Anger management for teens explained
Although anger is a natural emotion that can, at times, be both necessary and helpful, when unmanaged it can lead to serious detrimental effects on a person’s life. Excessive anger in an adolescent can cause harm to their friends and family, as well as leading to possible severe mental health conditions. In order to ensure that this outcome does not occur, parents may decide to request therapeutic treatment for their teenager. This type of therapy encourages open discussion and teaches the clients skills so they can better recognize the relationship between their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Therapy treatment can involve the client completing anger management activities, focusing on their coping skills, and developing an intentional and achievable treatment plan.
Teen anger management: What triggers it?
When trying to determine effective coping skills for anger, it is first necessary to uncover what each individual is triggered by. In anger management therapy, it is important that your client feels comfortable and safe talking to you. You should explain to them how client confidentiality works, and ensure you are empathetic, kind, and responsive to their needs. Once this relationship has been established, you should ask them their opinion regarding specific incidents that trigger their anger. It is also important to keep in mind that, biologically, teenagers are experiencing significant changes, including the development of the prefrontal cortex.
In addition to these hormonal fluctuations, adolescents are facing life experiences that are likely new. They are on the brink of adulthood and are preparing for a life away from the safety of their home and families. These changes require teenagers to make big decisions that can feel both overwhelming and very daunting.
Strategies to help teens safely express anger
Realistically, a teenager’s anger isn’t going to just go away. Rather, you should be working with the client to develop ways that they can safely and effectively express their anger, without causing harm to themselves or others. While the methods used to do this will vary for each teenager, here are some of the best ways you can encourage your client to express their anger and regulate their emotions positively.
Undertake physical activities
Feeling angry often elicits a desire to lash out physically. Rather than facilitating unwanted violence, this desire can be channeled into completing physical activities, including playing sports or going for a run.
Although encouraging violence shouldn’t be a top priority, there are safe ways that teenagers can release their anger. You could recommend them to participate in a boxing class or set up a punching bag at home.
Take a time out
When a teenager begins to feel themselves getting worked up with anger, it is always a good idea for them to step back from the situation. If they take a time out and find they are still feeling angry, encourage them to cry or even yell until the intense emotion has subsided.
Listen to music
Listening to music can be a fantastic way for people to release their anger. Often, teens will find songs that feel relatable to their experiences, and whether they sing along, listen silently, or even dance, music can be a great reprieve from anger.
Identify the triggers for anger
When teenagers have a clear understanding of what triggers their anger, they will be better equipped to remove themselves from negative situations. You should teach them therapeutic activities that demonstrate the connection between their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, as well as ways they can identify possible triggers.
Anger management worksheets for teens with examples
One effective way of teaching adolescents how to manage their anger is through utilizing worksheets. Anger management worksheets are likely to vary in their contents: they can encourage teenagers to consider their triggers, devise coping strategies, and develop an intentional plan for reducing the negative effects of anger. Enabling teenagers to spend time reflecting on their emotions and how these emotions impact their life is a particularly useful way of highlighting the interconnectedness between how we feel and how we behave.
It is also often the case that a teenager being treated in therapy for anger management may also be receiving treatment for other reasons. Anger itself is commonly a side-effect of other issues that can be debilitating and detrimental in their own right. One of the best aspects of incorporating worksheets into your practice is the way they can complement each other by focusing on specific problems that adolescent clients are facing. If you are interested in having a look at some of these resources, we recommend both the depression worksheet for teens and the self-esteem worksheet for teens.
More specifically, we have also created an anger management worksheet for teens that can be downloaded to your device through one simple click. This resource will be effective for teaching your adolescent clients useful skills to manage their anger, helping them to quickly achieve their clinical goals.
Anger Management Worksheet For Teens:
Take home message
Teaching adolescents how to effectively and safely manage their anger from a young age will provide them with the skills they need to transition well into adulthood. We understand that this task is easier said than done, especially given how significantly teenagers experience changes throughout this turbulent period of their life. Although there is no one right way to manage teen anger, we hope that this guide has pointed you in the direction of some useful strategies, as well as a highly effective worksheet that can be seamlessly distributed. At the end of the day, the most important aspect of managing anger is showing teenagers that their needs are being met, and their emotions are being validated. Rather than responding to angry outbursts with your own emotion, take the time to ask the teen about their experiences and try to come up with solutions that meet their needs.