25 Minutes

By THE BALANCE
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Anger is a common human emotion that most individuals go through from time to time. However, if you find yourself being angry frequently or passionately, it could become a problem. Rage, chronic anger, or furious outbursts can have negative effects on physical health, quality of life, and relationships. Anger management is a technique for coping with the emotional and physiological arousal that comes with being angry. Anger management can help you discover your triggers for rage and learn to cope with them more effectively because it’s frequently impossible to change the situations or individuals who provoke anger. According to the journal CNS Spectrums, 7.8% of people in the United States experienced “inappropriate, strong, or poorly controlled” anger in 2015. This was more prevalent in older males. Anger management therapy aims to help you reduce stressful or anger-inducing situations, increase self-control, and healthily express your emotions.

Anger management therapy is a goal-oriented treatment approach that focuses on the emotional response to external events that create anger. Individual circumstances influence factors such as the environment, number of sessions, length of sessions, and whether the sessions are individual or group. Anger management therapy aims to assist people in expressing their thoughts and needs confidently and acceptably. Identify circumstances that are likely to distress them so that they can prepare emotionally. When they aren’t thinking logically, they should be able to tell.

When faced with situations that cause people to become agitated or furious, they should focus on problem-solving rather than the problem itself, and they should cool down. Individual therapy or group therapy are both options for anger management therapy. Both types of anger management treatment have advantages. Individual therapy is a great place to talk about personal issues and come up with highly specific ways for dealing with and responding to anger. Individuals can receive insight into how other people feel and react to similar situations through group therapy, and it can help them understand their anger better by relating to others who have similar emotional responses.

Why is it done?

Anger management therapy teaches you how to recognize and resolve frustrations in a way that allows you to express your needs while remaining calm and in control.

The following are some signs that you need help controlling your anger:

  • Feeling compelled to suppress your anger regularly
  • Negative thinking and focusing on negative experiences for an extended period.
  • Irritability, impatience, and hostility regularly
  • Arguments with others regularly that cause you to become irritated.
  • Hitting your partner or children, or starting fights.
  • Threatening people or property with violence
  •  Out-of-control or scary behavior such as breaking things or driving recklessly.
  • Anxiety or depression about angry outbursts causes people to avoid situations.

Some of the various ways to anger management therapy are as follows:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

 When it comes to anger management, CBT is frequently the treatment of choice. It can help you recognize your anger triggers, develop and practice coping skills, and think, feel, and act differently in response to anger, allowing you to feel calmer and more in control.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): 

DBT is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on building emotional regulation and distress tolerance skills, as well as mindfulness and effective communication in relationships, to help people with strong or regular anger regain emotional control. 

Family Therapy:

 In cases when anger is frequently directed at family members, this type of therapy might be beneficial. It might assist you in collaborating to increase communication and address problems.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy can assist you in examining the psychological causes of your anger and how you react to it to discover and correct undesirable habits. Your mental health physician will assess your situation and individual habits to decide the best treatment plan for you, including if you need medication in addition to counseling.

Anger management therapy requires approaches such as understanding your anger’s sources and responses, gaining ways to control or diffuse it, and altering your thoughts and attitudes regarding anger. Some of the tactics will be discussed lower down.

Detecting Triggers and Reactions:

Therapy can help you gain a better awareness of the elements that contribute to angry outbursts, current and historical anger triggers, your reactions to anger, and the consequences of lingering effects on yourself and your relationships. For example, you might understand that yelling at your spouse is a result of hearing your parents yell or the assumption that if you yell loudly enough, you’ll get what you want.

Techniques to avoid or divert from your anger:

Anger management treatment can teach you how to avoid or divert from your anger, as well as how to moderate your reaction to it. Your therapist can assist you in figuring out how to deal with anger. Role-playing allows you to practice skills like assertiveness and direct communication, which can help you gain control. Therapy can also teach you coping methods and relaxation techniques, such as slow deep breathing, leaving the room and returning when you’ve gathered your thoughts, or utilizing a peaceful image to reduce the intensity of your anger.

