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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Activities & Organizations

CAPS offers anger management workshop to students


Counseling and Psychological Services offers Food For Thought Workshops that are centered on issues many students face. The center’s Wednesday workshop, “It’s All the Rage,” focused on the topic of anger management.

Hannah Sommer, a UH doctoral candidate, welcomed students to room 210D in the Student Service Center 1 building and led the talk on a topic of anger that she said “we tend to look at as a bad emotion.”

Workshops such these discuss anger in a new light.

“It is misunderstood a lot. It’s confusing for a lot of people. In some ways, it’s a very straight-forward thing to address,” Sommer said. “It is really bringing awareness for how to identify anger, how to make it less confusing or complex and how to implement your own tools and skills to empower yourself.”

To address the issue of anger, Sommer first described what anger is in its basic form and where it gets its fuel, which can be from unmet needs, expectations or beliefs. Family background and culture contribute to how a person deals with anger. Social norms like age and gender are also a factor, as well as the added stresses of college life that are inflicted upon students.

“This time of life for traditional students can often times be associated with a lot of changes in hormones… and just a lot of different kinds of demands on them that maybe they’ve never experienced before,” Sommer said. “It can be a major transitional period for them and a lot of times anger…(can arise) in those kinds of conflicts.”

Sommer said these aspects are what makes anger management workshops potentially beneficial for this population.

Psychologist and CAPS assistant director Cecilia Sun said she believes that offering workshops is a teaching tool for students that they can learn from on how to cope with different psychological issues without needing to come directly to CAPS.

Sun said the number of attendees seems to correlate with the time of the year.

“We get a lot of participants…especially towards the end of each semester,” Sun said. “I think that people are excited about the topics that we offer, and as people’s stress levels increase towards the end of the semester, there’s a high demand for this.”

Sommer spoke about understanding the anger cycle and how it affects one’s thoughts, emotions, behaviors and physiology. She also introduced tactics that can be used when dealing with anger directly.

One of these methods include ACTS, which stands for (be) aware of your anger, control your response, talk about the situation and solve the problem.

Sommer said the main message she hopes students took away from the workshop was to learn to become an expert with managing anger.

“These are things that everyone can benefit from, not just people who have problems with anger,” Sommer said. “These are things that everyone can continue to refresh on.”

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