On the other side of anger and aggression
My daughter was diagnosed with learning disabilities and ADHD when she was 7. She had problems with anger, anxiety and impulsivity. At age 9, she was admitted to hospital for further diagnosis due to severe anxiety and psychotic symptoms following a move and other major changes in her life. For a few years, things were improved although social concerns were always a real problem and anger always resurfaced during times of stress. When she started high school this was another major change in her life which resulted in more anxiety and anger issues. She frequently left the house following arguments and aggression and we were concerned for her safety. After a crisis occurring later in the school year, we became involved with WAYS. She worked with 2 women over her time there. Both were very understanding and got to know Emma as an individual. They tried to understand what was going on in her head and never judged her behaviour. Tools were provided to her in order to help her deal with situations.
As well as the individual sessions, Emma was involved in a group teen anger management program and various group sessions that WAYS offered through the school. Through these group programs, she learned she was not alone and that many other teens had similar issues. She gained confidence in her abilities to deal with things without using aggression. It is likely Emma will always come across as angry when she is dealing with stressful situations. She is a determined person who does not give in to her anxieties and is constantly exposing herself to things that others would back away from if they felt as anxious as she did. Because of that, she will likely have to battle her anger often during life. No program or person can make a person never feel angry. However, WAYS has allowed Emma to understand that anger is normal and healthy and it is how we act on our anger that is important. She is able to stop herself before getting out of control and understands quickly if she could have dealt with something in a different manner. As an individual, the changes in her are obvious. Her younger brothers have become closer to her again and are already seeing her good side more often.