Kurn Hattin Home’s Fall Explored “The Angry Smile” and Healthy Expressions of Anger

Westminster, VT – Kurn Hattin Homes for Children welcomed acclaimed author, therapist, and social worker Signe Whitson as the featured speaker at its 29th annual Conference on Friday, October 20.

The day-long conference, themed “The Angry Smile: Teaching Alternatives to Aggressive Expression of Anger,” provided valuable learning experiences for area educators, counselors, parents, and community members. Participants learned to identify anger expression styles, use varied strategies to suggest alternatives to aggressive expressions of anger, identify and understand passive-aggressive behaviors, and learn skills for responding effectively to a variety of situations.

Jennifer Heidbrink, Executive Director of Parks Place in Bellows Falls, Vermont said, “I enjoyed the conference and learned a lot of new techniques and skills. This is definitely a different way of looking at behavior.”

Signe Whitson is a licensed social worker and a distinguished figure in the field of child and adolescent development, specializing in anger management and bullying prevention. She is a valuable resource with expertise in helping individuals navigate the complexities of emotions, particularly anger, in constructive ways. Through her written work and in-person workshops, Whitson has empowered countless individuals to understand, manage, and communicate their feelings of anger more constructively.

“We were honored to have Signe Whitson as our keynote speaker our annual Fall Conference,” said Sue Kessler, Assistant Executive Director at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, “Her deep insights and practical strategies for addressing the ‘angry smile’ align perfectly with our mission to equip our staff and other participants with the tools to promote healthier expressions of anger.”

In addition to learning invaluable interpersonal techniques, attendees of the conference had the opportunity to develop relationships and network with other professionals who work with children in related fields. Mary Head, Elementary School Counselor in the Claremont, New Hampshire School District, said “I’ve made some good connections and I’m learning from peers.”

Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the Kurn Hattin Homes Fall Conference. Details of the 2024 event will be announced early in the new year.


About Kurn Hattin

Since 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, located in Westminster, VT, has helped thousands of children and their families by offering a safe home and quality education in a nurturing environment. To learn more, please visit kurnhattin.org.

Photo caption:

Signe Whitson addresses attendees at the Kurn Hattin Homes annual Fall Conference. Whitson is Chief Operating Officer of the LSCI Institute, an international training and certification program for turning problem situations into learning opportunities for young people with chronic patterns of self-defeating behavior.