Signs of Child Abuse

There are not always obvious signs of child abuse that are apparent to other adults.  In many cases, those who are inflicting child abuse on their children will involve the child in making up lies as to the regard of injuries or hit the child in such a way so that the injuries are not apparent.  Teacher and other authorities have a duty to report signs of child abuse to state officials for investigation.

Not all signs of child abuse are evident by marks and bruises.  In some cases, the child abuse may be sexual abuse as well as violence. One of the signs of this form of child abuse is a child being overly withdrawn.  Children who are the victims of abuse typically have a very low self esteem and will not mix in well with other children.  As they get older, they learn to hide the abuse and will often go to great lengths to avoid being caught.  When it comes to sexual abuse, children often feel not only out of control when it comes to the situation, but also feel as though that the abuse is somehow their fault.  They may view the sexual abuse as normal behavior if it has gone on for a long period of time and will usually cover up for the parent who is inflicting the abuse.  Often, the child will try to appease the abuser more than the other parent and will be warned not to tell anyone about the secret that they have to conceal.

As a child gets older, signs of child abuse can be more evident.  They may be hesitant about taking certain classes in school where they have to reveal bruises.  They may cover up bruises by wearing clothing so that they can hide the abuse.  They may act out their total lack of control that they feel over their own environment by inflicting the same abuse on other students.  Girls who are the victims of sexual abuse usually behave in an inappropriate fashion and may behave in a sexually provocative manner, even as children.  Girls often become promiscuous at an early age when they are the victims of sexual abuse or child abuse.

Teachers and caregivers should not only look for unexplained bruises when they suspect child abuse, but also at the behavior of a child.  While some children are naturally a bit withdrawn, a child who is the frequent target of bullies at school and who does not fight back can be one who is used to child abuse and internalizes everything.  A child who appears to know too much about sex for a child of their age can be the victim of sexual abuse.  Children who show a complete lack of empathy for others are often the victims of child abuse as well.  There are many signs of child abuse to look for that do not always include the obvious signs of a beating.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory.kyles@gmail.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

What Are The Causes of Spousal Abuse ?

There are a great many people who will tell you that the cause of spousal abuse is due to a substance problem that the battering partner suffers from. Many women who live with a wife beater will be quick to defend them saying that they are a completely different person when they are not drinking.  This is not the case.  Drinking and drugs does not cause spousal abuse.   Abuse is all about control.  The alcohol or drugs may aid in loosening the control that the batterers feel, but the underlying problem is not in the alcohol or drugs.  If this were the case, no one sober would ever abuse their spouse and everyone who had a drink would become a wife beater.

The causes of spousal abuse are usually found in childhood.  There are traumas, such as child abuse, that can cause someone to seek control over their environment that includes those who are in their environment as well.  Most of the cases of spousal abuse are against women perpetrated by men.  The cause usually lies within childhood and in the way that the man was raised.  In most cases, this is a learned behavior that can be unlearned if the man enters into a battering intervention and prevention program that can help him control his own behavior.

Many women who are the victims of spousal abuse will blame themselves for the abuse that is inflicted upon them.  They tell themselves that if they can only do better, their spouse will stop the abuse.  The wife beater will typically blame the spouse for the abuse and tell her that it is her fault that he is behaving this way.

Unfortunately, in too many cases, domestic violence escalates into severe beatings and even murder.  When a woman finally has enough of the abuse, she often leaves the wife beater who might try to track her down.  Many of these cases end with the abuser not only killing his wife, but also himself.  In some cases, an abuser will also kill the children in the family as well.  Needless to say,  domestic abuse is the fault of the perpetrator of the act, not anyone else in the family nor any drug or alcohol problem.  It is a myth that drugs or alcohol are the cause of domestic violence.

Those who are perpetrators of spousal abuse need to recognize it as a crime as well as a choice in their own behavior and not blame anyone else or any substance for their actions.  Controlling this behavior and un-learning behavior that is often learned in childhood is the key to helping those who are batterers in a battering intervention and prevention program.  These programs work to address the issue itself rather than try to lay blame on substance abuse.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory.kyles@gmail.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Anger Management and Self-Control

Greater self-control is the ultimate goal of anger management classes.  Gaining self-control reduces anger levels, stress levels and the negative consequences of problematic anger and related behaviors.   Working with the concept of emotional intelligence, anger management classes will teach skills and techniques that increase self-control.

Self-control can be learned.  Building skills that enhance the awareness of emotional information in one’s self and others is a basic building block of emotional intelligence and self-control.  These skills increase the ability to be self-aware, or aware of one’s own stress levels and emotions, bodily cues that accompany stress and emotions and a wider range of options for dealing with all these.
By increasing emotional intelligence you become better equipped to recognize, understand and manage all feelings as well as the stress of daily living.  Anger becomes just one of many feelings that an increased self-awareness makes more manageable.

