Got anger? The next women’s center workshop isn’t just for women – it’s open
FRISCO – “An anger workshop? Me? No, I don’t think so. Those kinds of classes are for really angry people who throw fits at work and punch walls. No, no, I’m definitely not that angry.”
If you think an anger workshop isn’t for you, think again. (Did reading that last sentence irritate you? How dare I sit safely at my computer screen and accuse you, an innocent reader whom I don’t even know, of having anger “issues.”)
But come on, we all get pissed. We may not smash the television when the weather report predicts a warm sunny day for our weekend barbecue and our paper plates end up blowing away in a snowstorm. We may not lay on our horn like a New York cab driver when a tourist putts down Main Street at 10 mph. We may not lay into the sick person next to us who coughs and sneezes all over without any attempt to contain the germs. But, internally, we have a little spike of irritation – or a huge rush of anger – when someone contradicts our version of how the world should work.
And that’s where Jean Ives comes in. She has been teaching psychology as an adjunct professor at Colorado Mountain College since 1999, and now she’s reaching out to the community by offering free anger management workshops.
Her first workshop, from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, introduces the different types of anger, where anger originates and why people have it. Ives will discuss the four main styles of anger: passive (like a doormat), passive-aggressive (like a doormat that slyly slaps you in the behind after you walk over it), aggressive (like a mean doormat that actively trips you) and assertive (like a doormat that says, “It’s really not OK when you stomp your feet all over me”).
The second workshop, 7-8 p.m. Thursday, builds on the first and teaches people how to handle anger appropriately. Both include written exercises and practice sessions.
“Everyone has anger, even people who don’t think they have anger,” Ives said. “It’s something everyone deals with and most people don’t talk about. I don’t think most people realize how anger can be pervasive in their whole lives. It can affect your whole day, how you relate to life and how people see you. I don’t think as a society we deal with it.”
Anger may be taboo in our society, but when used properly, it can transform lives.
“Anger is not a bad thing at all,” Ives said. “Anger is a good thing. It’s how we handle anger that can be good or bad. A lot of times, especially as women, we’ve been taught that (being) passive is the best way to handle anger, and that can be one of the worst ways because a lot of times that can turn inward and it can be really self-destructive. Anger can be beneficial because it can be the impetus for change in our lives, but we all need to learn how to use it that way.”
Participants can expect to walk away from the workshops with more awareness of their own anger styles and a few tools to help them express anger more appropriately.
Breckenridge resident Sheryl Kutter took Ives’ semester-long anger management class and learned how to control her anger through writing, art and verbal expression.
“One thing that was really nice is we practiced situations where we play-acted,” Kutter said. “Being able to express anger at people – even if it wasn’t the person you were angry at – was helpful to get the anger out.”
Since everyone’s prone to anger, anyone is welcome to attend the workshops. For more information, call (970) 389-1502.
Free Anger Management Workshops
– When: 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, and Thursday, June 5
– Where: Frisco Community Building
– Next women’s center workshop: depression and anxiety, Tuesday, June 10, and Thursday, June 12
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