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Tools used in Counselling with Minecraft - Part 1. The Anger Iceberg in Minecraft



I have been a fan of the anger iceberg diagram for many years.  I often use an anger iceberg theory in my therapy sessions with children and teens.  It is also easily adapted to using the anger iceberg in Minecraft, as can be seen in the video.


Most powerfully, the anger iceberg is a useful tool to help parents understand that anger is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are complex emotions underneath the surface of the water that we need to understand.


Anger Iceberg: Understanding Your Child’s Anger

It may feel like your child has an anger problem or just cannot control their emotions right now.  But angry actions are usually triggered by secondary emotions such as shame, anxiety, sadness or vulnerable feelings.  Sometimes there is complex mix of underlying emotions which rise to the surface as anger.


The Anger Iceberg For Kids: Why Do We Need to Understand the Root Cause of Our Children’s Anger?

Simply put, the only way to effectively resolve anger is to understand what’s causing it.  If we know that something is contributing to anger, we can adapt that thing, take it away, or develop some kind of action plan.  We need to understand what’s going on underneath the anger iceberg.


Example

Let’s look at an 8 year old child who is becoming frustrated and bored because they have undiagnosed learning difficulties, meaning they cannot learn effectively in the classroom.  The learning difficulties may not have been spotted, but their frustration and anger outbursts when they get from school are clear.

If we just “manage” the anger – using consequences and rewards for example, the underlying issue will not go away.  Even if the anger subsides, the child will not reach their learning potential and may begin to believe they can’t succeed academically. This will contribute to low self-esteem.

So, we need to understand exactly what is going on for each child who is expressing high levels of anger or frustration.


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