Interact Journal Integrative Ideas for the Process-Oriented Psychotherapist

Categories Supervision Dialogs

On rewarding anger

Do you ever provide for a person to get a reward after they’ve connected with their anger in session?

Usually, when even a small amount of anger has been released, the release of the grief and the love that follow it are enough reward in themselves. Frequently however, a reward phase to end a fantasy may seem appropriate to the client. Find out. Ask.

If the part who got angry in the imagery was a child-part of the person’s personality, the reward might be being held lovingly on the lap of the Approving Adult, getting the sweat wiped off their hands and face, and having a glass of lemonade. If the part who got angry was an adult part, introduce a kinesthetic reward such as a massage from the perfect masseuse.

In fantasy work, nurturing, kinesthetic rewards are preferable to material rewards, such as food. You might suggest the person provide their own reward by fantasizing a cheering section to clap and hooray during the entire time his anger is being expressed.

I’m surprised when you say an Adult part gets angry. I thought the Child part was the only part that could get angry.

That may be true from a transactional analysis point of view. But unless they are familiar with it, people do not ordinarily divide up their sub-personalities according to TA. So if someone chooses to perceive their angry part as an Adult, well…, that’s okay by me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.