What Is Anger Management Counselling?

Anger is a natural emotion to feel. If you feel frustrated, betrayed, slighted, attacked or insulted, you may feel angry in response. This is a very common reaction and, for the most part, can be controlled; however, some people find that they feel angry often, and to a point that they find the feeling of anger to be so intense that it’s hard to control. If the anger is not controlled, relationships can be negatively affected and even destroyed due to the way anger is displayed.

Anger management counselling aims to help people who struggle with anger issues to better control their emotions and deal with feelings of anger in a more healthy, less destructive way. If you find that you are feeling angry on a somewhat regular basis, or that your anger is making it difficult to maintain relationships and it’s hard to control in a healthy way, you might find that anger management therapy can help.

In this blog, we’re going to explain more about anger and the role anger management counselling can play in helping you to express anger in a consertive way that isn’t detrimental to your personal relationships.

Positive and Negative Anger Expression

As mentioned, anger is a natural emotion to feel and is part and parcel of being a human being. Even animals get angry – it’s entirely natural and in some circumstances, it can’t be avoided. Whilst it’s healthy to feel angry from time to time, the way in which you express your anger is key in helping you to manage it effectively.

Anger triggers adrenaline levels in your body and you will notice that your heart rate increases. This initial burst of adrenaline might feel sudden and not within your control, however, how you regulate and manage that adrenaline is something you can learn.

It’s not always easy to express anger in a healthy way, and there may be times when it seems impossible to take a deep breath and walk away to calm down. But, if you find that you’re routinely getting aggressive, volatile or even violent when angry, you might have an anger issue. These are destructive ways of expressing anger and there can be some serious consequences for yourself and those around you when engaging with such behaviours, so it’s important to be able to vent and manage your feelings without causing permanent fractures in your relationships.

When you undertake anger management counselling, you will talk through what triggers your anger, but also how to express it in an acceptable way. This will differ from person to person and will take practice to get right. It’s akin to changing a bad habit. If you’re used to showing your anger in an aggressive way, it can take time to change your mindset to express your feelings in a more helpful way, but it is possible.

It’s important to remember that anger isn’t inherently bad and doesn’t necessarily need to be demonised. It is part of the fight or flight response and according to research, it can actually have a negative impact on your health if you try to suppress anger. A team at the University of Michigan School of Public Health found that those who tried to suppress their anger were at a higher chance of dying earlier from things like heart attacks compared to those who expressed their anger.

In fact, in many ways, anger is positive. It helps us to define social relationships and can even encourage altruistic behaviour. Of course, this only applies if the anger is handled in the right way.

The key is to know how to manage your anger. If you have anger issues you’ll likely already know about it and may be keen to try and get on top of them, but assuming that you need to completely suppress your anger is incorrect. Instead, anger management counselling is the best starting point.

Understanding Anger Triggers

What makes one person feel angry might not make another feel angry. For example, you may find that your friend feels angry about a situation but you don’t, but there will be times when you feel angry and they don’t. Anger is personal to everyone and past life experiences play a large role in triggers, but a lot of it can be attributed to natural instincts.

For example, if you feel scared, threatened or attacked, there’s a high chance you’ll respond with anger. This is because fear triggers an internal stress response which can also cause you to feel angry, particularly in response to a fearful situation where you feel attacked or protective. If you have problems with managing your anger, in feared situations where your anger is triggered, your response can again be disproportionate and result in severe consequences for yourself and others.

You might not know your triggers, but find that you’re lashing out a lot. If you find your anger is triggered easily and your responses are often disproportionate to what has happened, this is a sign that you have some anger management issues. Depending on how you lash out, especially if it’s physically, you’ll need to learn to manage your emotions better so that you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else.

 

What is Anger Management Counselling?

Anger management counselling is a range of therapies designed to help you manage feelings of anger and express how you feel in a conductive, healthy, non-destructive way. It can also help you better mitigate anger-inducing situations, learn your triggers, and develop tactile coping mechanisms.

There are multiple types of anger management therapies, and at Psymplicity Healthcare, we provide a tailored approach to each client depending on their situation. We will first arrange a consultation with you to try and understand what is causing your anger issues and to determine the best course of action moving forwards. After this, you may be offered a range of different therapies and treatment options.

