Managing My Emotions

This module begins with the management and regulation of emotions and then focuses particularly on anger management.

The purpose of this module is to enable young people to develop their emotional intelligence so that they can learn to express their feelings in a controlled way and reduce their impulsivity.

Its objectives are to provide the young person with an opportunity to:

  • to understand and name their emotions;
  • to learn how to express their feelings in a controlled and purposeful way;
  • to empathise with other people’s feelings and perspectives;
  • to learn how to recover from intense and distressing emotions.

Each of these modules is integrated by a common theoretical and practice model. The aim is to enable young people to become more resourceful.

Emotional Intelligence


Protective Factors

These modules are designed to enable young people to develop factors in their lives which both protect them from the risk factors associated with their behaviour and address criminogenic needs which are preventing them from having a safe and happy life.

The Protective Factor model

Relationships which support a pro-social lifestyle.

Expectations by significant adults of the young person’s positive future potential.

Skills to develop relationships, meet expectations and take advantage of opportunities.

Opportunities to meet individual needs and to make a contribution to community life.

Understanding of oneself, one’s behaviour and one’s environment.

Responsibility for choices, action and consequences.

Commitment which enables the young person to live consistently to values and rules.

Evaluation of action and its results so that the young person is continuously learning.

Success in achieving goals creating self confidence and self worth.


This module is based upon the assumption that emotional intelligence improves the young person’s ability to sustain positive relationships.


The module assumes that in part the young person’s difficulties originate in not having the opportunity to develop inter-personal skills.


Emotional awareness equips young people to make the best of their opportunities.


The module develops self awareness and the ability to understand others.


Emotional intelligence entails taking responsibility for one’s feelings.


This module enables the young person to develop empathy for others before they act.


Young people’s lack of self awareness often prevents them from evaluating the effect of their behaviour on others and learning from their mistakes.


This module offers the young person the opportunity to experience successful learning and behaviour change. The worker should be aware that for many young people success is measured in small steps and not in giant leaps. The style of delivery should be positive, appreciative of the young person’s difficulties and reinforcing of progress.

The length of time devoted to each session will vary from individual to individual. However, they should be approached as substantial sessions which might take at least an hour. They should not be rushed as it is important to gauge the young person’s pace as you develop the relationship.


  • Flipchart and markers
  • Pens and paper
Session One

Exercise 1 – What do feelings look like?

Purpose: To enable young people to develop their emotional awareness


Ask the young person to describe what specific feelings look like in other people. This can be done through:

  • drawing cartoon faces,
  • miming or sculpting faces, gestures and postures,
  • putting on voices,
  • using words e.g. sentences that someone might say if they were feeling something (imagine someone saying “What a day.” When they are sad, happy, angry, surprised etc.)

Try happy, sad, angry, scared, surprised, embarrassed, disgust, love.

Use the feelings faces below to support this exercise.


The young person improves their awareness of others’ emotions.

Exercise 2 – What are Emotions?

Purpose: To clarify what emotions are


Explain the purpose of this module.

Ask – What are feelings? Can you give some examples of feelings?

List them on the flipchart. Then make connections between the words. Organise them in the young person’s own words into families of emotions.

Families of Emotions

contempt, disdain, scorn, abhorrence, aversion, distaste, revulsion

joy, relief, enjoyment, contentment, bliss, delight, amusement, pride, pleasure, thrill, rapture, gratification, euphoria, ecstasy, mania

fury, outrage, resentment, wrath, exasperation, frustration, indignation, vexation, acrimony, jealousy, envy, annoyance, irritability, hostility, rage, hatred, violence.

grief, sorrow, gloom, down, melancholy, self-pity, loneliness, dejection, despair, depression

acceptance, friendliness, trust, kindness, affinity, attraction, devotion, adoration, infatuation

shock, astonishment, amazement, wonder

guilt, embarrassment, chagrin, remorse, humiliation, regret, mortification, contrition

anxiety, apprehension, nervousness, concern, consternation, misgiving, wariness, qualms, edginess, dread, fright, terror, phobia, panic

Ask – Which of these do you like and which dislike experiencing?

