The True Nature of Anger

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In the dysfunctional family the expression of anger is viewed as an attack rather than an attempt at contact. This is one of the most destructive of the lethal processes because anger is very much attached to aliveness, and creativity. To repress it is to deaden oneself in all these areas.

 

The family unit is the most effective training ground for learning productive, non-destructive ways of expressing anger. When that training ground is unavailable, the growth of all family members is set back many years, if not permanently.

 

If family members can see the expression of anger an attempt to make contact and therefore as positive, then only the ways of expression are criticized and there is plenty of room for trial and error. Expressing anger becomes, a way of saying, “I don’t want any barriers between us,” rather than, “I want to hurt you.”

 

Martin Kirshenbaum, Ph.D.

Pioneering Family Therapist