Changing Thought Patterns and Attitudes:

If your therapist uses a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach, therapy may also involve restructuring thinking and changing attitudes about anger. Your therapist will assist you in examining your attitudes and ways of thinking, as well as identifying patterns that may exacerbate anger, such as ruminating, catastrophizing, judging, fortune-telling, or magnifying. Your therapist will also work with you to assist you in practicing different response patterns. They can help you forgive and accept broken relationships by encouraging forgiveness and compassion, providing ways to let go of hurt and disappointment, and repairing and accepting broken relationships.

Anger management is a type of treatment that aims to help you manage your anger. However, unlike depression or anxiety, anger is not a medical condition that can be diagnosed or defined. Intensive, destructive, or uncontrollable rage, on the other hand, can cause significant distress and impairment, as well as jeopardize one’s safety.

Anyone who suffers from rage or has angry outbursts can benefit from anger management therapy. Anger management therapy can aid in the improvement of:

  • Mental health: Anger can deplete your energy while consuming your focus and clouding your judgment. It can also lead to depression and substance abuse, among other mental health issues.
  • Physical health: Anger causes a surge of adrenaline in the body, as well as a rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and increased muscle tension in the form of clenched jaws or fisted hands. This can harm your health over time and lead to physical ailments.
  • Career: Anger can make it difficult to focus on school or work, negatively impacting your performance. It can also harm your relationships with your peers. While creative disagreements, constructive criticism, and healthy debates can all be beneficial, lash outs or angry outbursts can alienate your peers and have negative consequences.
  • Relationships: Anger causes the most harm to loved ones, and it can harm your relationships with them. It can make them uncomfortable in your presence, erode their trust and respect, and be especially harmful to children.

Anger Management Therapy Provides a Wide Range of Benefits:

Anger management therapy can provide the following advantages:

  • Identify your anger triggers: Knowing what situations make you angry can help you avoid them or manage your response to them.
  • Change your thought patterns: Anger management can assist you in identifying and changing unhealthy thought patterns that fuel your rage.
  • Develop coping skills: Therapy can assist you in regulating your emotions, controlling your actions, and developing skills to help you cope with situations that cause you to become angry.
  • Relaxation techniques may be taught by your therapist to help you calm down and relax your body and mind.
  • Solve problems: If certain situations consistently make you angry, your therapist may advise you to look for alternatives or solutions.
  • Improve communication: Anger management therapy can assist you in expressing your emotions in a healthy, respectful, or assertive manner, rather than being aggressive.

Anger is not only bad for you, but it can also be bad for your relationships with others. Various types of therapies can assist you in determining the source of your anger and how to effectively deal with it. MindShift Psychological Services takes a long-term approach to help you continue improving your emotional management skills.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

For anger management, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you retrain your thought and behavioral patterns. It allows you to identify and change negative thoughts. It also makes you aware of how you react in situations like these. For example, the situation might make you angry, and you won’t be able to control it. As a result, you might be more likely to have a violent outburst. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you respond more effectively and positively to such situations. It’s a hands-on method of psychotherapy that entails talking things out with your therapist. 

Benefits of behavioral Therapy

Anger management with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help with:

  • Understanding your anger and developing a positive relationship with it.
  • Long-term pain caused by anger.
  • Challenging situations which exacerbate angry feelings.
  • psychological trauma causing anger.
  • Set goals for yourself to help you deal with anger in a step-by-step manner.
  • Assist you in comprehending other people’s perceptions and motivations, as misinterpreting them may cause you to become enraged.
  • Find ways to deal with your anger. Manage your anger by using a holistic approach.

CBT, which is frequently used to treat anger, is a highly effective treatment option. CBT is an empirically supported treatment for anger management that emphasizes awareness of thoughts, behavioral patterns, and skill development concerning physical and emotional reactions to anger. CBT was found to be beneficial to table tennis players with anger management issues in a 2017 study. Participants were less likely to express negative anger or react angrily even a year after finishing treatment. Anger management therapy was found to be beneficial to HIV patients in a 2020 study.

