Anger Management: Taming the Beast within Us

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Adam's Apple, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    Taming the Beast
    By Abe Aamidor, The Indianapolis Star
    October 28, 2005

    Inside a small, windowless conference room on the second floor of a Southside office complex, 10 men who have been court-ordered to attend anger-management classes talk about what brought them here in the first place. A middle-age father of two had struck his 12-year-old son, and the boy's school reported the incident to authorities the next day. Another client -- they don't use the word student here -- smacked a woman in the parking lot of a bar after closing time.

    Lynne McCulloch, a self-described ex-hippie and certified addictions counselor, sits curled in one of the cheap banquet chairs that line the small room and slightly grimaces at what she's hearing. She then tries to steer the conversation back to introspection and alternative coping skills. "Looking back, what would you have done different?" she asks a client.

    Anger management is in the news again as the Indiana Pacers players involved in last season's brawl with Detroit Pistons fans have been sentenced, and anger-management counseling was part of their mandate.

    Though no reliable figures appear to exist, experts in the field say an increasing number of jurisdictions and businesses across the country are mandating anger-management classes. The courts do it as an alternative to incarceration or as part of probation, and businesses do it as a defense against sexual harassment and other liability claims.

    June Shrieves, family court project coordinator for Marion Superior Court, believes a propensity for violence is a learned behavior that can be unlearned.
    "They're born and raised with someone (who), if they get angry, they just hit someone," said Shrieves. "They never thought of another way." That's the story told by several of the men at the recent Southside class. Dad beat on them; they beat on others. When they got into a disagreement with someone in high school, they settled the dispute the old-fashioned way -- they duked it out.

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