On the deck of the Titanic, all the lifeboats had gone. A group of terrified children huddled together as the ship began to tilt and the stern slowly rose out of the water. Suddenly, the captain walked over to them.
The captain said, “I’ve been asked to have a word with you about your angle problem.”
“Our angle problem?” The children were confused. “Do you mean the fact the angle of the deck is starting to tilt?
“Yes, that’s right, your angle problem. You have a problem with angle control. Your parents and teachers have gone to the lifeboats, but they feel you need some angle management.”
“Angle management? Isn’t there something wrong with the ship? We saw an iceberg earlier.”
“Never mind that. You need to understand and accept that you have an angle problem, and you need to engage with the angle management programme that your parents and teachers agree that you should undertake.”
“What are they doing in the lifeboats? Surely they can’t just leave us here!”
“Now, now, they don’t have an angle problem, but you do, and it’s your responsibility to sort it out not theirs. Anyway, let’s get to work on the angle management. We’re going to start with some preliminary sessions on how to use spirit levels, so that you can recognise when your angle is getting out of control. Then, we’ll work on some cognitive-behavioural strategies that you can use to regulate your angle.”
The children then complete the angle management work with the captain, who uses a morse lamp to signal the parents and teachers in the lifeboat, informing them that the kids have had their angle management as requested. The deck then finally floods and the children all drown.
A slightly silly tale, but is it any sillier than the constant requests I get from people who want an abused, traumatised child, often living in dysfunctional circumstances, to undergo anger management? Why do these otherwise-intelligent people believe that this will have the slightest benefit to the child or anyone else?