Exploring Feelings: Anger: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to Manage Anger

Exploring Feelings: Anger: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to Manage Anger

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by Tony Attwood

This title is a winner of a 2008 Teachers' Choice Award! Many children, especially those with developmental delays, have trouble understanding or expressing their feelings. The result can be difficulty with anger management. Listing possible responses to situations - and the likely outcome of each one - allows the child to make informed decisions about which responses to choose (walking away versus hitting). This book provides a guide for caregivers and then the workbook portion asks children to identify situations that trigger their anger and find appropriate ways to respond.

The Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program "Exploring Feelings"  by Tony Attwood was designed to be highly structured, interesting and successful in encouraging the cognitive control of emotions.

The child participating in the program has a workbook for the six two-hour sessions that includes activities and information to explore the specific feelings of being happy, relaxed, anxious or angry.

There are sections in the workbook to record individual comments and responses to questions. At the end of each session, a project is explained to the child, which is to be completed before the next session. At the start of the next session the project is discussed with the person implementing the program, which can be a professional or parent.

A metaphor was created of the child being an astronaut or scientist exploring a new planet, as children with Asperger syndrome are often interested in exploration of the physical world, science and science fiction. The Exploring Feelings program is designed to explore the mental world from a scientific perspective.

There are two Exploring Feelings programs, one is designed to explore and manage anxiety, the other to explore and manage anger. The evaluation study of the Exploring feelings program for anxiety will be published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in 2005.