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Chapter 9: Regulate Your Emotions

Workbook Chapter Nine

Regulate Your Emotions


Self-Assessment Tools: 


How Anxious Are You?

Barry K. Weinhold, PhD


Directions: In the blank before each item, indicate the level of anxiety you are experiencing in the last two weeks. 


Key: 1=Not at all; 2=Not very often; 3=Sometimes; 4=Often; 5=Almost all the time.


__1 I feel afraid or worried

__2. I imagine the worst

__3. Your anxiety stopped you from doing something you normally would do

__4. When facing an uncertain and/or a dangerous situation, do you worry about it until the situation has been resolved or passed?

__5. You worry about your health.

__6. You avoid conflicts.

__7. You worry about the safety and/or wellbeing of your loved ones.

__8. You are concerned about what people think of you.

__9 You worry about your relationships.

__10. You worry about your safety and/or wellbeing?

__11. You are concerned about losing control.

__12. You have thoughts that seem out of control.

__13. You feel overwhelmed.

__14. You worry about your future. 

__15. I’m not confident and comfortable with who I am

__16. In the past two weeks, you had anxiety symptoms.

__17. How often do you feel freaked out?

__18. Do you search the Internet, books, or the library in search of answers regarding your anxiety? 

__19. Are you ever worried about being in a place or situation where you might not be able to escape in a hurry?

__20. Do you have difficulty relaxing and doing nothing?

___Total Score (Add the numbers for each item).


Interpretation of Your Score

20-40 = Some anxiety exists in you

41-60 = Moderate level of anxiety exists in you

61-80 = Severe anxiety exists in you.


Case Example: 


James was a 27-year old angry young man when I met him as a client for the first time. He scared me a bit in our first session. He seemed so angry about everything. He seemed to want to impress me about how he could use his anger to fight with other men that often ended in a brutal battle. 


He told me he also was a black belt kendo martial arts expert. He not only showed me the sword he was given when he received his black belt, but he pulled it out of its sheath and brandished it in front of me. He did put down as his initial goal for therapy as “Anger Management.”


I began to work with him on the possible causes of his anger. I gave him the Disorganized Attachment Self-Quiz and his score was the highest I had ever seen on this instrument. We began to mine data about his items that were marked either a “3” or a “4.” 


I learned that he got in fights with his dad and he usually ended up on the losing end. He said his mother was checked out a lot and was very narcissistic. I also gave him the Two Lists writing exercise and he Seemed to want to forgive or give back all the things he took on as his and now sees that they were things that were put on him by his parents.


In our second session I found out that he had a drinking problem. He told me that when he drinks he get the angrier and gets distracted from his normal thoughts and emotions. He agreed to go cold turkey and stop drinking all together, which he told me he followed through with and that he feels calmer now. 


I kept confronting him about his anger and his unfinished business with his parents. His girl-friend told him she was afraid of him, although he said he never hit her. He said, “I explode when someone violates my boundaries.”


I thought we were making small positive steps when he showed up for his fourth session with me and announced that he had a talk with his parents and cleaned up everything he needed to with them. He said, “They actually thanked me for coming to them with my truth.”  He also reassured his girl-friend that she no longer had to fear his anger. He told her he now had it totally under control. 


He continued to improve dramatically in a very short time. He got a new job and dumped his girl-friend, who he now saw as not on the same page with him. She resisted doing anything about her problems and that convinced him that she was what he wanted in a partner. He also realized that he stayed in relationships because he was afraid to live alone. That is his next challenge and he is learning to get more comfortable living alone.

He finally said to me, “In appreciation for all the work you did with me, I would be willing to come on your podcast and share how much you helped me.” I thought about his offer and I decided to accept his offer. 


He appeared on one of my podcasts on YouTube titled, GET REAL with Dr. Barry Weinhold. My producer, Ben, interviewed him and asked him at the end of the interview what he would like to share about his recovery with the members of our audience. Without hesitation, he said, “Don’t lie to yourself.”

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