407. Angry Outbursts and Defiance: Best Practices for Bringing Peace to the Family

Resiliency, Coping Skills, and Positive Psychology, Saturday, April 13th 1:15 – 2:45 PM ,, Workshops


Tim Murphy, Ph.D.

CE Credits


Professional CE Credit

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Chemical Dependency Counselors

IBCC Credit

Pastoral Counselors, Pastors, Teachers, Coaches,

CME/CEU Credit

Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Physicians, Physicians Assistants, Nurse Practitioners




Angry behaviors in children can be destructive to a family, especially if the anger is escalating to violence. Understanding the causes and characteristics of childhood anger is essential to defuse volatile situations effectively. Psychologists, licensed mental health professionals, medical professionals, and ministry leaders may be called after the situation has considerably deteriorated and must intervene with tools to effectively calm a current conflict and offer strategies for long-term change. This workshop will detail how family situations are made more complex by multiple contributors of dysfunctional parenting, potential comorbid mental illness, substance use, trauma, marital conflicts, fear, social/peer influences, social isolation, academic performance, and, more recently, COVID-19. Participants will be able to identify the four stages of anger within a youth client and the ten characteristics of angry children. Furthermore, participants will learn effective interventions and tested and proven tools to use with the child, parents, and school personnel. The focus is on practical interventions to deal with the moment of conflict and give families hope, guidance, and long-term strength.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

Identify the four stages of anger: the Buildup, the Spark, the Explosion, and the Aftermath, and demonstrate interventions at each stage.

Describe 10 characteristics of angry children and how each is exhibited in behavior, thought processes, and emotions.

Apply effective interventions with youth and their families during an anger crisis, utilizing a demonstration including how to intervene at the moment, adapting interventions when the anger is associated with diagnosed mental illness, deeper family conflicts, and preventing future anger control issues.