Anger can be the result of many different factors, some of which may not be recognized by the person experiencing the anger. For example, people who go through the pain of a divorce often suffer with untreated anger for years after the separation. Illness and death can cause those who grieve to feel extremely angry as part of the grieving process. Children who have suffered neglect or abuse may bury their emotional wounds for years, only to have the wounds resurface in adulthood in the form of anger and aggression. This natural emotion is the way our bodies and minds try to protect our inner selves from perceived threats. Even if an attack is not imminent, it is how we view a situation that creates the greenhouse for anger to grow. In many cases anger is a normal response and not problematic in a person's life, but approximately one in five Americans faces the challenge of uncontrollable anger.
Anger is a sign of one or more underlying issues and should be regarded as a symptom of a larger emotional challenge. People who receive anger management therapy are given the tools to slow their reaction to anger in order to identify the source of their feelings. Whether the root of the anger is buried in emotional trauma, addiction, or grief, our natural inclination is often to neglect and ignore the cause of anger in order to maintain self-control.
Developed by R. Kassinove, Dr. Chip Tafrate, L. Dundin, Brad Buchman, and Dr. Micheal Hoyt, anger management therapy provides a clear and distinct set of guidelines for recovery. It gives the client a controlled platform for the release of his/her emotions while aiming to achieve positive, rather than negative, responses. Clients in therapy are encouraged to examine the circumstances that trigger their anger and to become aware of their emotional state at each level of their arousal.
Clients are taught how to use those psychological signs as a road map to control their anger. By identifying the emotions as a psychological reaction to a situation, the client can gain awareness and insight into the way their body responds to past and future circumstances. In addition, clinicians work with clients to identify anger responses that may be defense mechanisms for other concerns like depression or anxiety.
Anger management therapy provides relief to the person struggling with anger issues, as well as those around them. Having uncontrollable anger can create harmful psychological and physical conditions. By reducing and controlling anger, an individual can reduce their stress and significantly lower their risk for serious health problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure, among others. The goal of anger management therapy is to teach an individual how to accurately examine their triggers and their perceptions of situations, and learn healthy, constructive ways in which to express their anger and frustrations. Some of the techniques that are used in anger management therapy include impulse control, self-awareness, meditation, frustration management, breathing techniques, and relaxation strategies.
Anger management therapy is delivered in individual or group settings. Classes are designed to address specific types of anger issues, including relationship, parenting, adolescent, and work-related anger or rage. Individuals may be court-ordered to attend an anger management class as a result of a domestic or legal issue. Therapy is offered on a continuing basis, or clients can enroll in a retreat or online session. Most anger management therapies include homework assignments and exercises that strengthen the techniques learned and allow a client to practice them in real-life situations.
Last updated: 03-18-2014