It Doesn't Have To Be Destructive
Anger management can take place in individual or group therapy settings.
The first point to consider is that anger is not inherently destructive. In fact, anger is adaptive. Ask yourself what you think the purpose of anger is as an emotion. Why are all humans endowed with the capacity for anger?
Anger protects us from being taken advantage of, conned, and manipulated. There is tremendous energy in anger, and it can actually bring people and communities together to promote valued social change and to overcome injustice.
In reality, your anger is not really the problem. Instead, it is what you do with your anger that is ultimately destructive (or constructive). A first step in learning to control your anger is to become more aware of when you are becoming angry. Some people will say things like “I just snapped” when they describe an instance of explosive, destructive anger. However, this is rarely the case, and one of the things we will work on is increasing your ability to self-monitor.
An important task in learning to control your anger will be to explore what happens for you physically and cognitively when you become angry. Anger has the potential to move us into a state of hyper-arousal. During hyper-arousal our heart rate increases and we are flooded with adrenaline to the point that it becomes difficult not only to think clearly about the current situation, but also to consider the impact of our actions on the future.
A third aspect of anger management involves exploring where you learned to “be angry.” This includes your observations of how parents, caregivers, etc. handled their anger. It also includes examining your own views about your anger, the world, and past painful experiences where you felt not only angry, but also frightened and powerless.
If you are considering anger management therapy for yourself or someone else, I am happy to discuss the process further with you and answer any questions. Get in touch to schedule a free initial hone consultation.