Although anger is a normal, healthy emotion, it can often be challenging and overwhelming for teens. Adolescence is a tumultuous time, and the typical teen is bound to have an occasional inappropriate angry outburst. However, teens who repeatedly express anger in violent, aggressive, or otherwise maladaptive ways are at risk of having problems at home, school suspensions, relationship issues, physical injuries, substance use disorders, or legal issues. Anger management is often a component of mental health treatment programs for teens.
Through the anger management program at Imagine Nampa, teens learn to uncover the genuine emotions behind their uncontrolled anger. Contact us at 208.203.8574 to see how your teen and family can benefit from anger management services.
Understanding Anger vs. Aggression
All families have different viewpoints on the appropriate expression of anger. For example, in some homes, yelling is a perfectly acceptable means of communication, while others do not tolerate this action. Parents must determine and clearly express their definition of acceptable behavior and have established consequences for breaking the rules. They should not tolerate behaviors like name-calling, threatening, or violence.
Teens need to learn the difference between angry feelings, which are okay, and aggressive behavior, which is not. Aggressive behavior can be verbal, physical, or written, as on social media. The brain goes through tremendous developmental changes during adolescence, making the teenage years an opportune time to learn healthy coping skills, tools, and techniques. The connections made during this time can form life-long habits.
Tips for Controlling Anger
Parents teach their teens more about anger management through role modeling than any other means. If you yell, swear, slam doors, or break things when you are angry, you cannot expect your teen to react differently. Suppose you told your teen to clean their room before you got home, but they did not. Instead of yelling at them, you might say, “I’m angry that you did not clean your room. I need a break to calm down, and then we will discuss your consequences.”
Other tips for controlling anger that teens can draw upon in almost any circumstance include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Meditation or repeating a mantra
- Journaling or drawing
- Listening to or playing music
- Taking a time-out
- Taking time to pause before reacting
Teens and parents need to understand that learning healthy anger management skills will not happen overnight. It takes time to unlearn bad habits and replace them with new, healthier ones. Behavior modification techniques can help reinforce this learning.
Recognizing the Need for Anger Management for Teens
Knowing when your teen’s anger has gone beyond typical teenage behavior can be challenging. The best rule of thumb is to consider how disruptive their anger has become to their daily functioning. Is your teen consistently in trouble at school? Quick to lash out at simple requests? Does your teen’s anger frighten you or others? Does your teen throw things, punch walls, or become physically aggressive? These are clear signs that your teen and family need professional help.
More subtle signs that your teen can benefit from anger management can include:
- Having a low frustration tolerance for simple tasks
- Strained peer relationships or loss of friends
- Being overly critical of others
- Declining academic performance
- Harming themselves or others or making threats to do so
- Behaving rudely and disrespectfully to adults
- Vindictive behavior motivated by payback and revenge
Other telltale signs of the need for a professional anger management program include engaging in drug and alcohol use and having altercations with the law because of physical assaults or property damage resulting from angry outbursts.
What to Expect from an Anger Management Program in Nampa, ID
Imagine Nampa is an outpatient mental health and behavioral health treatment center focusing on teens ages 12-17 and their families. We provide evidence-based care to help teens acquire healthy coping skills and strategies to manage mental health symptoms and achieve treatment goals.
Through our integrated approach to treatment, we help patients uncover the roots of their mental health disorders through treatment modalities, including, but not limited to:
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Teen emotional regulation
- Co-occurring disorders
- Art and music therapy
- Medication management
Educational programming and therapeutic activities help teens develop insight into their symptoms. They can also identify and address the causes and effects of mental health disorders. Teens meet with our psychiatrist twice weekly to monitor psychiatric needs. Crisis intervention and on-site nursing care are also available.
Contact Imagine Nampa Today for Teen Anger Management
At Imagine Nampa, we provide comprehensive day treatment for teens ages 12-17. Many teens with mental health issues have poor coping skills and struggle with anger management issues. If your teen’s mental health symptoms interfere with their daily functioning, contact our team today at 208.203.8574.