Anger Management:

If you have a bad temper, you might think there’s nothing you can do to control it. However, you have more control over your anger than you may believe. You can easily keep your temper from hijacking your life if you gain insight into the true causes of your anger and seek anger management counseling. Shame, guilt, frustration, regret, pain, insecurity, anxiety, depression, grief, loneliness, low self-esteem, and trauma can all contribute to anger. Counseling for anger management can help in a variety of ways:

  • It can assist you in determining the source of your rage.
  • The therapist can assist you in developing strategies for dealing with your anger.
  • It can teach you how to express your anger in a way that isn’t harmful to others.
  • You also learn that you have control over your anger and that your anger cannot control your actions or behaviors.

It takes time and effort to master the art of anger management, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes. And the payoff is massive. Learning to control your anger and express it effectively will assist you in achieving your goals, improving your relationships, and leading a healthier, more fulfilling life.

If you believe your anger is out of control, causing harm to your relationships, and negatively affecting important aspects of your life, you should seek counseling to learn how to manage it better. At MindShift Psychological Services, a psychotherapist or other licensed counselor can work with you to develop a variety of techniques for changing your thinking and behavior. Make an appointment with MindShift Psychological Services right away to take advantage of this opportunity.

It’s a common misconception that people only seek anger management therapy when they’re forced to by a court order or an employer, but this isn’t the case. Many people choose anger management therapy as a way to cope with difficult situations in their lives. 

Anger management therapy is most likely to benefit those who are experiencing anger that is interfering with their quality of life. Although some people are forced or recommended to attend anger management classes as a result of work-related or legal conflicts, the majority of people who seek anger management therapy do so voluntarily. People with cognitive disorders or mental health issues who have difficulty regulating their emotional responses, people coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), people coping with emotional or behavioral changes following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and people experiencing addiction or substance dependency or who are in the process of doing so are all candidates for anger management therapy.

Anger can be triggered by both internal and external factors. Internal events are thought patterns, such as perceived failures or injustices; people can learn to control their thoughts to a large extent. External events are upsetting incidents that occur due to the actions of others and are generally beyond the control of the individual.

One of the first steps in anger management therapy is to figure out what is and isn’t under one’s control. Individuals must learn that it is acceptable to be upset by something beyond their control, but that allowing that lack of control to interfere with their quality of life is unhealthy.

Anger management therapy teaches people coping strategies like letting go of things they don’t have control over and encouraging them to focus on things they can actively control and change, such as their perspective on what happens to them and around them.

Typical Features of Anger:

People commonly express their anger in a variety of ways. These are some of them:

  • aggressiveness,
  • passive-aggressiveness

Although we often associate anger with violence, violent behavior is not the most common manifestation of anger. There are also plenty of other more subtle forms of anger, all of which can wreak havoc on healthy relationships.

  • Insults
  • Sarcasm
  • Spreading rumors
  • Gossiping
  • Ignoring or avoiding another person
  • Damaging another person’s property are some of the more subtle or passive indicators of anger.

Furthermore, anger can be displaced, which means that it can spill over from one person one or event to another, causing the individual to become angry with a different person or situation. Typically, displaced anger causes people to shift their emotional response to a person or situation over which they have more control or where the consequences of expressing anger are less severe. This isn’t a healthy way to deal with anger, and it’s why so many people who struggle with it have trouble maintaining positive relationships.

Anger management therapy can be a beneficial strategy for helping people overcome emotional barriers that are preventing them from maintaining healthy relationships or stable employment. Teaching coping strategies and healthy behaviors to deal with anger, however, is only half of the equation. It’s crucial to learn how to deal with anger when it arises, but it’s also crucial for people to understand why they’re angry in the first place. Finding the source of their irritability can help people avoid becoming angry in the future, and it may bring more peace to their lives than simply learning how to change their anger behavior. Many people develop anger issues as a result of a difficult-to-process traumatic event. Soldiers, for example, frequently experience excessive anger after returning home from war.

This problem may be exacerbated in people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury or have PTSD. Identifying and working through the causes of one’s anger is just as important as learning to cope with one’s emotional responses for such people. Anger management therapy should be included as part of a more comprehensive therapeutic program for these individuals. Individuals may be advised to attend group anger management therapy sessions in addition to weekly individualized sessions by therapists to ensure that they receive the individualized support they require. Most anger management therapy sessions introduce helpful strategies and coping devices to help reduce the severity of a person’s anger, but these strategies will only work if the individual applies them appropriately. Individuals must want to overcome their anger for anger management therapy to be effective.