Ask – how would the young person describe themselves – do they have one predominant emotion? – anger, happiness, sadness, fear etc. Are they ok with this or would they like to be different?


The young person has increased his or her emotional vocabulary.

Session Two

Exercise 1 – What do emotions feel like?

Purpose: To enable young people to recognise emotions when they arise


Ask the young person to describe what it feels like to be:

  • happy
  • sad
  • frightened
  • angry

Develop this by asking where they feel it in their bodies. You could draw a body and write the feeling where the young person experiences it.

Ask – in what situations do you feel:

  • happy
  • sad
  • frightened
  • angry

What is it about these situations that bring on these feelings?

Explore whether it really is the situation

  • or the way you see it
  • or the memories of similar situations in the past.

Enable the young person to decide when it is appropriate and when inappropriate to feel certain feelings. – You can discuss different situations e.g. how do you feel if someone goes in front of you in a queue? Would it be different if you realised the person was blind? If so where did the anger come from and where did it go?


The young person is more aware of their emotions.

Exercise 2 – How to think about feelings

Purpose: To enable the young person to understand the connection between thinking and feeling


Give the young person an example of a situation that arouses a strong emotion and provokes a reaction. Choose one that you believe the young person will identify with.


  • A teacher tells you off in front of your friends for something you didn’t do.
  • Another young person who you don’t like seems to bump into you deliberately on the street.

Explore with the young person what is going through his/her head as this happens.

Help him/her to understand that one talks to oneself when deciding what to do. It is how one sees a situation and what one tells oneself that causes our response not the situation or the feeling it arouses.

What does the young person say to himself in this situation? Does this lead to what s/he wants? If not, what else could s/he say? Use the form below.

Encourage the young person to come up with a range of different self talk. Explain that more positive self talk can lead to more positive results. It is important to think of better ways of seeing threatening situations and to practice using them regularly.

Look at other situations that concern the young person and think of positive self talk for them. This should reflect a positive view of oneself and one’s ability to maintain control and act positively.


  • If he is putting me down, he must have the problem because I’m ok.
  • Just because he is looking at me, does not mean he is thinking bad things about me.
  • He is making a mistake. I will explain it to him.
  • Stay cool; I’m going to be ok.
  • Listen and try to understand before responding.
  • What he thinks does not matter to me.


The young person is able to influence responses through changing thoughts.

mme understanding my responses
Session Three

Exercise 1 – How to act on your feelings

Purpose: To enable the young person to understand the connection between emotions and actions


Ask the young person to imagine that they have to cross a very busy road – lots of vehicles going very fast.

Ask: how are you feeling? Anxious? Nervous? Frightened? Worried you are going to be late? Annoyed with the vehicles?

How would you act if you did not feel nervous? What would be the risks? What would make you feel less scared? E.g. alcohol, friends on the other side of the street saying you’re scared? Would that increase the risks? You are trying to demonstrate that emotions have useful purposes.

Now explore the use of this approach in the same situation – taking CARE.

CARE means:

  • Choosing
  • Acting
  • Results
  • Evaluating

Take one of the above situations and enable the young person

  • to consciously choose what to do;
  • to take controlled action;
  • to anticipate the results of the action;
  • to evaluate whether the action would achieve the desired results.

Press home the importance of using your emotions to “take care” of yourself.

Explain that emotion implies motion outwards (e-motion). That is action outside oneself.

Ask – What do you think each feeling is telling you?

