Counseling for Anger Management
Experiencing anger is very natural. Anger it seems is a sign that some need is not being met. It can be experienced when external stressors become overwhelming or it can be caused by our internal experience and the messages we tell ourselves. In my work with people, I have seen that personal power has a great deal to do with the emotional experience of anger and how we react or respond to it.
We all know that people react to stress in different ways. These reactions appear to be connected to a complex web of biological, psychological and social underpinnings. Some people shut down, feel sad or avoid. Other people get internally flustered and resentful. And some get violent and explosive. Violence is never acceptable as it hurts others who are often the people close to the person behaving violently. This cannot be overstated, as the ripple effect of violence is destructive in so many ways and responsible for so much pain and suffering.
However, with time and work, destructive anger can be transformed into constructive caring and assertiveness!
Sometimes anger can be seen as a secondary emotion in that underneath anger is sadness, disappointment and ultimately fear. Other times anger is perceived as a primary emotion. I usually suggest that anger is a natural and protective emotion that becomes unhealthy when it occurs too frequently and without positive ways to understand, accept and manage it.
Some ways that I help people work with anger are:
- Learning relaxation and breathing techniques
- Learning to recognize escalation in the body
- Learning to recognize and understand triggers
- Examining origins of anger and personal beliefs
- Correcting emotional and cognitive perceptions
- Learning about anger cycles and what happens when anger is stuffed down
- Learning assertive communication
Ultimately, the goal is to be able to express your needs and feelings in a safe and respectful manner instead of living with internalized resentment or explosive outbursts.