My father was a rage-aholic and I thanked him for not hitting me before he passed on. He did smack me once when at age 8 I stole a 50 cent pea shooter and he slapped my for a 2nd time at age 14 when I told him to go f*** himself. But for the rest of the times, the abuse was verbal.
I began paying attention to my own anger for the first time when my 5 year old son did something that five year olds do, like spilled his milk or something, and I felt my father’s rage fill my body. It was like the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. I was possessed by him and I took hold of myself and told myself, “I’m not going to do to him what was done to me”. From then on, whenever I got angry, I whispered. He knew when I was pissed but he was not afraid of me and often we would just end up laughing about how silly I had been.
I had no idea that ten years later I’d find myself teaching Anger Management to hard core felons, some with two strikes, transitioning out of the California Prison system. ( www.stevewolfphd.com)
After teaching 20 or 30 Anger Management classes to these guys as I had been taught to do, I realized that the classes were not providing me or the men with good enough tools to control themselves in that moment of anger when they lose control, so I took it upon myself to develop a training program to do just that.
A year later, I had developed Taming Your Anger ( www.TamingYourAnger.com ); which I continued to refine over the next several years (I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my work). I self published a workbook and CD in English and in Spanish, (www.domandosuira.com ) and a DVD of me teaching the material to about 35 parolees. I have taught more than 1000 men over the following 5 years, some with a history of serious violence, and I demonstrated to myself that the Taming Your Anger Method (www.TamingYourAnger.com ) accomplishes what I had set out for it to do: to provide sufficient tools for taking control of behavior when emotions threaten to take over in regretful ways and to consciously discharge emotional pressure; while doing neither physical nor emotional harm.
After getting laid off due to state and federal funding cutbacks, I wanted to go upstream from the men coming out of the prison system, to teach at-risk teenagers on probation headed for prison to develop their self control to avoid becoming men and women locked into the prison life.
I then developed and self-published the very simple EQ-101 Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence manual to explain to teens what they needed to know to better understand their emotions (very challenging). I soon realized that these Building Blocks for Emotional Intelligence were for the teenager in all of us, and I created the Wolf Training Institute ( www.WolfTI.org ) to teach emotional intelligence and Taming Your Anger and to train others to teach for their own career development.
Until then I hadn’t been dumb enough or brave enough to attempt to work with teens, but I decided to give it a shot. Eighteen months later, I am now teaching the program twice a week in an inner city school. A doctoral student in Psychology has completed her dissertation research on my program and received her PhD and we’ve completed 90 percent of a film documenting the program.
As an Adjunct Associate Professor at USC’s School of Dentistry, I’m also presently teaching the same Emotional Intelligence/Taming Your Anger program to members of the USC Dental Student’s Professional Ethics Club.
I am passionate and I feel honored and privileged to be able to make a contribution by
Teaching this work to develop Emotional Intelligence and to reduce violence in our society.
Thanx for listening.