  • Anger – (sort out the problem that is holding you back or frustrating you.)
  • Shame – (make amends or repair the harm)
  • Fear – (take care of yourself, avoid danger, confront it)
  • Love – (take care of the person or thing or activity that you love)

The point is that emotion motivates and directs attention to action. Taking the action will release the emotion and relieve the stress. This is about expressing your feelings in a controlled way. However, if your feelings are controlling your actions, they stay with you and mess up the way you see things and how you choose to act. Talk about examples of this.

Identify situations in which the young person feels strong emotions.

  • Explore what happens if they repress or lose control of them.
  • Now explore the use of “Taking Care”


The young person can take conscious action in situations of high emotion.

Session Four

Exercise 1 – How to communicate your feelings

Purpose: To enable the young person to express their emotions more effectively


Enable the young person to practice talking about feelings. Use the simple format to start with:

  • When you do …… (avoid put downs) or When this happens ……..(stick to the facts)
  • I feel …… (practice using ‘I’)
  • So I need ……..(feelings tell you what you need if you pay attention)
  • If appropriate add what you would like done or what you intend to do about it
  • I want you to ……/I’m going to say no/ I need help with……

Think up situations relevant to the individual (you could use ones previously identified) and role play or cartoon or just talk them through. Work through to the anticipated results and then evaluate them. Practice different feelings and different responses i.e. making requests, saying no, asking for help.


The young person is able to express their emotions consciously and purposefully.

Exercise 2 – How do you recover from distress?

Purpose: To explain the importance of letting bad feelings go


Explain: – If you hold bad feelings within you, they cause stress and can damage your health. They may also build up and cause reactions which are inappropriate to the situation. Like having a fight with your mother after a bad day at school.

What does the young person do with strong feelings now. Ask whether s/he uses tobacco, alcohol, drugs etc. Discuss the problems with these solutions.

Some positive solutions:

  • Talk about the advantages of having someone you trust to confide your feelings to.
  • Relaxation.
  • Getting involved in an activity that stops you dwelling on the feeling.

Generate as many ideas as possible on relaxation and activities and consider which the young person could do.

Finish the module with exercises building self esteem.

  • Five things I like about myself
  • Five things that I do well
  • Five good things that I have in my life
  • Five things that I want to do in the future

Next time someone is putting you down, or you are feeling low, or you feel embarrassed, or you are worried or frightened by something, remember these things about yourself and know that the feeling will go away and you will still be the same person. Complete the evaluation form

Emotional Intelligence - End Of Module Evaluation


Anger Management

For many young people aggression and violence is conceived as a strategy which the young person has learnt. This strategy has become a habit, an unconscious, automatic reaction to situations, which no longer works and may have disastrous results in the future.

The module enables the young person to develop protective factors as described below. It should be seen in the context of the goals that the young person has set and as an action step towards overcoming a block to the achievement of these goals.

Protective Factors


This module is based upon the assumption that the young person’s difficulties with coping with anger, aggression and violence may have affected relationships at home, at school and in the community in the past, may be weakening current relationships, and may inhibit the development of positive relationships in the future. The module enables the young person to become more aware of these consequences.


The module assumes that the young person is capable of change and that their behaviour does not need to be determined by past experiences, their environment or culture, or their genetic make-up. The worker assumes that the young person can have a good life and that their aggressive and violent behaviours are obstacles to be overcome.


The module assumes that in part the young person’s difficulties originate in not having the opportunity to develop skills in self awareness, self control, consequential thinking, conflict resolution and assertive communication. The development of these skills will be a resource for young people throughout their lives and in many contexts.


This module should be presented as an opportunity which if taken will open up many other valuable opportunities. The module assumes that young people may not see positive opportunities due to perceptions dominated by threats, may nor take opportunities due to lack of confidence in handling stress and conflict and may lose opportunities due to their ways of coping with stress and conflict.


This module enables the young person to improve understanding of his or her and other people’s reactions. The module develops self awareness and empathy.


Violence and aggression are often justified by blaming others. While the origins of young people’s behaviour may be influenced by what has happened to them and where they live, their ability to change their behaviour is largely dependent upon the extent that they are willing and able to take responsibility for their choices.


