Johnny and his mother, Mary, came to my office last year. Johnny and Mary felt that ‘the anger’ was getting Johnny into trouble and wanted to do something about it. Both said that Johnny’s brother, Jason, and Johnny’s father, Bob, didn’t know what to do about ‘the anger’ either. As we talked, we realized that ‘the anger’ was so big that everyone in the family had it as a major influence in their life. I was very curious to learn more about ‘the anger’ and asked them to invite Jason and Bob to our next meeting.
We began our conversation to find out more about the presence of ‘the anger’ in the family interactions. We talked for a while; each family member told me about what ‘the anger’ made them do, think and feel; Mary and Bob described ‘the anger’; Johnny and Jason drew pictures of ‘the anger’ that each experienced in their lives.
We posted the pictures of ‘the anger’ on the wall; we were all were looking at them and trying to figure out what to do with ‘the anger’. They all convinced me that they didn’t want to have ‘the anger’ in their life anymore. As we were looking at them, we found some similarity and differences amongst the pictures. We noticed that they were all working together against what Mary, Bob, Johnny and Jason wanted for their lives. Johnny said, “I think ‘the anger’ has learned to play a trick on me”. We discovered the tricks that ‘the anger’ played on him. In doing this, they became further aware of avenues that allowed ‘the anger’ to walk in; they learned about the triggers that invited ‘the anger’ in their relationship with one another.
We worked together to discover new things about ‘the anger’. Johnny was able to see a link between his fist and the colour of ‘the anger’; Mary was able to detect how intense ‘the anger’ gets when she doesn’t have enough sleep; Bob was able to pay attention to his tone of voice and its influence on Mary and the children; and Jason discovered that ‘the anger’ doesn’t like ‘sharing’. “The more we talked about ‘the anger’, the smaller and smaller ‘the anger’ became”, Mary said.
In one of our meetings Mary said they, as a family, developed a very playful and fun way of talking about ‘the anger’ at home; they learned to support each other when ‘the anger’ walks into their lives. Bob said they teach and learn from each other new ways of keeping ‘the anger’ out of their relationships.
In Our 10th sessions Johnny gave me a letter as soon as he came in. Mary looked at me and said ‘this is a letter that Johnny dictated to me; I wrote it for him. I am very proud of him.’ In his letter he said: “My birthday was last week; I am one year older now. On my birthday, I kicked ‘the anger’ out of our house; I opened the window, and tossed it out of the window. I don’t want ‘the anger’ in my life anymore; I don’t want it at home; I don’t want it to get me into trouble. ”
Mary and Bob told me what Johnny and Jason had been doing between our sessions. Mary and Bob were in tears and said, “We are learning from our children. We always knew Johnny has determination but we never thought he would teach us this. We are going to stick together in this”.
Mary and Bob said, “Since his birthday everything has changed in our home; it is quiet, peaceful, and more pleasant. Everyone does what they have to do; each does their own share; even our dog is calmer”. Bob said that “We are going to stay united against ‘the anger’ and we don’t let it tear our family apart.”
It was an emotional session. The family’s efforts and unity in their battle were acknowledged. We felt that life without ‘the anger’ was more pleasant, respectful and fun.
In our closing conversation, Johnny and his family gave me permission to share their knowledge and wisdom with other children and families who have the same challenge in life. They felt proud of their achievements and wanted to help others. Their significant inside knowledge was passed on to others.
If you are interested in discovering further the problems that bother you and learning more about the problems’ tricks, come visit me. If you know people who can benefit from my service, please connect them to me. For further information, visit my website www.taherehbarati.com
Looking forward to having a conversation with you.