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For the New Year, we here at Anger Management 818 thought it would be great to let all of our current as well as our future fans know what we have accomplished. After all, we do not just sit around and wait for life to happen; we must make it happen! So for those who are interested, here is a compilation of our achievements in the past year:
 If you have known Anger Management 818 for a while, you may have noticed that the look of the website has completely changed. Visit the announcement page for updates. The blog contains helpful information and great tips.
 Anger Management 818 has created online forms to make it easier for interested participants to enroll. Most of the necessary forms are now conveniently located on the website.
 The bimonthly newsletters are available for professional as well as personal use. People can sign to receive the newsletters through our website.
 Anger Management 818 is going green! We have begun the transition from paper to electronic records via Office Ally.
 Another exciting news is that we have all of our classes on a live Google Calendar listed on our home page. Since we offer over 15 classes weekly in 5 locations, this feature makes the schedule available to clients at any time, rather than needing to confirm with facilitators whether class is cancelled.
 Check Anger Management 818’s increased presence in the social media. You can now follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join us through Meet Up, and give us your feedback on Yelp. As for our colleagues, you can connect with us on LinkedIn.
 We proudly present new material for our very own upcoming workbook. This will be an ongoing project to meet the needs of our clientele.
 Since there is no legislation for anger management in California, some of our counselors helped form an Association along with other anger management agencies. The purpose of the Association is to help set standards for anger management providers in the Greater Los Angeles area.
 Anger Management 818 has brought on a few very talented therapists to the team: Michael Hecht, MFT, Camille Ortanez, LCSW, Michelle Friedman, MFT, and Cristina Mardirossian MFT.
 We have also added two new staff members: Edmon Artinyan and Gayane Aramyan.
 Over the past year, Anger Management 818 attended several exciting fairs including The Sherman Oaks Street Fair, North Hollywood Taco Cookoff, Sherman Oaks Farmer’s Market, and The Glendale Health Fair.
 We became a member of the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce. We had the honor of sponsoring a business luncheon.
 Anger Management 818 implemented weekly clinical and business meetings for its staff and counselors.
 Our Mission Statement was brought to life.
 Adopted the STAXI-2 as the assessment tool for participants.
 One of our most wonderful updates is the addition of offering Free Anger Management Groups for Veterans, on Tuesdays from 12-1 pm at our Sherman Oaks location. This is one of our ways of giving back to the community.
 Several Anger Management 818 counselors made presentations to help increase awareness and provide information about anger management. Some of the venues include Ferrahian Armenian School and the Rotary Club.
 We revised and updated our Policy and Procedures.

On a personal level:
 Molly Lyda is now licensed! She is also president elect for San Fernando Valley Chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists!
 Anita Avedian became the First Vice President of The San Fernando Valley Chapter of Employee Assistants Professional Association!
 Farnaz Toutouni was accepted into and is currently attending a PhD program!
 Rachel Goukassian has finished her hours and got married!
 Gayane Aramyan graduated high school!

In anger management, the words “respect” and “disrespect” are heard often. Mostly it is about how someone else is disrespectful. So let’s think about what it means to be or feel disrespected.

First, let’s define the term “Respect.” According to Dictionary.com, respect is defined as deference to a right, privilege, privileged position; proper acceptance or courtesy; and acknowledgment. According to Merriam-Webster, respect means a high or special regard. Thus, when a person states they are disrespected, they are probably feeling disregarded, or not acknowledged.

In our Anger Management program, we discuss how the feeling of anger is a secondary emotion, meaning there is an underlying emotion felt before anger. Understanding this feeling allows you to reduce the likelihood of aggressive behavior.

Take the following example: someone cuts you off while driving and you slam on your brakes to avoid rear-ending that person. You suddenly become angry and start yelling at the person. However there is an underlying feeling here: fear. You become afraid that your life or car might be in danger however, you cannot do much with fear. Therefore, anger takes over to help you take action. This is the point you start to honk. The underlying feelings of disrespect and anger parallel.

The word “respect” is based on a person’s beliefs and experiences. Since people have different perceptions about what happens around them, their version of “respectful” will vary. So, when you hold certain beliefs about how someone should act with you in certain situations, and that person acts differently than what you expect, you think that he/she is being disrespectful towards you.

Example: You feel that your partner should be at your side throughout the duration of a party or social event. Let’s examine the situation. Think of the following belief: A partner should be by the side of a significant other at social events otherwise, it is not a good relationship. The reason for this belief is to feel emotionally safe with your partner. Feeling disrespected occurs when your partner leaves your side for a little while. You start to think, “He prefers being with his friends than with me,” and you begin to feel disregarded and hurt. Your discomfort with feeling hurt becomes overwhelming, so your body’s defense mechanism prevails. Instead of connecting with the emotional pain and taking responsibility, you blame your partner for “disrespecting” you.

Notice how you attribute your responsibility of your pain to your partner. You are holding your partner responsible for your own emotional pain, and expect them to change their behavior (which you label as disrespectful), rather than changing your own belief and thought around the situation (owning your emotion and belief, and taking responsibility). Essentially by stating “He disrespected me,” you are victimizing yourself. You are giving your partner the power over your feelings. The purpose of this blog entry is to help become aware of your own beliefs and thoughts, and not give so much power to those around you.

You may think, “Well, at what point am I not supposed to be okay with what my partner is doing?” Great question since it is frequently asked. You still have your set of boundaries that feel comfortable and/or uncomfortable. If you have friends in your surroundings that seem to have healthy relationships, ask them how they perceive the same situation. Or ask yourself, “Is this belief helping me or hurting me?”

The good news is that beliefs that result in feeling disrespected are learned, so they can be unlearned. When replacing a belief with one that is helpful, you realize that you rarely feel disrespected; your poor perception of the situation changes. Your improved insight of the underlying thoughts and feelings of disrespect helps with building healthier relationships.

If you would like to work on your outlook of life so that you feel more respect rather than disrespect, contact one of our Anger Management counselors. At Anger Management 818, we are ready to help you have better influence of your life. You may request from your anger management counselor to review the “Disrespect Worksheet” with you.

Author: Anita Avedian, MFT
Director of Anger Management 818