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Armenian Anger Management Program

Anger plays a prominent role in how feelings are expressed within the Armenian culture. Stereotypes of angry Armenian men with explosive tempers and Armenian women who are either passive or equally aggressive themselves are all too common. Often times, it is accepted as a cultural trait until enough trouble is caused to involve legal action. While this is a court-approved Anger Management course for those who are court mandated, we place a strong emphasis on prevention and welcome voluntary clients. Left untreated, an anger problem can lead to abuse, health complications, problems with the law, and eventually destroying one’s family. This learned, and reinforced behavior can be unlearned and replaced with alternate, healthier ways to express emotions. The Anger Management program for Armenian American clients is catered to the Armenian population; the focus is to teach healthy skills and behavior while integrating cultural components of the Armenian culture. The Armenian Anger Management Program focuses on:

  1. Learning to express healthy emotions in a way that is not offensive or harmful to others.
  2. Exploring how anger and aggressive behaviors are learned and reinforced in the Armenian culture – the function anger serves and how these needs can be met in different ways.
  3. Differences in expectations and norms between Armenian and American culture – difficulties in assimilation and integration in a new country.

Anger often stems from an inability to properly deal with the stressors of life. For the Armenian American, these stressors are everywhere – from the workplace to their family. A major concern of most Armenian immigrants is how they will preserve their Armenian culture in a country where integration is valued. The differences in values, customs, and traditions can cause immense stress for many Armenian parents – causing anger, which is often expressed in ways that harm rather than help the people they care about. While there is great stigma within the Armenian community around seeking therapeutic services, the Armenian anger management group and class settings offer clients a more comfortable setting where they can meet and learn Anger Management techniques in a safe and confidential environment.

For individuals who are court mandated to attend an Anger Management program, it is necessary that they can understand and actively participate in their Anger management groups and classes. For this reason, we offer an Anger Management class in Armenian. These Anger Management groups are completely confidential and offer members a safe place to discuss stressors, ask for help when experiencing difficulties, and learn new ways to deal with anger with others who are in share similar difficulties.

Rachel Goukassian is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. She has been working with the Armenian population in a therapeutic setting since 2009 and understands the unique difficulties Armenian Americans face. In creating the Armenian Anger Management groups, she has integrated traditional Anger Management techniques with personalized lessons that cater to the Armenian population.

   
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