Michigan Family Institute Newsletter

January/February 2013
What We Do     Specialty Services     Staff     Contact     mifamilytherapy.com   248-593-4784
In This Issue
ANGER: WHICH WOLF WILL YOU FEED?
TALKING ABOUT ANGER
FRIEND OUR FACEBOOK PAGE TO FOLLOW  UPDATES AND INFORMATION BY SEARCHING FACEBOOK FOR MICHIGAN FAMILY INST PC 

SEE NEW THERAPY AND EDUCATIONAL GROUPS FOLLOWING THE BOOK OFFERINGS BELOW

 
 

BOOKS 
 

(Guilford Press 1996)
Jerome A. Price
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(Impact Publications 2011)
Margerum J, Price J, and Windell J 
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(Impact Publications 2007) 
Gaulier B, Margerum J, Price J, Windell J 

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(Zeig-Tucker Publications 2003) Price J, Margerum  J 

CLINICAL AND EDUCATIONAL GROUPS

 

  

Take Control of Your Divorce

  

Learn to manage the conflict in your divorce

  

with Dr. Judith Margerum

  

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Circle of Friends

  

A middle school aged social skills group

 

with Lynn Ernst

Margolis,  MSW, LMSW 

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The Right to Be the Grownup

A parent skills training program for difficult teens and pre-teens 

 

with Jerome A. Price, MA, LMFT, LMSW 

 

 

 

SPEAKERS' BUREAU 


As a courtesy to the many trusted professionals who refer to us, we offer presentations for staff development and for parents in schools or treatment programs at no charge.
Subjects are many and varied and can be coordinated with your program's needs.

Just call or email us




info@mifamilytherapy.com




ANGER: WHICH WOLF WILL YOU FEED?

 

 Jerome A. Price, M.A.

 

Our traditional view of anger is of a corked bottle of a carbonated beverage that's been shaken. It's building up pressure and if not released will explode. Yet in some other cultures, and more recently in Cognitive Behavioral Psychology, the view is different and more effective for relieving angry feelings. Obviously reducing angry feelings will also reduce conflict in relationships. The following story has been handed down in Native American culture by word of mouth and I would give credit to the writer if I knew who it was.

 

A Native American elder is talking to a group of children including his granddaughter about life and feelings. He begins by saying that life is Two Wolves. The first wolf is love, peace, kindness, compassion, understanding, patience, cooperation, helpfulness and a long list of other positive attributes. He goes on to say that the second wolf is anger, hatred, war, cruelty, violence, indifference, selfishness and a long list of other negative attributes.

 

The wise man went on to explain that these two wolves are competing for control of the world. There's a contest to see which wolf will prevail. He pointed at each of the the children and said that these two wolves were also in each one of them. Those wolves were struggling to take control of each of them.

 

His granddaughter looked at him alarmed and asked, "Grandpa, which wolf will win?" The wise man looked each child in the eye and said, "The wolf that wins will be the one you feed".

 

The more we allow angry thoughts and feelings, the more angry thoughts and feelings we will have. The less we allow them, the fewer we'll have. It's just that simple.

TALKING ABOUT ANGER

 

Lynn Ernst Margolis, MSW 

   

 

Anger, always the most easily identified feeling.  In my work with children and adolescents, when the topic of feelings comes up, kids eagerly relate.  They easily identify feelings of anger and angry feelings and they always come equipped with a generous supply of examples. They describe anger at situations not easily changed; anger toward siblings, parents, and friends; and anger over issues of unfairness.  

 

For children and adolescents, knowing anger is a whole  lot different than knowing what to do with angry feelings.  The angry feeling comes up so quickly.  Researchers describe anger as a "fight or flight" response.  Our bodies often grow hot, our hands and legs tense up and our jaws clench in response.  In fact, some children and adolescents describe anger as, "...my brain is spinning and I just can't think clearly!".

 

Adults can often remove themselves from anger provoking situations or feelings; our children  however cannot.  As a matter of fact, we insist our children and adolescents focus on tasks while working through angry feelings.  We expect them to "get over it" and focus whether at school or in after school groups.  

 

Developing a repertoire of responses to anger is important and helpful.  Working with our children to develop a plan works as does rehearsing responses through role-play.  Remembering our brains "turn off" when angry makes an easy and well-rehearsed plan important.  Social stories work as well as does taking deep meaningful breaths.  Being angry or experiencing angry feelings is expected; the practiced responses help use anger to move our children forward emotionally.

 

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