Now that you know and understand your Angry Child Mode better, that is, how, when, and where it surfaces, it is time to consider healthier ways to direct or control your angry feelings. In this exercise, you will identify typical situations where your Angry Child Mode is triggered, identify the needs that you are trying to fulfill in each, and then explore techniques to regain control over these reactions and behaviors. Always consider if/how your angry child relates to your vulnerable child—often, if you can protect and reassure your vulnerable child, your angry child does not have as much need to surface.
These solutions could include observing early signals of frustration and anger (e.g. bodily sensations, thoughts, feelings, and context), articulating anger (e.g. objectively explaining and calmly talking about it), taking a short break or removing yourself from the situation before it escalates, learning to be realistic, mentally practicing alternative behavior, or even using calming symbols (e.g. symbolic object, picture, song).
Download and print anger control worksheet here: Learning to Direct or Control Your Anger
At this time, you should be able to recognize and understand two of the three child modes – the vulnerable child and the angry child. In the penultimate session, we explore the third of the child modes in a similar way – the impulsive child.