Agency tackling anger (Dallas Morning News - 5/28/06)
28th May 2006
12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, May 28, 2022
BY ROBERT MILLER/ Dallas Morning News
Just the other day, a Fort Worth youth stabbed his brother to death because the younger brother grabbed and ate a piece of the older brother’s fried chicken.
The Galaxy Counseling Center’s Teen and Adult Anger Management Program recognizes that explosive nature. The program was created to provide ways for people to manage their anger and interact successfully.
Lynette Payne is executive director of the Garland agency, which accepts clients from all over.
“For teens, this program successfully intercedes before youth become involved in violence in schools and other situations or gang activity and before destructive behaviors worsen,” she said.
“For adults, if this behavior is not addressed, the problem can escalate into child abuse, domestic violence, road rage, workplace violence and addiction.”
Ms. Payne pointed out that the American Psychological Association says that one in 12 teens reports being threatened or injured with a weapon each year. And the United Way’s needs assessment has said that the issue of family safety is one of high concern.
Teen and Adult Anger Management Program sessions for adults run 90 minutes per week for 12 weeks. They’re offered on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings or Saturday during the day.
The teen sessions, which run about an hour, are held Saturdays for 15 weeks.
The courses help clients understand the causes and remedies of their anger. The sessions are small, usually six to 12 people, to encourage open discussion.
Since clients don’t all enter or leave the program the same week, the “open session procedure allows each client to learn from others, perhaps further along, as well as from the counselors,” said Nicole Roberts, the clinical director.
Ms. Payne said that about 70 percent of the clients are mandated to attend by a court, a school district or other institution. The rest enroll on their own.
“Those mandated to attend receive a certificate at the end of the program to take back to the court,” she said.
There are two counselors per session – all part-time employees – and they make sure that no one monopolizes the session.
Clients can also arrange for private sessions at $25 each.
“Some want to come back for refresher courses after completing the course – they can come back anytime,” Ms. Payne said. “It helps reinforce what they learned the first time around.
“We have good outcomes, a 94 percent success rate for adults and a 90 percent for teens.”
Each client undergoes a twofold evaluation at the end of the course, one by the counselor and the other by the client himself.
Galaxy Counseling Center, a United Way affiliate, has a sliding fee scale based on the client’s ability to pay.
The program “is also a great resource for local area businesses and their employees,” Ms. Payne said.
“Galaxy can provide an interactive seminar that employs discussion and role play to gain insights into thoughts and emotions that contribute to the escalation of anger and stress.”
The agency’s Truancy Intervention and Prevention Program works to reduce unexcused absences among elementary school students.
The program was developed at the request of Judge John Sholden, with initial funding for research and curriculum development provided by Ecolab Inc.
“Truancy is considered a ‘gateway offense’ because of a positive correlation between poor school performance, illiteracy and delinquent or criminal behavior,” Ms. Roberts said.
“We work with parents and kids,” providing parenting skills, communications with the kids, working with each family and advising them how to manage stress and time management.
“We help kids get a routine because usually parents and kids are running in different directions in the morning.”
It also helps to get kids and parents to enter into a contract of what is expected from each.
And Galaxy added a program for Spanish-speaking families last month.
The earlier you involve the children and their parents, the less truancy will remain an issue, Ms. Roberts said.
Galaxy Counseling Center will hold its 12th annual gala, “Deep in the Heart,” at 7 p.m. Saturday at the ranch home of Karen and Joe Boyd in Garland.
Mr. Boyd is the president of Galaxy’s board of directors.
There will be a silent auction (donated items are welcome), barbecue and dancing to the music of the Tommy Irvin Band.
Lynn Erickson is honorary chair and presenting sponsor.
Other sponsors include EAS Contracting LP, Ebby Halliday Realtors, General Dynamics, Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, KPMG and Sprong Design.
Tickets are $75 each or $125 per couple.
Call Lacie Kuhn at 972-272-4429, Ext. 232, or e-mail lkuhn @galaxycounseling.org.
E-mail [email protected]