Results:

Improving your ability to control your anger has several advantages. When life’s challenges heat up, you’ll feel like you have more control. You won’t feel the frustration of holding your anger in to avoid offending someone if you know how to express yourself assertively.

Anger management therapy can assist you in the following ways:

  • Help in making your needs known. Rather than letting your anger flare up, learn to recognize and talk about what frustrates you. Knowing how to communicate effectively can help you avoid rash and hurtful words or actions, resolve conflicts, and maintain positive relationships.
  • Improve your health. Chronic anger can cause stress, which can lead to health issues such as headaches, insomnia, digestive problems, heart problems, and high blood pressure.
  • Prevent anger-related psychological and social issues. Depression, work-related issues, legal issues, and strained relationships are all examples.
  • Make use of your irritability to get things done. Inappropriately expressed anger can make it difficult to think clearly and lead to poor judgment. You’ll discover how to channel your frustration and anger into a drive to work harder and take positive action.
  • Assist in avoiding addictive escapes. People who are constantly angry may seek relief from their anger through alcohol, drugs, or food. Instead of adding another problem to your life, you can use anger management techniques to keep your cool and maintain control.

Anger Management Therapy? Anger Management Counseling? Aren’t they the same thing? While there is some overlap between the two, the approaches to problems in Anger Management Therapy and Anger Management counseling are vastly different. Knowing the differences will help you decide which option is best for you, so you can get the help you require. Anger management therapy and counseling both require speaking with a licensed and trained professional. Anger management therapy, on the other hand, will focus on the ‘Why’ questions, while anger management counseling will focus on the ‘What’ questions. ‘What can we do about it?’ vs. ‘Why do you feel this way?’ Typically, Anger Management Therapy concentrates on the theoretical side of things. You’ll figure out why you were angry about a situation and where your anger emotions came from. Understanding thought processes and how past events influence them, either negatively or positively, is one of the main goals.

Management of Anger Counseling tends to become more practical. You’ll figure out how to deal with your anger issues and want to make a change. The goal is to meet your immediate needs so you can get back on your feet and resume your normal routine. A mental health counselor, for example, can teach you coping mechanisms for difficult times or assist you in managing depression and anxiety.

Another significant distinction between therapy and counseling is the length of each. Again, there is some overlap between the two, but therapy is generally more long-term and counseling is more short-term. When working through different issues, therapy often incorporates parts of counseling, but with a longer duration and a different pace. Treatment is long-term (years) so that the client can explore their emotions and work toward identifying the source of their emotional and behavioral patterns. Intermittent therapy, in which the client returns for ‘check-up’ appointments every few months or years, is another option. Counseling services range from short-term treatment focusing on a specific problem that the client wants to address to longer treatment plans for lifestyle changes or stress-related issues. Counseling is a relatively short process that focuses on specific symptoms and situations and provides advice and guidance to help resolve the problem. Treatment usually lasts from a few weeks to several months.

  • Physical activity, such as regular exercise, can help you improve your mood as well as relieve tension and anger.
  • Avoid recreational drugs and excessive alcohol consumption, which can make you less able to deal with frustration. Alcohol can also loosen your inhibitions, causing you to say or do things you wouldn’t normally do.
  • Seek out the help of others. Talk about your feelings and make an effort to change your habits.
  • Keep a written log of when you feel angry if you have trouble recognizing when you’re having angry thoughts.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of someone else to gain a new perspective.
  • Learn to laugh at yourself and look for humor in everyday situations.
  • Listen. Listening can improve communication and foster feelings of trust between people. This confidence can assist you in dealing with potentially hostile emotions. “Let me make sure I understand what you’re saying,” and then restate back to them what you believe was their main message or point of view, which is a useful communication exercise. This method can aid in the clarification of misunderstandings that can lead to frustrations, as well as the identification of issues on which you can “agree to disagree” without arguing.
  • Assert yourself, calmly and directly expressing your feelings without becoming defensive, hostile, or emotionally charged.

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