Emotional Intelligence Continuing Education Seminar a Smashing Success

Anderson & Anderson®, the Trusted Name in Anger Management, conducted an eight-hour continuing education seminar on Tuesday, May 27th, 2008. This seminar was strictly focused on Emotional Intelligence and the Personal Skills Assessment that addresses empathy. The purpose of this seminar was to coach current anger management providers (who utilize the Anderson & Anderson model of anger management) on how to assess and measure the level of empathy of each client they meet with. The Emotional Intelligence Profile measures several kinds of skills that each person uses on a daily basis. These include intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, career/life skills, and personal wellness skills.

Providers from different parts of the country attended this groundbreaking seminar. Among those in attendance were providers from South Carolina, Alabama, and several counties in California. All of these providers reported that they are doing extremely well providing anger management for court referrals, business referrals, and voluntary clientele.

This seminar was provided as an opportunity for providers to get an early start on completing continuing education units required for maintaining status as an Anderson & Anderson anger management provider. Most importantly, however, it was a great opportunity for providers to get together and learn new ways in which they can increase the professionalism of the Anderson & Anderson model and vastly improve in their methods of reaching new clientele.

Anderson & Anderson will continue to offer these kinds of seminars. The goal is to have yearly physical contact with providers so that they are kept up to date with the latest and greatest of our anger management model. We also want them to address any issues they may be having that prove to be hindrances to their success as anger management providers.

Rasheed Ahmed
Office Manager
Anderson & Anderson®
The Trusted Name in Anger Management
Ph: 310-207-3591  
Fax: 310-207-6234

Non-Psychiatric Evaluation & Coaching for “Disruptive Physicians”

Physicians who are referred or mandated to attend an anger management program consistent with the Joint Commission for The Accreditation of Health Care Organizations’s guidelines (JCAHO) must be careful to protect themselves from the inherent risk of enrolling in a program that includes psychological/psychiatric assessments. Any physician who is considered by his organization to be “disruptive” should seek out approved/experienced Executive Coaching/Anger Management Programs which use valid assessment instruments designed exclusively to screen for base line functioning in recognizing and managing anger, stress, assertive communication and emotional intelligence.

The American Psychiatric Association has correctly determined that anger is not a pathological condition and is not listed in the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Nervous And Mental Disorders. Therefore, anger management it is not subject to psychiatric intervention. Rather, anger is a normal human emotion, which is experienced by everyone.

Any type of paper trail that implies or suggests psychiatric impairment can prove to be problematic for physicians applying for medical staff privileges, teaching positions or Managed Health Care service provider contracts. Since there is still a stigma associated with mental illness, anything that implies such a diagnoses must be avoided.

Anger is considered a problem, when it is too intense, occurs too frequently, lasts too long, leads to aggression or violence, disrupts interpersonal relationships or has health consequences.

Unhealthy anger is not a mental health problem; it is not responsive to counseling, psychotherapy, psychiatric intervention nor psychotropic medication. The ideal anger management program is one that includes a comprehensive assessment for anger, stress, communication and emotional intelligence. The most appropriate intervention is Executive Coaching/Anger Management for Physicians with an After-care component.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Increased Empathy

Empathy is the ability to recognize and respond to other peoples’ emotions. It is connected to optimism because it is through a sense of our connections to others that we see our own sense of well-being and importance. Another word for this is “conscience”. Together they govern a large part of our behavior. They are the gatekeepers of our emotional selves. When we are empathic, it affects us when we hurt others and/or when we see them hurt. We actually experience for ourselves the emotions of others. It becomes a motivation not only to do what makes us feel good, but also what makes others feel good. Thus, empathy is the force that makes the Golden Rule true.

It Starts At Birth

Some parts of empathy are instinctive. Infants will reach out and touch others in distress. In maternity wards, one infant’s tears will lead to a room full of crying babies. This mimicry is the first step toward forming empathy.

Connection Is Important

Unfortunately, this unconscious or instinctive behavior does not automatically lead to conscious empathy. Instead, these seeds must be nurtured through role modeling, reinforcement, and practice. Once people develop empathy on a conscious level, it becomes natural and self-reinforcing, because it fulfills a deep-seated need to connect with others.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Children Who Bully Also Have Problems With Other Relationships

ScienceDaily (Mar. 26, 2008 ) — Students who bully others tend to have difficulties with other relationships, such as those with friends and parents. Targeting those relationships, as well as the problems children who bully have with aggression and morality, may offer ideas for intervention and prevention.

