By Melina Paris/Opinion Editor/@parismelina
LBCC Student Health Services recently began the Keep Your Cool anger-management group at the PCC to promote mental-health wellness.
Led by two social-work interns from Cal State Long Beach, Shannon Kindorf and Victoria Andrade, the group meets Tuesday mornings.
Director of Student Health Services and Student Life Virginia Durivage said the department serves primary care and mental health.
The most prevalent issues students bring to counselors include stress, anxiety and depression.
“One of the things about managing your behavior is you really need an opportunity to practice that,” Durivage said. “It’s difficult to do in 1-on-1 therapy. It works better in a group.”
The group meets for eight 1.5 hour sessions. Students attending every session earn a certificate, Viking volunteer hours and receive a notation on their transcript that they completed the program.
Kindorf said counselors focus on students who identify as having a temper that has impaired their relationships, their school or job.
Discussions encompass anger and temper, how it starts, individual triggers, what lies underneath that anger, what feelings participants have to identify individual anger and what that means for them. Counselors suggest ways to manage anger and how to keep students’ temper from rising.
“It’s that explosive stage where that can be where a lot of those consequences come out with relationships, work and school,” Kindorf said. “So we work on strategies to put in their tool box.”
Counselors also examine what an anger response is and what happens physically when anger begins. Recognizing triggers and individual indicators allow participants to understand when their anger level is increasing, she said.
“At this time, it may get harder to control themselves or they start jumping to conclusions or start interpreting a situation,” Kindorf said.
Participants are provided with tools and exercises to manage thoughts and are helped and taught how to keep their cool. That includes breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation. They are also educated on an intervention called cognitive behavioral therapy or the ABCD Model. It looks at how an event can start a thought, which then leads to an emotion, leads to a behavior, then goes further leading to a consequence.
The group will be offered again in the Fall, hopefully on both campuses. LBCC has lots of support on campus for academic programs, tutoring and help for students to get books and for their education plans, students have discovered.
Reactions from the group have been positive.
Kindorf said, “There was a lot of excitement from Day One.”
Durivage said, “We provide support for student stability. It’s all part of student health, which encompasses mind, body and soul.”
Students may contact Durivage for more information at email@example.com.