A mother asks if there is imagery to help her two daughters, ages 12 and 14, who both express a deep sense of anger that comes out even in their sports activities .. Belleruth,
I have two daughters 12 and 14. Both have expressed a deep sense of anger. What do you recommend? One also pitches softball. She says everything comes to the surface when she pitches. This interferes with her pitching, further frustrating her. Recommendations please.
Iowa Mom

Dear Mom,
I could recommend our imagery for Stress, for Anger & Forgiveness or one of our wonderful sports audios (including a new one by Jack Singer called Core Sports Performance ), but I can’t in good conscience suggest any of them, based on the limited information you’ve written here.

If the anger is coming from an ongoing situation that is not being remediated or alleviated in any way, dealing with the girls’ anger as a disconnected, self-contained symptom will not work and would be missing the point.

Why do you think these girls are so angry? Are there things that need to be changed in their lives? Since it is both of them, it would seem likely. Is someone being emotionally abusive to them? Are they being pressured too much, at home or at school? Do they need other kinds of help? Do they talk about what is making them angry? Is this something you can help them with?

Chronic anger in a child is usually (although not always) a secondary feeling, generated by underlying fear, stress, abuse or frustration. To simply use imagery to tamp it down would be going the classic "whipped cream over garbage" route, and that (a) is not wise, as it perpetuates the underlying problems, and (b) it simply doesn’t work. The garbage is still there and it will continue to make itself known. You need to deal with whatever is causing this anger and either eliminate or minimize it, and help them deal with it.

If you’re too close to the situation yourself, perhaps a savvy family therapist could be consulted - they can be a huge help, and sometimes in a relatively short time. Good luck with this.