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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Apr 20, 2022

My guest this week is Kelsey Torgerson Dunn  In this episode, Kelsey and I discuss how anger can be a mask for anxiety in children, teens and adults. Especially as kids get into the teen and young adult years, it can be really tough as a parent or a professional to decipher what is at the root of hostile or dismissive behavior. They may seem like they’re angry, but when we dig deeper, anxiety may be the culprit.  When we know this, it helps us to support them in a more effective way while also helping them understand what’s going on inside their bodies. Kelsey shares her clinical observations and top tips for guiding children, teens and parents through the uncomfortable emotions of when anxiety makes you angry. Kelsey Torgerson Dunn a licensed social worker and the author of When Anxiety Makes You Angry. She specializes in anxiety and anger management therapy for teens and college students, and founded her anxiety focused group practice Compassionate Counseling St. Louis in early 2017.  Where to find Kelsey:



Episode Takeaways:

Intro to Kelsey Torgerson Dunn … 00:01:15

How Anxiety Might Show Up As Anger … 00:04:15

When Your Child Has a Disrespectful Attitude … 00:06:50

Why is Anger an Effective “Mask” for Kids & Adults? … 00:09:58

Guiding Your Child and Teen … 00:12:45 

How Cognitive Behavior Therapy Can Help … 00:15:00

A Thought vs a Feeling & 3-Step Process … 00:19:13

Why Kids Go from 0 to 100 Instantly … 00:24:50

When Parents Lose Their Patience … 00:27:40

Perfectionism: Anger Can Be a Close Relative … 00:30:40 

Anger is More Socially Acceptable than Anxiety … 00:33:40

Tools and Strategies for When Anxiety Makes You Angry … 00:36:36


Where to connect with Dr. Nicole: