When teens get angry, it is not unusual for them to yell, scream or slam doors. Ingrid Zamecnik wants to show them better ways to handle it.
Zamecnik is holding an anger management workshop -- "Why I am so ticked off?" -- at 10 a.m. Saturday at Advent Lutheran Church on Washington Road in Martinez.
The workshop is designed to help pupils in sixth through 12th grades recognize what triggers their anger and allow them to discuss the stressful situations in their lives.
"We hope to help teens understand themselves and their emotions a little better," she said.
Kathy Tharin, a child and adolescent counselor for Ogeechee Behavioral Health Services in Burke County, will lead the group discussion. Tharin wants to give teens alternatives to negative reactions to stress.
"What I want to do is let teenagers and adolescents know that they're not alone," she said. "This is a problem for everyone."
Tharin said that one of the more effective strategies for dealing with stress is to talk about it. That way, she said, teens may be able to manage stressful situations without resorting to yelling or name-calling.
But one thing Tharin will not tell those who attend the workshop is that anger can be avoided altogether.
"You can't stop anger," she said. "But you do have a choice: You can react positively to it and learn from it, or you can react negatively to it."
Matthew Lash, pastor of Advent Lutheran, said the workshop is an opportunity for teens to discuss with adults the problems they face before they act out and get into trouble.
"So many teenagers now are getting detentions and in-school suspensions," Lash said. "With the world as it is today, there are things that teenagers need to share."
Besides pressure at school, family can be a common trigger for stress in teens, especially with so many blended families today, Tharin said.
While most of the participants who have signed up thus far are members of Advent's youth group, the workshop is open to the public, Lash said. But space is limited, and teens need to register and pay a fee of $10 by Thursday. There will be a question-and-answer session for parents and a pizza lunch following the workshop.
For more information, call Advent Lutheran Church at (706) 860-0439.
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