My husband owns he is quick to anger and according to google, “8 in 10 Americans express significant anger, road rage, or aggression at least once a month, and escalates into anger fueled violent actions,” according to a recent study by AAA. The APA says, “road rage incidents involving firearms more than doubled between 2014 and 2016.
Most mental health workers agree that anger covers up hurt. As a Marriage and Family Therapist for over 30 years, I am unusual because of my added training in primal therapy, where FEELINGS are the best F-word going, I joke with my clients.
It is well known that a therapist cannot help their clients any further than in their own healing; I have learned that my tears fuel love. Some men have told me that they want to cry, but the tears won’t come. Many say they have been conditioned to not show weakness. Vulnerability.
On the other (non-aggressive) hand, I recently read SAD HAPPENS, a celebration of tears, edited by Brandon Stosuy who admits: “it became a way to get to the why of crying that had always interested me and that I’d never had the guts to ask about.”
Research as of 2019 is still controversial as to the effectiveness of Time outs versus Time INS. I encourage my adult clients to have TIME-INS where one can express their feelings out loud, aggressively, verbally and/or physically in a safe place, such as one’s car, or with a punching bag of some sort. Eventually the anger turns into tears, sobs, for a hurt encountered usually from parents.
My 55-year-old client, Michael, causes me to feel happy and proud as he has learned to swear, scream, rage by hitting or kicking when triggered by his wife, co-workers, his children, outside or in his car. A Time-IN for his truest hurt feelings to be heard. Some waitresses at his work now say, “I wish I had a dad like you.” Michael was told he was worth nothing by his alcoholic dad, was beaten, himself attended two drug rehabs. Now, he says “I’m sorry” to his wife. His boss, a restaurant owner asks, “how come you aren’t angry anymore?”
“I go to therapy,” as tears fall, fueling love.
PS. I’ve been told by The SUN magazine staff not to be “preachy” …I hope Michael is the preacher.