Anger Iceberg and the feelings hidden underneath

We created this poster and activity in response to feedback to help with connected conversations about children’s feelings and experiences to help them understand that it can be difficult to see the underlying feelings the anger is masking.

The Anger Iceberg, first coined by the Gottman Institute, helps children to visualise the range of emotions that are sometimes conflicting or mask other painful feelings underneath the surface and that are often unhealthily suppressed.

Anger is a vital emotion as it comes from our survival need to protect and defend ourselves and by helping children to understand anger and to express it safely, empowers them to have healing conversations around their pain and to express their deeper feelings. Being alongside children and actively listening through connected, warm and relational conversations enables children to feel a sense of belonging, acceptance and safety.

This resource can be used to supplement our Exploding me programme pack or for those times when children spontaneously need support to think about reflect and feel able to express their thoughts and feelings with adults who can emotionally respond and help them to feel heard.

Encourage the children to complete their own feelings iceberg. They may even have a different feeling on the surface of their iceberg.

Anger Iceberg poster - and the feelings hidden underneath
Cartoon of Milo sleeping on his chair

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Cartoon of Milo sleeping on his chair

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Hamish with newspaper cartoon