Skip to Content
Social Skills for Life: Managing Strong Emotions cover image

Social Skills for Life: Managing Strong Emotions 2008


Distributed by Human Relations Media, 41 Kensico Drive, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549; 800-431-2050
Produced by Peter Cochran
Directed by John G. Young
DVD, color, 20 min.

Jr. High - Adult
Adolescence, Assertiveness Training, Psychology, Social Skills

Date Entered: 04/08/2009

Reviewed by Wendy Highby, University of Northern Colorado

A diverse group of teen actors role-play emotionally-charged scenarios and model strategies for assertively dealing with strong emotions. The actors explain that the reptilian brain controls the fight or flight response. They encourage viewers to identify their own unique triggers that arouse powerful reactions. Physical cues such as blushing and shaking are discussed. The audience is advised to take control and respond from the thinking brain instead of the reptilian. The calming techniques of deep breathing, pleasant mental imagery, and positive self-talk are promoted. Three reaction styles are modeled in each situation: aggressive (“lash-out”), passive (“self-doubt”), and assertive (“chill-out”).

The actors are dynamic and the scenarios believable. Editing is snappy; live action is interspersed with animated clips. The video is supplemented with a teacher’s resource book containing student activities and fact sheets. The program, while designed with special needs students in mind, is appropriate for all students. The film could be useful in both therapeutic and classroom settings. It would support curricula in health, counseling, and psychology.