This module enables the young person to examine their thinking and beliefs and to base their actions on commitments to their future rather than their past.


Young people’s commitment to justifying their behaviour often prevents them from evaluating its effectiveness and learning from their mistakes. This module enables young people to look critically at their behaviour and ask whether they are getting the results they desire.


This module offers the young person the opportunity to experience successful learning and behaviour change. The worker should be aware that for many young people success is measured in small steps and not in giant leaps. The style of delivery should be positive, appreciative of the young person’s difficulties and reinforcing of progress.

The Cycle of Anger

This module’s model of change is based upon the Cycle of Violence. The figure below illustrates how anger, aggression and violence are distinct and how each arises in a process which includes the situation, how the individual perceives the situation, the assumptions and beliefs that give the perception meaning, the physical and emotional feelings which result and specific factors which trigger aggressive and/or violent behaviour.

mme the cycle of violence

This model offers opportunities for change at each stage of the process. The figure below outlines the strategies and techniques which the young person can learn through active participation in this module.

mme changing the cycle of violence
Session One

Understanding Anger

Exercise 1 – What are we dealing with?

Key skill:

Being able to tell the difference between anger, aggression and violence.


Write on the flipchart “VIOLENCE”. Tell the young person that you are not referring to his or her behaviour specifically but talking about violence generally.

Ask – What is violence? Write up all the words that the young person associates with violence. Discuss anything that these words raise for you.

Now looking at the words ask the young person to distinguish words that are feelings, that are attitudes, and that are behaviours. Does the he or she understand these distinctions? Clarify. You could tell a story to illustrate.

Here is an example. You may have a better one of your own.

A boy (or girl) was told off by the teacher at school. S/he had to take it because if you answer back you get punished. How is s/he feeling inside?

S/he goes home and her mum asks him/her how was school. S/he says “It was bad. I got told off for no reason.” The mother says “I’m sure you must have done something. Teachers don’t tell people off for nothing.” S/he shouts “You never understand! I hate you.” and slams the door and goes up to his or her bedroom and puts on loud music. How would you describe that behaviour?

Later the brother comes into the bedroom and yells “Turn that music down. I’m trying to do my homework.” After a short argument the boy/girl hits him and he runs down to his mother crying. How would you describe that behaviour?

Now distinguish:

  • ANGER – a feeling or emotion
  • AGGRESSION – an expressed attitude or behaviour that threatens others
  • VIOLENCE – an action that results in physical contact and injury both physical and emotional.

Ask if the YP can think of examples of each of these. If not give examples yourself.

Now ask the young person when they experience difficulties with each of these.

Enable the young person to be as specific as possible about events:

  • Where? In what situations (home, school, street),
  • With whom? people (family members, teachers, friends, other young people, police) etc.
  • How often? (how many times every day or if less how many times a week?)
  • How angry? Out of 10, 1 being pretty cool, 10 being like a volcano.
  • How long does it last? Minutes, hours, days?
  • What form does it take? Short burst, lengthy mood, shouting, slamming doors, threatening, hitting, self harm?
  • How do you feel afterwards?

Explain that this module is designed to help them with these difficulties.


The young person will be clear about the focus and purpose of the module.

Exercise 2 – When do you think it’s OK to be aggressive?

Purpose: To enable the young person to become aware of their beliefs and values in relation to violence


Using the list of statements (below) ask the young person to complete the questionnaire.

Explore the thinking processes leading to choices and highlight any contradictions in the grading of some of the statements. Try to avoid directly challenging with your views.

Simply inquire into:

  1. the consequences of thinking like that
  2. and if there is another way of thinking about it
  3. and if there was, what would be the consequences of that.

Don’t force anything – be curious.

Try to summarise any patterns of beliefs or values e.g. about being male, about difference, about loyalty or belonging..


