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Inside a private anger management practice

By Leila Feldman

The problem with anger is that it causes a mental downshift and too often the exclusion of one’s reasoning – it is best to seek counselling prior to its eruption.

Where anger has been expressed in violence, anger management counselling can help the individual understand the root of his or her emotional reaction, and work to change their thinking and behaviour.

I have specialized in individual counselling on anger issues for the last six years. My clients include those facing domestic assault charges, corporate employees who generate conflict and individuals, including adolescents, burdened with anger.  My reports have been widely accepted in the Criminal Division of the Ontario Court of Justice. I have a Master’s degree in counselling psychology and am certified in anger management counselling.

Current news reports of anger and violence can be seen in the protests in Montreal over the tuition hikes. Internationally, Spanish miners have burned barricades as their anger over spending cuts in the mining sector escalates. In certain circumstances, outbursts can be ameliorated, or better yet prevented, with anger management intervention.

Intensive one-on-one counselling can have a remedial impact on clients, particularly in assault cases, where I can focus on my client’s particular problems and tailor each session according to his or her personality and needs. In this way, I believe, this psycho-educational program offers the advantage of the development of insights relevant to the individual, as well as the acquiring of specific tools with which to manage conflict and stress and improve relationships.

The court views anger management counselling either as a positive aid for certain cases or absolutely necessary. The context of privacy in which my sessions are conducted encourages, in my view, open, more fulsome and hopefully, more meaningful communication. Also, there isn’t a backlog problem in my practice.

I work with a recognized and comprehensive program that encompasses up to 10 one-hour sessions. I use an information-laden but easy-to-read workbook and require homework as part of the learning process. The fundamentals upon which I focus include communication skills, empathy training and stress and anger management. I am gratified that clients often report they have benefitted from the new insights and skills training and are encouraged to continue the work involved in changing their behaviour to improve their relationships and family life.

The majority of my cases are from criminal courts. But, my practice also complements family law concerns where stress, anger and alienation fuel breakdown in marriages with potential emotional harm to children. The insights gained and skills learned in my program can assist those in conflict to better manage their relationships while being mindful of the best interests of the children.

My support of The Toronto Western Hospital Brain Skull Fund has developed for several reasons. According to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, 10,000 Canadians are diagnosed with brain tumours annually. Many of these patients are in need of a very specialized surgery yet become wait-listed which can have devastating results. I personally have had this remarkable life-saving surgery from this excellent hospital within the last year. It would be for me a great accomplishment to assist in Toronto Western Hospital’s commitment to become the most comprehensive and outstanding brain surgery hospital in Canada.

An outline of my practice can be reviewed on my website:

Leila Feldman, M.A., C.A.M.F., OACCPP

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