In essence, anger management aims to identify what triggers you and encourages you to confront those issues head on. There are a range of methods that can be done to do this, including but not limited to:

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy can be an effective form of anger management counselling as it digs down deeper into what causes you to feel angry and what your boundaries are. An anger management specialist will help you to communicate in a more assertive and direct way, ensuring it’s not hostile and aggressive. Psychotherapy can go a long way to helping you realise your personal boundaries and how to define them with others in an assertive but non-hostile manner.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is one of the most common ways anger issues are treated. It drills down into why you feel the way you do and works to change how to react to certain situations and triggers. An anger management therapist will go through healthy coping mechanisms with you and encourage you to develop positive responses where you otherwise would have reacted negatively.

Prescription Medication

Sometimes, anger issues can have a psychiatric cause, and in some cases, medication may be prescribed by a psychiatrist as a way to try and mitigate feelings of anger. This is often paired with another type of counselling to help develop healthy coping mechanisms.

How Anger Management Can Help

There are lots of ways that anger management therapy can help you in multiple areas of your life, including:

  • Mental health: When you have anger issues, you may feel out of control and like you have no energy because anger is consuming you. You may have fractured relationships with loved ones which can lead to a low mood and depression. Anger issues can also be the result of things like anxiety disorders, depression, and bipolar disorder. Anger management therapy can help you to regain control and re-establish your focus, helping to improve your overall mental health and wellbeing.
  • Relationships: If you have anger issues, you’ll likely lash out at those who are closest to you, either verbally or physically. This can be detrimental to your interpersonal relationships as people may feel uncomfortable or unsafe around you, therefore they may withdraw, leaving you feeling alone. When you can learn to better establish personal boundaries and manage your anger in a non-aggressive way, you can better maintain your personal relationships.
  • Career: As mentioned, anger issues can cloud your judgement and make it difficult to focus on things. This can see your work performance deteriorate over time. Anger management counselling can help you take criticism in the workplace in a healthy manner, and when you aren’t hyper focused on being angry, you can focus more on the job at hand.

Anger management won’t mean you never feel angry again, nor will it mean that you totally suppress your anger. Instead, you’ll be able to portray your frustration in a more positive and acceptable way. You will learn what your triggers are, change your unhealthy or unhelpful thought patterns, better regulate your emotions, learn relaxation techniques to calm down mentally and physically, improve problem solving skills, and better your communication skills.

When is Anger Management Needed?

Anger is completely normal and is a part of life, so it may be difficult to determine if your anger is healthy or unhealthy. There are different types of anger issues which can also make it unclear whether you have a deeper issue.

Generally speaking, if you find that you feel angry frequently, or if you aren’t always able to pinpoint the exact source of your anger, you may have an anger issue. People with anger issues are also often quick to see red, often at times when the anger is unjustified. If you find that the smallest inconvenience thing sets you off, or if you overreact to things where there is no real need to because it’s not that important, this could be a sign of an anger issue.

Some of the most common types of anger include:

  • Passive anger: If you experience passive anger issues, you might not be aware of how you’re coming off to other people. Those around you may find you to be hostile and unpleasant due to subtle behavioural issues that you might not recognise, including mean jokes, being stubborn, or sarcastic remarks that are uncalled for.
  • Aggressive anger: If you have aggressive anger issues, you’ll likely be aware that you have a problem because it portrays itself in a more direct way. For example, you might exhibit aggressive and potentially violent outbursts that involve being verbally or physically abusive.
  • Chronic anger: If you have chronic anger issues, you’ll find that you’re always angry and rarely feel relaxed or happy.

Each of these types of anger issues can be destructive to your life, so it’s important you’re able to get help if you find yourself exhibiting any of the above behaviours. A consultation with an anger management specialist will be required to determine the cause of your anger and the type of anger issue you have, and this will dictate the right treatment plan.

Anger Management Treatment at Psymplicity Healthcare

At Psymplicity Healthcare, we take a proactive and warm approach to anger management treatment. We have a team of anger management specialists who will work with you to find the correct holistic treatment plan for you. So far, we have helped more than 6,500 patients with anger issues to better express their emotions and maintain healthy, happy relationships and a good quality of life.

Using our 15+ years of experience in the field, we will ensure you have a safe space to talk about your feelings and triggers, and we’ll offer genuine care and support to ensure anger doesn’t rule your life any longer.

To find out more about anger management counselling and treatment at Psymplicity Healthcare, please get in touch with us to arrange a consultation with one of our anger management specialists today.

Mavish Sikander

Mavish Sikander

Mavish is a BABCP Accredited CBT and EMDR Therapist and CBT Clinical Lead at Psymplicity.

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