Those are the findings of a new study that was conducted by scientists at York University and Queens University. The researchers looked at 871 students (466 girls and 405 boys) for seven years from ages 10 to 18. Each year, they asked the children questions about their involvement in bullying or victimizing behavior, their relationships, and other positive and negative behaviors.

Bullying is a behavior that most children engage in at some point during their school years, according to the study. Almost a tenth (9.9 percent) of the students said they engaged in consistently high levels of bullying from elementary through high school. Some 13.4 percent said they bullied at relatively high levels in elementary school but dropped to almost no bullying by the end of high school. Some 35.1 percent of the children said they bullied peers at moderate levels. And 41.6 percent almost never reported bullying across the adolescent years.

The study also found that children who bullied tended to be aggressive and lacking in a moral compass and they experienced a lot of conflict in their relationships with their parents. In addition, their relationships with friends also were marked by a lot of conflict, and they tended to associate with others who bullied.

The findings provide clear direction for prevention of persistent bullying problems, according to Debra Pepler, Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University and Senior Associate Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. Pepler, who is the study’s lead author, calls bullying “a relationship problem.”

“Interventions must focus on the children who bully, with attention to their aggressive behavior problems, social skills, and social problem-solving skills. A focus on the child alone is not sufficient. Bullying is a relationship problem that requires relationship solutions by focusing on the bullying children’s strained relationships with parents and risky relationships with peers,” according to Pepler. “By providing intensive and ongoing support starting in the elementary school years to this small group of youth who persistently bully, it may be possible to promote healthy relationships and prevent their ‘career path’ of bullying that leads to numerous social-emotional and relationship problems in adolescence and adulthood.”

Summarized from Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 2, Developing Trajectories of Bullying and Associated Factors by Pepler, D, Jiang, D (York University), Craig, W (Queens University), and Connolly, J (York University).


News Brief from Anderson & Anderson

May has been a remarkable month at Anderson & Anderson®. George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, trained 16 School Counselors in Fremont California, which resulted in 6 new Anger Management Pilot Programs in three High Schools, one Middle School, one Continuing Education Program, and an At Risk Program for Adolescents. All of these programs will be funded by the Alameda County Department of Health.

Dr. Thomas Wentz of the Anderson & Anderson faculty represented the firm at an all day conference in San Francisco sponsored by Public Defender, Jeffrey Adachi on Gang Violence. This was one of the best-attended and most successful conferences of this type held in California. Anderson & Anderson is in negations to conduct a pilot anger management gang prevention program in the San Francisco Area as a result of this conference.

In April and May, Anderson & Anderson has seen the largest number of Physicians referrals for Executive Coaching. While most have been to our Brentwood Office, two have been in Texas and one in Indiana. Information regarding our Anger Management/Executive Coaching for physicians routinely appears in references on the website of the Joint Commission on The Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

At the request of the largest Hospital Client Corporation, Anderson & Anderson will expand its Executive Coaching/Anger Management for Physicians to include “boundaries training” for mandated physicians.

The new workbook “Practice of Control, Anger Management/Executive Coaching for Physicians” will be introduced to the public within the next three weeks. This publication by George Anderson will be the first book of its kind to focus exclusively on help for “disruptive physicians”. Dr. Tom Wentz is the Editor of this publication.

George Anderson has been approached by the California Highway Patrol to provide on-site anger management at one of its regional offices for Uniformed Personnel.

Los Angeles based Southwest College has selected the Anderson & Anderson anger management curriculum for use in its Substance Abuse Counseling Program. The Anderson & Anderson model will be used as electives for this training.

Our Beliefs Control Our Behavior

At a young age, we learn lessons from our families on how to cope, how to get our needs met, and how to protect ourselves. These strategies reinforce one another, and we develop a complex structure of beliefs to support the reasonableness of our behaviors.

Nature developed our emotions over millions of years of evolution. As a result, our emotions have the potential to serve us today as a guidance system. Our emotions alert us when any natural human need is not being met. For example, when we feel lonely, our need for connection with other people is unmet. When we feel afraid, our need for safety is unmet. When we feel rejected, it is our need for acceptance that is unmet.

Our emotions are a useful source of information. Our emotions help us make decisions. Studies show that if we have an accident in which the portion of the brain that deals with emotions is damaged, we cannot make even simple decisions. Why? Because we don’t know how we will feel about our choices.

