your highest level of anger.

Make sure you included the cues that occurred in response to the anger-provoking event.

Where did the cues fall in the cue catagories (physicial, behavioral, emotional, or cognitive)?

What strategies you did you use to either avoid reaching 10 on the anger meter or recovering after reaching 10?


Anger and the Family

In this lesson you?ll explore how anger and other emotions were displayed by your parents and in the families in which you grew up. For many of us, the interactions we have had with our parents have strongly influenced our behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes as adults.

With regard to anger and its expression, these feelings and behaviors usually were modeled for us by our parents or parental figures. The purpose of these session is to examine the connection between what you have learned in the past, in the family in which you grew up, and your current behavior and interactions with others now as adults.

You will be asked a think about a series of questions concerning your parents and families. This is an involved and often emotionally charged topic, so if you are not comfortable answering any questions, you do not have to do so.

Describe your family. Did you live with both parents? Did you have any brothers and sisters? Where did you grow up?






How was anger expressed in your family while you were growing up? How did your father express anger? How did your mother express anger? Were you ever threatened with physical violence? Was your father abusive to your mother or you?






How were other emotions, such as happiness and sadness, expressed in your family? Was emotional expression limited to feelings of anger and frustration, or were many different kinds of emotions expressed?






How were you disciplined and by whom? Was physical punishment involved (e.g., being hit with hands, belts, switches, or other objects)? How did you respond to this discipline?






What role did you take in your family? For example, were you the hero, the rescuer, the victim, the clown, the scapegoat, etc.?






What messages did you receive about your father and men in general? What messages did you receive about your mother and women in general?






What feelings, thoughts, and behaviors carry over into your relationships today? What purpose do these behaviors serve today? What would happen if you gave up these behaviors?






Congratulations! You have completed the final session of the program.

What have you learned about anger management?






List anger management strategies on your anger control plan. How can you use these strategies to better manage your anger?






In what ways can you continue to improve your anger management skills? Are there specific areas that need improvement?