Adolescents express feelings of anger in many different ways.
This includes defiant behavior and resentment, social withdrawal, physical aggression, and destruction of property. Anger is a normal, human feeling, however, it may indicate an underlying problem such as depression, anxiety, social difficulties, substance abuse, or grief. Developmentally, teens are experiencing a lot of emotion related to identify development, independence and separation from parents, and relationships. Oftentimes, anger is the demonstration of a teen’s frustration, fears, or general struggle with these typical developmental issues. Parents may unintentionally add to the struggle by reacting strongly in response to their teen’s anger or attempts to gain independence. With a supportive therapist, teens will learn more helpful ways to manage anger, solve problems, and decrease stress. Therapists can educate teens on the body’s fight-or-flight response and the physical experience of anger in the body, identifying triggers, relaxation training, and conflict resolution strategies. Therapists help parents enhance their active listening, empathy building, and solution-focused problem solving skills with their teen.