Our emotions help us communicate with others. Our facial expressions, for example, can convey a wide range of emotions.  If we look sad or hurt, we are letting the other person know that we need their help. If we are verbally skilled we will be able to express more of our emotional needs and thereby have a better chance of filling them. If we are good at listening to the emotional needs of others, we are better able to help them feel understood, important, and cared about.

As our society has become more pressured and we are constantly overwhelmed by stress, our ability to recognize and respond to our own feelings and those of others are diminished. Therefore, we are more prone to stress related disorders, including a reduced ability to manage the intense feelings that produce anger. Consequently, there is an increase in road rage, desk rage, person-directed violence, substance abuse, and other harmful displays of anger.

Our emotions are perhaps the greatest potential source of uniting all members of the human race. This is what makes us human. Clearly, our various religious, cultural, and political beliefs have not united us. Far too often, in fact, they divide us. Emotions, on the other hand, are universal. The emotions of empathy, compassion, cooperation and forgiveness, for instance, all have the potential to unite us as people. Out thoughts may tend to divide us, whereas our emotions, if given the chance, will unite us.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Anderson and Anderson Faculty Member an Invited Panelist for Fifth Annual Public Defender’s Juvenile Justice Summit: “Less Talk, More Action: Solutions for Safe Schools and Safe Streets”

Anderson and Anderson Anger Management/Emotional Intelligence consultant and faculty member, T. L. Wentz, Ph.D., was an invited panelist who participated in the Fifth Annual Public Defender’s Juvenile Justice Summit in San Francisco, May 14, 2008, hosted by Mr. Jeffrey Adachi, Director, San Francisco Public Defender’s Office.  This year’s theme for the conference was “Less Talk, More Action:  Solutions for Safe Schools and Safe Streets” and focused upon reducing violence in San Francisco’s schools and high-risk communities among students.

The host, Mr. Adachi, in his conference-opening remarks, made special note and “thanked Mr. George Anderson, Executive Director of Anderson and Anderson Anger Management, the world’s largest provider of Anger Management/Emotional Intelligence training for the presence and participation of his consultant, Dr. Tom Wentz, an expert on Anger Management and emotional intelligence.”

The keynote speaker, Dr. Francisco Reveles, Professor of Educational Leadership and Senior faculty member at CSU – Sacramento, as well as a nationally recognized leader, curriculum author, and most recently, film producer in the areas of resilience and risk-taking youth in the prevention of Latino school dropouts. Dr. Reveles, a former youth migrant worker in the agricultural fields from Texas to California, stressed the importance of “empowerment of Latino youths, and, of all young men and women, to set their sights beyond the barrio and to determine their own futures; to search beyond where they are on the streets ask themselves, does what I do have self-respect?”  Dr. Reveles concluded his remarks with the high expectations he places on all his students and Latino youth and to do the same for themselves.”

The panelists included Margaret Brodkin, State Director DCYF; Carlos Garcia, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District; Nathaniel Ford, MTA Director; Angela Chan, J.D., Director, Asian Law Project; James Dierke, Middle School Principal of Visitation Valley Middle School and the National Middle School Principal of the Year, 2007; and Captain Marsha Ashe, San Francisco Police Department.

Dr. Wentz, representative of Anderson and Anderson Anger Management/Emotional Intelligence services, Brentwood, CA, drew the first ovation from the audience of approximately 300 San Franciscans and fellow panelists when he said:

“The Anderson and Anderson model of Anger Management/Emotional Intelligence is the  only anger management skills building curriculum recognized by the California courts  and penal system as effective in producing positive, individual change.  Thirty years ago,  Mr. Anderson recognized a need and continues to fulfill that need today.  However, in  order to appreciate Mr. Anderson’s efforts to help others, I would like to share something  about Mr. Anderson with all of you.

Mr. Anderson is a 70 year old Black man who grew-up in Mississippi during World War II and has experienced things no person should ever have to endure. He was diagnosed as mentally retarded before Special Education even existed. Later, Mr. Anderson was one of six, non-medical professionals invited to attend Harvard Medical School’s training for psychiatrists. It is Mr. Anderson’s belief that we human beings share one unifying quality – emotions! Religion, economic and political systems as well as cultures do not unify us, in fact, these institutions have served to drive us further apart. It is in our emotions that we find our humanness, and as a result of our shared emotions, it is our humanness that offers the hope of unifying all of us!