Self-awareness helps you become more able to monitor feelings as they occur.  Monitoring allows you to break emotional responses down to more manageable parts so that greater and more frequent control is possible.  Consequently, judgment and decision-making in daily life can be more consistent and improved overall.  Such improved coping creates a greater sense of well-being.  Improved coping in everyday life is also a product of increased self-control.

Although anger often seems to be sudden and out of conscious control, anger is the result of a series of judgments and decisions about self, others and the world.  Similarly, angry behaviors are the result of judgments and decisions as well.  By learning to monitor one’s self throughout the day, judgment and decision-making become more conscious and effective.  Coping skills in all daily functioning are enhanced by better judgment in interactions and the ability to make better decisions about how to communicate and problem-solve with others.

People who have anger management problems demonstrate poor social coping skills, ineffective stress management skills, poor self-monitoring abilities and limited self-awareness.  These deficits decrease self-control and can lead to many negative consequences.  On the other hand, working to learn and improve these is essential to  controlling problematic anger and to increasing one’s emotional intelligence.

Problematic anger can be reduced.  The skills necessary to bring problematic anger under control are available in anger management classes.  Working to increase the essential elements of self-control needed, anger management classes build skills in a manageable, step-by-step way.  Greater self-control is the ultimate goal of anger management.  It is teachable, learnable and do-able!

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory.kyles@gmail.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Anger and Aggression Myths

Some popular beliefs about anger are myths.  Challenging these myths is an important aspect of learning anger management techniques and skills.  The following are some of the typical ‘anger myths’ that anger management classes can debunk.  In doing so, participants in anger management begin to better understand the nature of anger.  Consequently, with an greater understanding of what anger is and how it works, people with problematic anger can effectively manage anger and its related behaviors.  Increased knowledge of what anger is and isn’t and what aggression is and isn’t can empower people who have difficulty controlling their anger and angry behaviors.

Myths about anger and aggression:
• It’s not good to be angry.
• Anger will be eliminated if anger management classes are effective
• Anger always leads to aggression
• Anger is uncontrollable
• Others will take kindness as weakness
• Violence is always the result of anger
• It is always a good idea to vent anger
• Anger is a sign of strength
• Anger is a sign of weakness
• Anger motivates people to do well
• Anger is natural in business
• Anger is necessary in business
• If you don’t show anger others will take advantage of you
• If you don’t show anger others will harm you
• You only get angry with someone if you care about them
• People black out with anger and so it can’t be controlled
• When people black out with anger they aren’t responsible for what they do
• When people are aggressive when they are intoxicated they aren’t responsible for what they do
• If certain people didn’t use substances they wouldn’t have anger management problems
• Anger solves tough problems
• Anger just happens
• Other people make you angry
• Anger is necessary to demonstrate authority
• Anger keeps people in line
• Anger is inherited
• Domestic violence is an anger control problem
• You won’t get what you need if you don’t get angry
• Angry people are dangerous
• One should never get angry at work
• One should never be angry with parents, children or other significant others
• If you get angry with someone that means your relationship is unhealthy
• It’s better to be angry than to be sad
• Anger keeps you going when things are tough
• Sometimes you have to show them you mean business
• Men are supposed to be aggressive
• Nice women don’t get angry
• Women aren’t aggressive

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Aggression, Anger Management and Domestic Violence

Aggression is a behavior that harms, or seeks to harm, someone.  It also is behavior that does or attempts to do property damage.  Aggression includes mental, emotional and psychological abuse as well as violence such as physical assault, vandalism and other destruction of property (even one’s own).  Other aggression can also be reckless and endangering behaviors such as driving recklessly, the reckless handling of firearms or other behavior that could potentially harm another person or property. Reckless and endangering behavior conveys a strong message that the safety of others (and their property) is not important.  Furthermore, reckless and endangering behaviors ‘say’ that if others are harmed or there is property loss that is not important.  Verbal abuse—the use of words to coerce, threaten, intimidate or humiliate another person, is also considered to be aggressive behavior.  Stalking through physical presence or by technological means such as phone calls, text messaging, and emails is also aggressive behavior.

It is a myth that anger leads to aggression or that aggression is a natural expression of anger.  Many erroneously believe that the emotion of anger will, over time, build to the point that anger will be expressed through aggression.  There are some individuals who go very quickly and habitually to aggressive behavior whenever the emotion of anger is felt and for these people, aggression naturally flows from their experience of the emotion anger.  Many individuals with anger management problems never use aggression but benefit significantly from the skills and techniques taught in anger management classes. Anger without physical aggression is still an anger management problem.