  • You have to be able to protect yourself;
  • If you’re not tough people will take advantage of you.
  • It’s the only way to get respect;
  • You have to prove you are a man by fighting.
  • Everyone should think and behave like me.
  • You have to back your mates right or wrong.
  • Life should be fair and it’s not. So that justifies what I do.
  • I had no choice…
  • That’s just the way I am;
  • I can’t change. It’s just the way I am.
  • Life would be boring without violence.

You could ask ‘Where did that belief come from?’ or ‘where did you learn that?’ you want the young person to understand that beliefs come from the outside world not from some inner or absolute truth.


What have you learnt about violence:

  • from your father?
  • From your mother?
  • From your friends?
  • From your community?
  • From the TV/films/computer games/music/rap

Finally what are some of the positive things about anger?

Anger can:

  • make you stand up against injustice – can you think of examples?
  • give you the energy to overcome obstacles – can you think of any examples?
  • motivate you to solve problems – can you think of any examples?

But only if it is controlled and directed at the cause.


The young person will realise that aggression and violence are at least in part due to choices based upon learned beliefs and by implication choices can be changed.

mme would you questionnaire

Exercise 3 – Questionnaire

Process: Ask the YP to complete a questionnaire (below)


The form should be retained. The exercise will be repeated at the end of the programme in order to evaluate change.

mme would you questionnaire
Session Two

Becoming Aware of How You Behave

Exercise 1 – What actually happens when you get violent?

Purpose: To understand the experience of aggression from the young person’s point of view


Remind the young person of Includem’s policy on disclosure of offences. Ask the young person to cartoon an incident (example format below. This can be done on A4 or a flipchart) which resulted in him or her being violent.

You may need to provide some structure and support.


  • What time of the day?
  • Where?
  • What mood were you in?
  • Who was with you?
  • What led up to it?
  • Who was the other person and who else was there?
  • What happened to start it?
  • What did you do?
  • What were you feeling during it? How strong was the feeling?
  • How did you feel after it?
  • What happened after the incident?
  • How well would you say you handled yourself? (out of 10)

The cartoon is then hung on the wall, while the individual is prompted to explore the following issues: What started it all? What was it about the situation that made you angry? Did you feel your anger change in nature or in intensity? When? What caused that? What part did drugs/alcohol/friends/onlookers play in the incident? What made you decide to fight?

Explore how the young person saw the situation. Point out any thinking errors. These are assumptions and conclusions unsupported by facts.


  • catastrophising – immediately jumping to the worst possible conclusion about what is going to happen;
  • generalising – ‘they (police, other races etc.) are all the same’
  • personalising – ‘he’s looking at me – he’s disrespecting me’.
  • minimising – I hardly touched him.
  • rigid rules – ‘a man’s gotta do…’

Now explore this incident a little more deeply.

Ask: Why did you do it? For every answer ask again why did you do that or why was that important or why do you want that?

Keep going till you feel you have got to the core intention behind the young person’s aggression or violence. (see example in the box below)

It is important that this is done gently not confrontationally, appreciatively not judgmentally, with interest and curiosity rather as an interrogation or a test.

Once you have got to the core intention it should be

  1. positive
  2. a motive common to most people
  3. usually dealing with a common fear.

Now by making the effort to understand and not judge you have a positive intention to work with. You can then explore with the young person if there are better ways of achieving e.g. safety or respect.

Now look at the story again and ask: could you have got what you wanted in a different way? Could the argument/dispute have been resolved in another way? At what points could you have acted differently? Was there a point of no return? When could you have stepped away without losing face? Could you have reduced the negative consequences? Did you get the result you wanted?

What do you think about it now?


“Why do think you used a weapon?”

“Because I always carry one when I’m out at night”

“Why do you that?”

“Because it can be dangerous at night in the town centre.”

“Why is it dangerous?”

“Because a lot of young people get into fights and carry knives.”

