Coping with family disputes in focus at National Anger Awareness Week

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Grasping the inherent causes of anger and empowering individuals to reduce it are key messages of the British Association of Anger Management's (BAAM) National Anger Awareness Week 2012.

Anger Management Family Law Issues

Scheduled for the first week in December, the initiative will encourage people to prepare themselves for any serious in-family anger issues which could blight the forthcoming seasonal festivities.

As BAAM founder Mike Fisher notes, a family row at Christmas can be almost inevitable. "It's a stressful time. Someone's fed-up in the kitchen, we can be overloaded at work, everyone wants something different on the TV, relationships with partners and families are under the microscope, the kids are playing up and your parents-in-law are coming to stay," says Mr Fisher, who has written a self-help book called 'Beating Anger'.

Although Mr Fisher's observations seem mildly droll, he and his organisation are engaged in exceptionally serious and valuable work. According to the Department of Health, around 750,000 children a year witness some sort of domestic violence. Fuelled by the extra alcohol that tends to prevail at Christmas, what starts as a relatively modest family disagreement can quickly escalate.

Mr Fisher says that National Anger Awareness Week is designed to prompt everyone to prepare themselves with simple coping strategies to create a calm and cooperative atmosphere.

"It's all about learning to take control of your behaviour. Everyone feels angry at some time; what matters is how you express that anger."

Part of BAAM's anger management campaign is its 'Keep Your Cool Kit'. Designed for year-round use, the kit's first element, The Rage Gauge, is a 4-stage method of pinpointing anger issues and finding ways to deal with them positively.

The kit also includes advice on calming strategies, taking users through the 'Clearing Process'. This helps express conflict in an appropriate fashion, preventing users from clinging to the anger and building up minor issues until something gives.

Concludes Mike Fisher: "What you can learn from the Keep Your Cool Kit can be used at any time of year to help deal with those difficult emotions."

It is worth remembering that the law has provisions against domestic violence. In any such event, a solicitor versed in the Family Law Act 1996 – a complex piece of legislation which requires a specialist to navigate – is an extremely useful ally.


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