Chapter 3 of 4 – Brian, Melanie, Mark, and Austin are really angry. They visit with the school guidance counselor to get help in using the SPAM method so they can get control of their temper. (S.P.A.M. = Stop-Ponder-Appreciate-Moment)
- Click here for links to Story chapters 1-4 links: A story that demonstrates the SPAM method
Chapter 3: Mark uses the S.P.A.M. method of anger control
Mark was still feeling mad. He had just come back from three days out-of-school suspension.
His Dad had to come in with him to have a re-entry conference with the principal.
Sometimes the guidance counselor would sit in the conference with them. This time, it was decided that Mark and the counselor would talk alone.
Mr. Finegood said, “Hello, Mark. Welcome back! Would you care to tell me about what got you suspended for three days?”
Mark said, “Well, one day in gym class, Tommy Benson and I got in a fight. I think he started it. He ran into me twice. So, I pushed him, and he pushed me. Then I punched him.”
Mr. Finegood said, “How are you feeling now?”
Mark said, “I’m still mad at Tommy. We both got IAP (In School Alternate Program), but he shouldn’t have run into me the way he did. It’s all his fault it happened.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Do you think Tommy would think it was all your fault he had to serve IAP?”
Mark said, “I suppose. I don’t really care what he thinks. I’m just mad, mad, mad! The more I think about it, the angrier I get.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Okay, I have a suggestion for you. Do you remember learning about the SPAM method?”
Mark said, “Yeah, I remember.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Do you care to try it out right now before you go back to class?”
Mark said, “Yeah, I guess. Yeah, why not?”
Mark shrugged his shoulders and then looked at Mr. Finegood expectantly.
Mr. Finegood said, “You’re feeling angry. So STOP everything. Look around the room and find something that you can PONDER on.”
Mark said, “What’s PONDER mean?”
Mr. Finegood said, “Good question! It means to think about and focus in on.”
Mark looked around the room. He noticed the picture of the mountain.
Mark said, “I like that picture of the mountain. I like being around mountains.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Good! Now PONDER on those mountains until you feel a real feeling of APPRECIATION for the mountains. Perhaps imagine yourself walking in the mountains or driving by and seeing a beautiful sunset behind the mountains or whatever it is about the mountains that you enjoy. Let me know when you feel such a sense of APPRECIATION that you are feeling lighter and less tense.”
Mark concentrated for awhile. He kind of whistled and looked amazed.
Mark said, “Yeah, I feel pretty good.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Okay. Now focus in on Tommy. Try to find something you can APPRECIATE about Tommy. It can be a little thing or something big.”
Mark thought and started frowning. Then he said, “I can’t think of anything good about him. He had no right to run into me like he did.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Okay, hold everything. STOP. PONDER on those mountains again until you feel that feeling of APPRECIATION for those mountains. Let me know when you’re ready for the next step again.”
It didn’t take nearly as long this second time before Mark indicated he was ready.
Mr. Finegood said, “Now, once again, think about Tommy. Is there anything you can APPRECIATE about him? Do you like the way he dresses? Has he ever been nice to you? Do you have anything in common?”
Mark had been shaking his head no, no, no to everything Mr. Finegood said. Suddenly, his face lit up as he said, “Wait a minute! I’ve thought of something. He has some pretty good tennis shoes.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Great! So feel a real sense of APPRECIATION for those tennis shoes and for the MOMENT that you succeeded in figuring that out. You can also feel APPRECIATION for this MOMENT that you are back in school with a clean slate, knowing that you have the opportunity to start over again at making wiser choices.”
This time, Mark nodded his head affirmatively.
Mark said, “Yeah! I feel better about things now. That SPAM method really worked.”
Mr. Finegood said, “So what do you think you could do next time Tommy or somebody else pushes your buttons?”
Mark said, “I could try to STOP everything, not react, and try the rest of the SPAM method.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Smart guy! Do you think you might choose to do that?”
Mark said, “Yeah, I probably could.”
Mr. Finegood said, “Great! Let me know how it goes.”
Mark said, “I will!”
Mr. Finegood gave Mark a pass back to class. Another successful session using the SPAM method had been accomplished. Hooray for SPAM!
- Click here to read Chapter 4 of 4 – A story that demonstrates the SPAM method
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