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Domestic Violence Class for Court – 48
Eradication of Offender Behavior, Guide to Integrity and Accountability
By Yvonne Sinclair M.A., LMFT
If you are questioning your behaviors and ask yourself, “am I am abuser, do I take responsibility, can I stop being an abuser,” then you are well on your way to change. If you are not asking yourself these questions by now in this class there may be a problem. If you KNOW you are not an abuser because you take responsibility for you actions and choices, then we are close to done. In this lesson we will explore the steps and resources at your disposal to assist in changing any offender behavior and/or choices that are still popping up in your daily living.
If any of the following are true, take a long good look at yourself and your current choices and decisions;
*You have been told you are arrogant, cruel, selfish, mean, critical, negative, controlling, overbearing, stubborn, or closed minded?
*Have you kept someone from leaving an area, taken their phone access away, followed them when they wanted to leave or have space, or attempted to kill yourself or the other person over an issue?
*Do you need to know where your significant other is and what they are doing at all times? Are you constantly calling or texting? Do your messages get aggressive and demanding?
*Do you hurt someone, emotionally, or physically, and then feel you didn’t “mean” to hurt them or they are blowing things out of proportion?
*Do you justify your own behavior by noticing others are worse, you love your partner, your partner hits back, your friends say you are fine, or you think you are better or more intelligent than “abusers?’
Let’s review the triggers to you anger issues. Go over your triggers list from that lesson and remind yourself of the events and/or things that bring on anger for you. Remember anger is just an emotion. It tells you something is happening you don’t like. What you do with that anger is the key to getting into trouble and/or hurting something or someone. Triggers to violence can start with the trigger to anger.
If you find you are still wanting to lash out, here are some suggestions to give you support for change and tools for peace.
*Perhaps it is time to move to a different residence. It does not have to be permanent, but it can clear the air and give you a clean slate to start rebuilding your relationship.
*Counseling is a great option. Find a counselor with expertise in anger management, relationship counseling, and domestic violence. Counseling is getting tools for living. Take the tools and put them to work. If you put them in the tool box and close the lid, nothing will happen. I am sure you have heard people state, “we went to counseling, and nothing got better.” They put the tools in the toolbox and closed the lid.
*The anger management tools for reducing the anger will work here also. Anxiety management tools can also be used. 1. Breathe. In through the nose and out though the mouth like blowing out a candle. Three breaths and try again. 2. Move; stretch, walk, run, bike… 3. Watch your self-talk. You can talk yourself into being angry and violent with negative self-talk.
* Take care of yourself. Review the food and mood chapter. Get rest and relaxation to keep centered. Eat on time. Sometimes low blood sugar can precipitate and irritable mood and lead to trouble.
*Substance use and alcohol will definitely put you at risk. Think about a clean and sober life. AA and NA are good groups to get support. You can choose a sponsor and have someone to talk to when you need to get a reality check or help with your urges.
*If you are getting angry and start some violent actions/choices there are choices you can make to diffuse the situation; take a time out (review time out rules in the communication lesson), just leave and take a walk, put on your head phones and listen to music, breathe, do something else for a while.
*If the violence starts, put up your mental STOP sign and see the above choices or put your hands in your pockets and walk away. Keep your distance, at least 6 feet, while you are “discussing.” Use some of the anger cool off, count to 10 slowly, 4X4X4 breathing.
Self-Talk for decreasing anger and violence
Make a list of positive self-talk statements;
I don’t need to be right.
I don’t need to pretend I am not angry.
I can express myself and my emotions and still be loved.
I cannot control anything in the world EXCEPT myself.
Tomorrow this will not seem so troubling.
I have the right to be wrong.
I have the right to make mistakes.
I am feeling angry-this means something is happening I don’t like.
Time for a time-out??
You get the picture. If your self-talk increases your anger it is not working for you. Pay attention to your self-talk, change the nature of the statements you tell yourself.
Some of the time self-talk is not based on reality. We magnify the negatives about the situation and turn them into a catastrophe…our self-talk makes things worse.
Some of our self-statements trigger us to continue our anger escalation…..self-talk like this- “that is it” may mean I am done and won’t try anymore. Notice your immediate self-talk statements that may interfere with your ability to stay open minded and resolve the problem.
Self-statements and self-talk can sabotage your success in creating a healthy happy relationship for you.
Self-Soothing Plans; here are some ideas to consider.
Try them out and decide which ones work best for you.
*Deep Breathing – take three deep breaths. Air in and then blow out like you were blowing out a candle. Do this at least three times.
*4X4X4 – Breathe in to the count of four, hold the breathe to a count of four, then let the breathe out slowly to a count of four.
*Jogging…..run or walk around the block.
*Basketball….go shoot some hoops.
*Count slowly. Start at 10 and go to one.
*Ripping newspaper helps to lower anger. Rules for ripping paper. Rip paper, scrunch it up and throw it in a basket or paper bag.
*Muscle work can help….do you clench your jaw when you are stressed or angry? Clench it really really hard-twelve times in a row. This will help to relax you. You can do the same with neck muscles and arms. Legs, back. Etc. systematically relax yourself. The attention on your physical can distract you from your anger.
*Progressive relaxation: Start with your facial muscles and tighten them to the count of ten. Now relax them. Pick another set of muscles and do the same. Progress slowly down your neck and shoulders all the way to your toes. Continue the 10 count tighten and then relax each muscle until you have relaxed your whole body.
*You own personal time-out. You may want to take a nice hot shower or bath as your personal time-out. Let the water and heat do the relaxing while you work on your thinking pattern, self-talk, and calm your thoughts.
Physical activity will help us to lower our stress level and reduce the feelings of anger. During the physical activity, what we tell our selves is an important part of reducing the anger. This is our “self-talk”. Notice what you tell yourself during times when your anger is escalating. You may need to do a “reality check” with yourself to keep your self-talk positive and real.
Here are the rules for a healthy productive time out session.
*Partner A is feeling a need for time out to cool down, or collect their thoughts says;
“I am beginning to feel I WANT a time out.”
*Partner B takes a deep breath and discontinues the communication for the moment.
*An appointment to resume discussion is negotiated. For example “we will return to try again in ½ hour” or one hour, however long it takes for Partner A to feel they can cool down. Both partners agree what is good timing for them.
*Both partners separate to another part of the house or one partner goes for a walk or drive.
*Both partners do something positive and constructive. They explore their part of the dance and watch their self-talk around the situation…such as avoid thoughts like “he/she is such a jerk, they NEVER listen” Do not drink or take drugs during this time.
*At the appointed time both partners return to try again. If one partner says “I don’t want to talk about this now” then DON’T. *Respect for the other partner is essential. If the fact your partner does not want to talk precipitates anger for you, take another time-out.
*If when you return one of you is still not ready to discuss this issue. Make an appointment for a later time or date to try again.
Time-outs help to establish trust between the partners. You will learn to trust each other to honor wishes, boundaries, and needs. You will learn to communicate ways to honor differences. You will learn to trust the other to return and try again. You will learn to trust your partner to honor your wishes for space and you will learn to honor theirs.
Copyright 2015. All material contained herein is owned and protected. Any attempts to reproduce this information without the express written consent from the owner will be prosecuted.
Congratulations, you are finished with lesson Forty-eight in Domestic Violence. When you complete the four sections of questions for LESSON FORTY-EIGHT QUIZ you will be automatically given Lesson FORTY-NINE.
LESSON FORTY-EIGHT QUIZ