Alyce LaViolette, M.S., MFT

Anger Management, Domestic Violence Counseling for Survivors and Perpetrators,
Gender Issues, and Expert Witness

Long Beach Office:

6621 E. Pacific Coast Highway Suite 220
Long Beach, CA 90803
310 968-4203   562 493-1161
562 596-6443 FAX

West Los Angeles Office:

2211 Corinth Ave. Suite 309
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Time Out Exercise - Anger Paradigm

Alyce LaViolette, 1995

(More Angry)

Event/Situation -> Perception -> Arousal -> Reaction —>

(How you saw it) (Body signals)                                      (Less Angry)

  1. Does your stomach churn or get in a knot, do your shoulders tighten, does your heart beat faster, do you feel hot, does your face burn, does your jaw clench?
  2. When you recognize your signal (fuse), you can leave the situation physically and/or mentally.
  3. If the energy is big, leave and do a non-aggressive physical cool down (e.g. active walking, jogging, lifting weights, isometrics, dancing, shooting baskets, riding a bike).
  4. As you cool down physically, begin a cognitive cool down. Practice thinking differently. Practice positive self talk. You might say, "I don't want to hurt or scare anybody. I want to solve a problem." Or "I want to cool off." I don't want to feel bad about when I do - I don't want to feel guilty. I want to handle things better."
  5. Go back to your perception (how you see it) and look at alternate ways of seeing the situation. This is a good time to empathize and not to blame.
  6. Work on problem solving - doesn't have to mean confrontation. Remember, anything you want to get good at, you have to work on improving. Practice, practice and practice. You will develop a new way of thinking.
  7. Go back to person (if you still feel you need to) and work on solution.