“Why do they do that”

“Because they want to be safe”

“Why is it important to you to be safe?”

“Because I don’t want to get hurt.”

“Why don’t you want to get hurt”

“Because I don’t like pain and I might get scarred or even killed.”

“So you want to stay healthy, safe and have a good life and you are afraid you might lose all that if you don’t have a weapon.”


The young person will begin to consider that there may be better ways of meeting their needs than through aggression.

mme it all starts like this form
Session Three

How to control your aggression

Exercise 1 – What kicks you off?

Purpose: To identify what triggers anger and aggression in the young person


Explain that sometimes we get into aggressive situations before we know it and when it is too late to do anything about it. Does that ever happen to you?

If so, it is useful to see the warning signs as early as possible so that you can think of what else you can do.

Draw an outline of a person. How does your body warn you that you are getting ready for a fight? See if the young person can point to areas of their body which change under pressure. (see the list below for prompts).

Recognising feelings related to anger

These physical feelings in your body are connected with your emotional feelings which are another sign that you are under pressure. This pressure may be caused by having needs that are not being met.

Think of these examples:

Your friend’s parents are splitting up. He is always angry. Maybe he is also feeling:

  1. Worried;
  2. Frightened;
  3. Embarrassed;
  4. Rejected.

‘Which do you think?’

Why might he feel this way? What does he need that he is not getting? What could he do?

Your friend was told off by the teacher in front of the whole class and he lost his temper. Maybe he is also feeling:

  1. It’s unfair;
  2. No one understands me;
  3. I don’t care;
  4. Ashamed.’

Which do you think?’

Why might he feel this way? What does he need that he is not getting?

What could he do?

A group of young people point at your friend in the street and laugh. He shouts at them and gets into a fight. Maybe he is also feeling.

  1. Embarrassed they’re disrespecting me;
  2. Frightened of losing face;
  3. Confused about what to do;
  4. Sorry he lost control.

‘Which do you think?’

Why might he feel this way? What does he need that he is not getting? What could he do?

Describe a time when you were angry because things were not going well in your life.

  • ‘What else were you feeling?’
  • ‘What thoughts caused these feelings?’
  • ‘What did you need that were not getting’
  • ‘How did you act?’
  • ‘How could you have acted differently?’

Go for quantity of strategies at first. It is important to show that you do have choices.

Once this is acknowledged ask the young person to choose the best for him or her.

What criteria is the young person using to make the choice? By making these explicit you are developing principles that each individual can apply.

It may be useful for the young person to recall coping strategies that have worked successfully for them in the past.

If the YP is not convinced that thinking can change powerful feelings, try an example. You are in a queue and in a hurry. Someone cuts in front of you. You are annoyed and tap them on the shoulder. It turns out they are blind. What do you do?

Some suggestions:

  • deep breathing
  • count slowly backwards from 20
  • think of something pleasant instead
  • talk to yourself “stay calm” “keep in control” “it’s not worth it”

Each of these techniques reduces arousal level and gives you time to think.


The young person is aware of what triggers his or her aggression and will have some strategies to resist provocation.

Warning Signs

Body signals:

  • Sweaty palms
  • Quickened heartbeat
  • Shallow breathing or panting
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Clenched fists
  • Butterflies in the stomach
  • Tension in neck
  • Headache
  • Shaking legs or arms

Body language:

  • Shouting
  • Pointing finger
  • Threatening posture
  • Fidgeting with jewellery/ clothing
  • Red angry face

Exercise 2 – Conversations with yourself

Purpose: To explain how the way you make sense of a situation leads to your way of dealing with it


With the young person identify the ‘buttons’ people push to create anger and aggression among young people (not the individual) e.g. nagging, ignoring, disrespecting, teasing, giving cheek.

Then ask: What are the your buttons? What is it about these that sets off the anger and aggression?

Try to get really specific – what words hurt/embarrass most? What actions? Which people?

