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Go ahead, scream. Therapist offers ‘rage’ sessions following election

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Angry that progressives won’t accept that president-elect Donald J. Trump rose to victory?

Or perhaps you’re a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton, and fearful about the future of the country under Republican control?

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Grab a bat. Scream. And strike a heavy bag.

Patrick Teahan, a licensed social worker based in Arlington, is opening his doors to people who need to get “the rage” out following an election that left many dismayed about the outcome, or irate that detractors have protested the results of the democratic process.

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“This is really sort of aimed at people who are really struggling emotionally, or are really triggered, and need to put it some place and really move on,” said Teahan, who is trained in mediation and bringing people together. “I wanted to open up my doors to people, and be able to provide a bit of a release for people.”

The pro bono service will take place at Teahan’s private practice on Wednesday. Those interested must first call Teahan, and go through a screening process. Not everyone, based on information they give to Teahan, will be cleared to take part in the sessions.

Once approved, a person would enter a room with Teahan where they could use either an aluminum or foam baseball bat to hit a freestanding training bag typically used in martial arts or boxing.

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“You’d be going into a room and beating a bag and talking with me about what the upsetting piece is,” he said. “I would encourage the person to scream and hit the bag at the same time.”

Teahan advertised the service this week on a neighborhood website used by residents in Arlington and Medford. He already has a few appointments in the books.

Each session would last between 10 to 15 minutes. Teahan will offer the free therapy at others times this week if people can’t make it Wednesday, schedules permitting.

The process is a regular part of his practice with current patients. But the idea to welcome newcomers to the space for a one-time release was sparked by an event in New York City following the election.

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” had set up a phone booth in Manhattan — it was called the “Screaming” booth — and encouraged voters fed up with the election to “let it out.”

While some clincians might view it as an unconventional or radical form of therapy for dealing with an emotionally upsetting life event, Teahan said the process can be cathartic. He also said they are entitled to their opinions.

“It’s an exercise that let’s people regain some clarity,” he said. “I think it’s better to rage at an inanimate object, and not be so verbally upset in front of another human being.”

And if the rage resurfaces in the days after the appointment?

“Rip-up an old T-shirt. Scream into a pillow. Take a bat to [your] own bed,” said Teahan. “Find a private place, and let it out.”

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.
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