This week, I had the great fortune of hearing CNVEP’s executive director, Ruth Beaglehole speak at a private residence in Venice. Since the organization is located in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles, this was a rare chance to see her on the Westside.

The topic was Anger. She mentioned anger is under the umbrella of four emotions – grief, hurt, sadness, and despair. When we say we are angry, we are really feeling one of those emotions and everyone clearly deals with anger in different ways – sarcasm, avoidance, lashing out, cussing, etc.

What pushes us to get angry so the chemicals in our brains cloud our judgment? It comes from our childhood when we felt those feelings and we were not supported. I raised the question that some people feel it’s better not to delve into their childhood and instead to live in the moment. She recommended Daniel Siegel’s books, notably, Parenting From The Inside Out and his newest book, Mindsight. He is known for this work in Interpersonal Neurobiology and how we have the ability to repair our brains from difficult attachments/emotions we may have had growing up. (I have read, “Parenting From The Inside Out” and am very glad I did when Mishy was only a few months old. Everyone who has a child or is pregnant must read this book.)

Here are some questions that were raised during the talk. (The answers are what I remember them to be since I was not writing down notes or had a tape recorder.)

What is the best way to release anger? Through crying, by seeing the little girl or boy you were and supporting yourself now.

What are some ways to deal with anger in yourself? It is different for everyone. Some people deal best by running, jumping robe, chewing on an ice cube, breathing/counting to ten. It’s best to find out how to de-escalate yourself. (I need time to myself to write.)

How can we help our children when they get angry? By empathizing with them. For example, if they do not want to leave the playground, say, “You are having so much fun in the playground. You love playing in the playground. We will come back. It is time to leave now.” Give them a 5 minute warning beforehand and support them in their tears.

Thank you, Clara for hosting the event!


CNVEP is located in Echo Park. They offer parenting classes, private home classes, one on one counselling, and special events. For more information, visit their website at:

Books recommended during the discussion (with links to to read reviews and more information:)

Healing the Dark Emotions by Miriam Greenspan

Parenting From The Inside Out by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel Siegel

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

also available on DVD