When people know your triggers, what do they do? Can they control you?

How can you make sure that people don’t discover them? You need to hide your reaction. One way is to have a conversation with yourself inside your head so you can ignore the provocation.

Try to list positive arguments against aggression and violence that the individual can use with himself or herself.


  • I don’t need to take it personally;
  • I don’t need to prove myself;
  • This won’t get me what I want;
  • It’s not worth it;
  • He’s trying to get me into trouble. I’m not going to allow him to control what I do;
  • Just stay calm;
  • He wants me to lose control and look stupid;
  • I’m not going to let him bring me down to his level;
  • I will show people how cool and controlled I am;
  • He’s in a bad mood. It’s got nothing to do with me;
  • If I say and do nothing, he won’t get any satisfaction.

Practice: the worker says he will try to provoke you and you just repeat one of these statements and see how it feels.


The young person will have developed arguments against aggression for him/herself.

Session Four

Being Assertive

Exercise 1 – Understanding the Different Ways that You Improve Relationships.

Purpose: To explain how to communicate more assertively


Administer the questionnaire below. Help with literacy difficulties and explain the questions as you go along.

  • The first three questions relate to the ability to express feelings;
  • The second two relate to the ability to say no;
  • The third three relate to getting what you want;
  • The ninth question relates to dealing with criticism.
  • The tenth question relates to empathy.

Discuss where the young person has most difficulty. Ask: in which circumstances and with which people does he or she experience these difficulties?

Ask: Would you like to be able to overcome these difficulties?

Explain the differences between assertiveness, aggressiveness and passivity (see handout).

Now ask the young person to tell a story about the last time they had an argument with someone – a parent, brother or sister, a friend, a teacher etc. Let them tell in their own words and then go through it with them in detail filling out the form below (An argument I had).

Now ask the young person to say when in his or her story people were being assertive, aggressive or passive. Gently correct and explain if they get it wrong.


The young person will understand different forms of communication.

Recap and homework:

Ask the young person to summarise what they have learnt in this session. If they have forgotten significant parts, remind them.

The homework is to think of events in which the young person has used these forms of communication.

mme communication questionnaire



Underneath? Looks like
Insensitive talk
Controlling others
Feeling hurt – need revenge
Thinking no one likes me
Embarrassed or nervous
Lack of respect – fear
Not asking for anything
Say nothing
Fear and lack of self respect
Don’t feel good about me
ASSERTIVENESS Ask for what one wants
Says no when under pressure
Stands up oneself
Does not putting others down
Can talk about feelings
Does not lose control
Thinks about goals
Lives by own rules
Respects oneself
Cares about others
Accepts oneself
Feel good about me
mme an arguement i had

Exercise 2 – Understanding your responses

Purpose: To apply the different forms of communication to the young person’s reality


Ask the young person to think of a situation in which he or she had responded in each of the 3 ways (Use form page).

Discuss what makes each situation different and why the young person made different choices. What were the consequences? Were they then choices that worked?

You are trying to develop the idea that everyone makes choices on the basis of what they see and think. If you make choices that don’t work for you, you can change the way you see situations or the way you think about them.

This may prove a difficult exercise. Provide support and suggestions. E.g. what about at school? What if you are being teased by a bigger person?

When asking whether a response worked connect it with the young person’s goals rather than an abstract moral principle.

Refer back to earlier exercises on relationships and work on the specific tasks they have set themselves to improve relationships. Coach the young person on how they might be more assertive. Use role play if necessary. You could take the young person’s role and demonstrate strategies and communication skills.


The young person understands the relevance of effective communication.

mme my responses

Exercise 3 – Choosing which way to respond

Purpose: To practice choosing different responses to situations


Show a video of this week’s soap (find out which one the young person prefers). Go through it and pick out interesting interactions and ask them same questions.

  • What do you thinking s/he is feeling? Why?
  • How does that make him/her think?
  • Why did s/he say/do that?
  • What were the consequences?
  • Is that what s/he wanted?