I wish to extend Mr. Anderson’s apologies for not being here today.  He is with his  family celebrating his son and his son’s graduation from college.  He sends his apologies  to all of you.

Today, I was going to talk about the Anderson and Anderson Anger Management/Emotional Intelligence curriculum and training, but given the direction and compelling discussion around the need to end violence in the schools and education in particular what I would like to say is this: I have been around education for over 30 years as a special education teacher, researcher, and an assistant professor of education. And, I have to say, we educators have missed the point for these past 30 years.

We educators know how to teach math and science – we have made a science out of  teaching math and science!  But where we have failed is we have not taught children  about themselves! Specifically, we have not taught our students about their feelings, how  to identify them, what names to give their feelings and most importantly, we have not  taught our children how to express their feelings appropriately! We have not taught our  children their humanness!

I am moved by this entire conference and the overwhelming nature of the problem of  school violence to share a personal experience.  As well as being an educator, I am also  an alcohol and drug counselor. I came to California six years ago to provide alcohol and  drug counseling treatment to professionals – doctors, lawyers, airline pilots in the Betty  Ford Center’s Professionals in Recovery Program.

Where I came from was the Midwest. Ten years ago I was a counselor and director;  actually I was the entire counseling department for a Native American therapeutic school  in North Dakota. We had approximately 260 students, 4th through 8th grade. Ninety  percent (90%) of our students were already in the juvenile justice system, 75% were on  Special Education IEPs, 64% screened positive for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and 90% were addicted to alcohol and other drugs; mind you – these children were 4th through 8th graders!

The commonality between these kids and the professionals, the impaired physicians and  attorneys, at the Betty Ford Center was this – they all did not have a clue about their  feelings!  In treatment, regardless who I am working with, where I have to start with  everyone is the recognition and awareness of feelings and then, how to express those  feelings appropriately!

In anger management/emotional intelligence where we start is with the recognition and  awareness of feelings primarily – anger, then how to express that feelings appropriately!   When we teach about emotional intelligence, we teach specifically about how to identify  and express empathy, compassion, cooperation and forgiveness to ourselves, then for others!

Nationally, there is a movement in education called Social and Emotional Learning  (SEL). Presently, one state, Illinois, has mandated and generated learning objectives for  teacher education and curriculum requirements for students, kindergarten through senior  high school on social and emotional learning. Now, according to Mr. Adachi, Texas has  passed a law requiring all students in middle schools and high schools to take coursework on Anger Management for graduation. Clearly, SEL programs in the form of anger management/emotional intelligence for all students is one part of the solution for  San Francisco.

The second speaker, who received an ovation from the audience, was Angela Chan, J.D. Executive Director of the Asian Law Project and Harvard Law School Honors Graduate.  Ms. Chan eloquently addressed the need for an end to interracial violence stemming from people of color against other people of color through interagency cooperation and a seamless delivery of services and support for all people!

The morning session ended with a series of questions of the members of the panel from the large, and diverse audience. Superintendent Garcia fielded a series of questions concerning specific operations of the school district and responded citing the current financial and budgeting crisis in California stating there was no money for existing programs let alone adding new programs such as SEL. Dr. Wentz of Anderson and Anderson was given the final response of the morning and stated:

No new monies are needed for the initiation of anger management/emotional intelligence  programs for the school district.  The monies saved from not suspending or the expulsion  of students due to misbehavior and the retention of ADA funds could be channeled into  such a  program especially for “At risk” students.  Students on suspension learn nothing  that we want them to learn and the school district loses $49.00 per day per student.

However, by keeping those students in school and enrolling them in an anger  management/emotional intelligence skills development course, the school district keeps   the ADA funds and the students, the school and the district may benefit!

In fact, based upon a meta-analysis of 288,000 students participating in SEL programs  nation- wide, funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation and conducted by the Collaborative  for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the results and changes in individual  students, their classrooms, their schools and their communities have been significant and  positive – behaviorally and academically!  Learning about feelings, emotional  intelligence, and how to express feelings appropriately helps students gain self- confidence, reduces stress and violence, creates classroom harmony, increases academic  achievement in all academic areas and overall – contributes to safer and saner schools!

One very interesting finding, of the meta-analysis that has implications for ‘how to’  implement an SEL program, is the finding that students who received their anger  management/emotional intelligence skills curriculum from a teacher within the school  scored higher (improved behaviorally and academically) in all areas compared to those  students who were taught these skills by an expert or an outsider.  However, both groups  who received the SEL training showed significant increases in school performance and  positive behavioral outcomes compared to the control groups!

