2020 Workshop Series

Working with anger in the therapy room

Presented by Wanda Dobson



“This was a really bad week with lots of anger, shouting, kicking, hitting, swearing and things were thrown and smashed. !”
This is often the content of conversations with parents or children when anger leaks at home or school. Sometimes the anger can also boil over in the therapy room and regardless of a client’s age, this can either be productive or destructive. Practitioners need a good understanding of how anger affects the body and brain so they can teach their clients about these facts. Practitioners also need knowledge of the roots of anger and have practical ways to difuse aggression and anger in the therapy room so that they can equip their clients to manage the visceral emotion of anger. Sometimes clients can become angry at the practitioner and turn their hostility towards the practitioner and this can be very unsettling.

Practitioners need ways to ground themselves while staying connected with the client, containing the client’s hostility and anger.
With reference to the work of:
Dr Pat Ogden, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment
Dr Daniel Siegel, The whole brain child
Dr Steve Porges, The Polyvagal Theory
Fran Waters, Healing the Fractured Child: Diagnosis and Treatment of Youth with
Dr Bessel van der Kolk, The body keeps the score
Dr Peter Levine, Healing Trauma

Level: Introductory and intermediate

Intended Audience:

Max audience size:

Learning outcomes

Attendees will have:
1. a clear understanding of how anger affects the body and brain;
2. practical ways to defuse a client’s anger
3. an understanding of the attachment issues behind rage
4. practical ways to work with angry parts
5. practical ways to manage when a client’s anger is directed towards the practitioner


Wanda Dobson has 34 years’ experience of working  with children, adolescents, parents and families across settings. Wanda specialises in trauma and dissociation and works with the impact of trauma on the whole person. She encourages her clients to move from fragmentation to integration. Wanda is a therapist at Integrate Families, National Centre for Trauma and Dissociation and has presented at conferences in the UK and Rome.

Wanda is registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) and is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). She is also a member of the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (ESTD).