Using the scenarios below ask the young person:

  • to say what they would do,
  • to identify whether their response is assertive, aggressive or passive,
  • to say why they chose that response.

Try to explore the pros and cons of each type response in terms of probable consequences. But let the young person take responsibility for the choice and the consequences.

Complete the evaluation form.


The young person can make a greater range of responses to situations.

What Would You Do?


Your teacher makes fun of in class for a silly mistake that you have made. You have no money and your friend refuses to pay back the money he or she owes you.
You social worker keeps you waiting half an hour for your appointment and offers no explanation or apology. The Police are winding you up on the street.
After your friend leaves your house you realise your favourite DVD or CD is missing. You hear that your friend is talking about you behind your back.
Your neighbour complains that you are playing your music too loud. You are being followed round in a shop by one of the assistants.
Session Five

Thinking and Acting Smart

Exercise 1 – Putting it all together

Controlling Anger

Purpose: To review learning so far in dealing with aggressive or violent behaviour


Bring all the learning together using the Cycle of Violence.

mme changing the cycle of violence

Explain this model by using examples that have come up during your work with the young person throughout this programme. You could draw the cycle on a flipchart and as the young person for examples you have discussed at each stage. Add them to the diagram at the appropriate stage.

Use the form below to reinforce the learning.

mme going round the cycle of violence


The young person has a range of methods for avoiding aggression.

Exercise 2 – Making Commitments

Purpose: To engage the young person in making commitments to change attitudes and behaviours that are blocking progress towards goals


Reviewing the work so far identify:

  • Three behaviours and attitudes which you both agree are likely to increase the risk of violence;
  • Three behaviours and attitudes which you both agree are likely to reduce the risk of violence.

Ask what support would you need from Includem, family, friends, school etc to keep to these commitments.

Complete the ‘Commitments’ form below.

Ask the young person’s permission to support and also challenge when he or she does not keep his or her word.

mme commitments

Review the programme

1.Complete the Anger Control Questionnaire. Discuss any changes since the beginning of the programme.

2.Complete the Evaluation form

mme anger control questionnaire
Anger Management - End of Module Evaluation
Structured Coaching Conversation

Structured coaching conversations are designed:

  • To reinforce the commitments the young person has made;
  • To enable the young person to develop self respect;
  • To enable the young person to learn from experience;
  • To support the young person to achieve goals.

When the young person keeps commitments:

Use questions

  • What happened?
  • What result did you get?
  • How did it feel?
  • What did it take for you to get that result?
  • How do you feel about yourself now?

Give feedback as specific as possible relating to the commitments the young person has made to change attitudes and behaviours. Express your respect.

Ask what the young person has learnt from the experience.

Ask the young person in what other situations he/she could use this attitude or behaviour.

Encourage the young person to use the attitude or behaviour again soon. Try to identify a specific situation which is likely to happen or can be planned in the near future.

Record with the young person what he or she ‘got’ from the Experience in the appropriate ‘Doing it’ form.

Guide the young person in filling in the ‘Success!’ form

When commitments are not kept:

Use questions

  • What happened?
  • What result did you get?
  • How did you feel?
  • What caused the result?
  • How do you feel now?

If the young person reverts to attitudes and behaviours they committed to change, gently point this out. Connect these to the result.

Explore how this may be an example of what is going wrong in his/her life. Identify other situations where this attitude or behaviour has not worked.

Imagine how the situation would have turned out if he/she had employed the attitude or behaviours to which he or she had committed.

Ask what the young person has learnt from the experience.

Encourage the young person to use the positive attitude or behaviour again soon. Try to identify a specific situation which is likely to happen or can be planned in the near future.

Record with the young person what he or she ‘got’ from the experience in the appropriate ‘Doing it’ form.

Guide the young person in filling in the ‘Success!’ form

global - success_form
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