Regardless, given the social conditions described here today in the violence among  students, violence among racial groups and by gangs against everyone else – we seem  long past the point where we have any choice left but to teach our children how to live  with themselves and with each other.

Dr. T.L. Wentz
Training Faculty, Anderson & Anderson

Modeling of Appropriate Communication & Interpersonal Interaction

Tips for the Anger Management Facilitator

Communication Theory deals with every manifestation of behavior in its communicative aspect. It also views behavior dynamically, representing the struggle of contrary efforts in the interpersonal stress field. Not only is it natural for one person to attempt to define the situation, the other person also has the same person in his or her response. Emotional Intelligence is at work in all communication, and it is the facilitator’s responsibility to make this a positive learning experience. Attempting to influence, via communication, another person’s behavior is positive if it ids not hurtful to either party.

One of the most powerful ways to foster group interaction is for the facilitator to be a model of positive respect and empathy. The leader should not attempt to force compliance but rather provide an atmosphere that promotes risk-taking and growth. Facilitators are the basic regulating factors in groups. Their experience and knowledge afford them the possibility of controlling the group. They use their power mainly to increase the character of the group as a cohesive system. Insofar as possible, they allow individuals to control the interaction, thus fostering an enhanced cohesiveness coupled with an atmosphere of genuine spontaneity and intimacy. Facilitators should demonstrate compassion, empathy, assertive communication, and patience. In addition, clients should practice these skills in the group when interacting with each other.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Communication by Example

Setting a good example for your children is the most powerful way to teach them positive behaviors and attitudes. Parents who behave in a negative manner (fight constantly, abuse alcohol and/or drugs, are disrespectful, are unmotivated, etc.) teach their children to behave in these ways. Parents who communicate with “do as I say, not as I do” confuse their children and damage their own credibility as parents. Hence, it is important that parents keep their actions and words consistent.

Someone is Watching

One of the most powerful ways children learn is by watching their parents’ actions. Today, it is widely recognized that children, who are abused or grow up in homes where parents or family members abuse alcohol and use drugs, will likely face emotional roadblocks as they enter adulthood. Such children experience an extremely negative example of family life.

What Kind of Messages are You Sending?

Children can also be damaged by behavior that does not seem to be harmful. For instance, parents with low motivation, or who deny responsibility for their mistakes, may convey the message to their children that hard work, determination, and personal responsibility are not important. Like their parents, such children are likely to do poorly in school and may later have difficulty finding or keeping a career. When they do find a job, it may be in an occupation that is considerably less challenging and likely to be low in income levels.

Home Environment Counts

Through lack of interest and attention, parents tell their child that he or she is not important, has little value, and may not be worthy of love. Children growing up in such a family are likely to have low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Such an environment sets the stage for difficulties and failures in school and other areas of life.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Anger is an Energizer

Anger is a natural emotional state and is designed to help us stay alive. Anger sends signals to all parts of our body to help us fight. It energizes us and prepares us for action. Often, the perceived need to protect one-self comes from what amounts to psychological attacks from others.

Use Anger Wisely

When we feel energized by anger, it is smart for us to ask ourselves how we put his energy to its most productive use. As with the use of other forms of energy such as electricity, we want to use it efficiently, not wastefully.

Anger is Secondary

One of the most helpful things to remember about anger is that it is a secondary emotion. A primary feeling is what is felt immediately before we feel angry. We always feel something else first, even if we don’t notice it. We might feel afraid, attacked, offended, disrespected, forced, trapped, interrogated, or pressured. If any of these feelings are intense enough, they can lead to anger before we realize what we really felt!

Identify the Primary Emotion

An important point to remember about secondary feelings such as anger is that they do not identify the unmet emotional need. When all you can say is “I feel angry,” neither you nor any one else knows what would help you feel better. An amazingly simple, but effective, technique is to always identify the primary emotion.

Situations that Cause Anger Can Be Avoided

Here is an example. Assume someone wants us to do something we prefer not to do. At first we feel a little pressured but not enough to get angry. When they keep pushing us, we begin to get irritated. If they continue, we become “angry”.

Communicate Your Feelings

An effective way to avoid getting angry in many cases is simply to express your feeling before it has elevated to the point of anger. This helps keep the brain in balance and out of the more volatile mode where it has downshifted to a more primitive and physiological response.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management