On Thursday 3 July, the Young Adult Library of the National Library hosted discussions on anger management, using the medium of “invisible theatre” to stimulate interaction among 70 young adults at the library facility at the time. The discussions were facilitated by social worker/counsellor, Lorita Joseph of the Mt. Hope Medical Science Complex.
An argument was staged between two players over a young lady. In order to be convincing, the library’s patrons, comprising of youths between the ages 13 – 18, were not told of the ploy. Well into the argument, the onlookers took sides and gave their advice to the “warring” parties. Their responses were frank. For example, one young man pulled one of the actors away advising him that his behaviour was unacceptable in the library and that he was going to disgrace himself and his school. On the other hand, another young man seemed enraged as he advocated that one should not stand nonsense from another and that he (one of the “arguers”) should “blow away” his opponent.
The counsellor intervened putting an end to the argument. During the “hot seating” (that is a technique which requires the actors to tell the truth about their circumstances and the reasons why they behaved the way they did) the counsellor asked questions of the audience regarding positive approaches to the situation that occurred. Many of the young adults indicated that they would have walked away from the situation or found an amicable solution, while some said that they would have talked first and then resorted to violence.
Joseph gave counsel to the attendees regarding ways to manage anger. Handouts on anger management and conflict resolution were distributed at the end of the session.
This activity was one of the NALIS’ planned efforts to dealing with the rising incidences of youth related violence and crime.