Another form of aggression is used by individuals who engage in intimate partner abuse.  This type of aggression stems from a choice to exert dominance over the intimate partner.  In these situations aggression can be done without the buildup of emotion as is seen in people with anger management problems.  Although a batterer of intimate partners, if observed during aggression, may use the same behaviors as those who express anger through aggression, battering is not typically an issue of anger management.

Domestic violence has its roots in very different dynamics than does aggression that is the result of unmanaged anger.  Very specifically, domestic violence stems from beliefs and attitudes about intimate relationships and the need for dominance, power and control over partners that are considered ‘less than’ the aggressor in worth and status.  Management of battering requires treatment that is significantly different than treatment for anger management.  The issues of interpersonal power and control dynamics within intimate relationships must be addressed and corrected.  Anger management, on the other hand, addresses the ineffective and, at times, dangerous mishandling of strong emotion.

People with anger management problems can learn to use techniques that prevent aggression.  Anger management involves the controlling of anger escalation so that aggression does not occur in those who escalate emotionally to such behavior.  In contrast, domestic violence treatment focuses upon the beliefs and attitudes about intimate relationships and partners that make partner abuse and aggression an option or choice.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

What Are The Laws Concerning Domestic Violence?

Years ago, there were no laws that regulated domestic violence.  A mans home was considered to be his castle and what he did inside that home, regardless of whether he beat his wife or kids, was his own affair.  Women who sought help for spousal abuse were often told by community members and even church clergy to endure a beating and were often blamed themselves for having brought the domestic violence on themselves.  Those who did concede that this behavior was inappropriate would often blame alcohol abuse for the problem.

Today, there are laws in every state that affect how domestic violence is handled.   They vary from county to county, although police officers are required to file a report and make an arrest in the case of any domestic violence action.  In many states, there is a cooling off period where batterers are put into jail for twenty four hours, giving others in the home to go to a shelter or another place.  The batterers are usually given a certain period of time in which they have to stay away from the victim.  A victim can receive counseling and also get a restraining order against those who perpetrate domestic violence against them.   Needless to say, the laws against domestic violence have gotten stricter as time has gone on, although many victims drop the charges against the abuser.

In most cases of domestic abuse, the police are called repeatedly to a home because of this problem.  They file a report, the batterers go to jail, get out and then the couple reconcile.  A wife beater will often blame a problem for their behavior and promise to change.  This usually does not work and the violence continues  In most cases, domestic abuse will start to escalate as time goes on.  It might not only include the spouse but also children as well.  When it comes to child abuse, authorities will remove children from any dangerous situation and place them in the care of relatives or with the state.  Teachers, scout leaders and others have an obligation to report any signs they see of child abuse to authorities so that it can be investigated.

There are laws today that protect innocent people in a family from batterers.  In many states, those who are convicted of domestic battery are ordered to undergo a battering intervention and prevention program (BIPP Classes) that teaches them to modify their behavior so that they do not continue to perpetrate violence.  These programs work when the batterers realize that the fault lies within themselves, confront their past as well as their own crime and then learn behavior modification so that they do not resort to abusive behavior in the future.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Developing Empathy through Emotional Intelligence

Empathy is an important ingredient in learning greater self-control for individuals who have anger management problems.  Empathy is the ability to identify with others through understanding how they feel.  It is increased by better understanding the thoughts, attitudes and overall experience of other people.

Emotional intelligence increases the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others and to use this information to interact more appropriately with them.  Becoming more aware of one’s own feelings (through increasing emotional intelligence) also helps one become more aware of the feelings of others.  Self-awareness helps us to empathize with the feelings of others.

Empathy for others helps us make more appropriate decisions about how we will view others and treat them.  Empathy also helps us evaluate the motivations of others in a more realistic light.  Consequently, this type of information can be used to adjust our own perceptions and to make better, more socially-informed choices about our own behavior.

Understanding others better can dramatically decrease conflict and the perception of threat from others.  In this way, empathy helps to make sense of others’ behavior so that their experiences do not have to trigger an angry response in ourselves.  With greater empathy, communication improves and interactions have less conflict.

Learning and practicing greater empathy for others helps increase awareness of the emotional cues others give us during interactions.  Empathy helps us ‘read’ another person’s expressions and communication with a greater understanding of that person’s experience and motivations.  With better information about the other person, we are then able to make more informed choices about how we will respond to them.  Empathy helps us perceive and use emotional information so we can then reduce the stress of daily interactions.  Empathy helps us be less defensive; more in tune with what is actually being communicated by others and less stressed by any misinterpretations we may make.  Empathy also ‘allows’ others to make mistakes and we are less apt to respond defensively, take things personally or ‘hold grudges’ when mistakes are made.

For Anger Management & Domestic Violence – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com