For anger problems in relationships, anger in marriage or anger between couples also see Controlling Behaviour, Blaming & Criticism In The Relationship
Anger Management Counselling Anger Therapy, Anger Management Therapy, Anger Problems, Anger Counselling, Anger Control
Anger Management Sessions, Anger Management Counselling
Anger Management Therapy
Anger itself is not a problem - it is a normal, healthy, natural human emotion, which we are bound to feel - that everyone feels, it is also our passion. It has the potential to bring out the worst and best in us. Anger can be channelled usefully into appropriate action. Anger is our instinct to keep us free, and for self-preservation (see also Willpower - Finding, Having & Following Our "No" Or "Yes"). Anger helps us stand up for ourselves, so we are not a pushover, stand our ground. yet getting angry often prevents problems being solved. Our anger can be our instinctive action for our freedom & preservation. Anger can be a last resort defence against allowing others to dominate or manipulate us, so we stand up for who we are. Anger & irritability can also motivate us to take action against injustice. We may also have an anger so deep, that it is hard to articulate. How to express it in healthy ways may be a challenge for us. Some of us may struggle to express our anger without triggering our anxiety, and with our tension, we can become wound up like a spring, which needs a release. Controlling anger, keeping cool maybe a concern for us. Yet, repressed anger, suppressed anger may also not be healthy. Anger is a primary emotion, which prepares us for fight-or-flight - what all male & female animals do when they are in danger or in fear, as chemicals are released into the blood stream. Anger is an alarm system, extra adrenaline is produced, our heart beats faster & blood pressure rises. When angry, men & women see things one-dimensionally. The anger management therapy addresses not only how we manage & contain the fire of our anger, but also how to express our anger in controlled & healthy ways, understand its purpose & acknowledge the positive & negative aspects. Safely breaking out of our anger, curbing, taking time to cool off, can support us. Struggling to pause or reflect, our spontaneous acts may even catch ourself by surprise, e.g. our road rage. We may be seeking ways to control anger. Help can be offered alongside different ways of responding. Some of us may fear our anger or have a quick temper, getting angry for no apparent reason. We may become confused, shocked, guilty or ashamed by our own anger issues, yet for some it could be our unconscious shame itself, which triggers our anger or rage in the first place, as our anger becomes our secondary feeling - the one we express, to our primary feeling of shame.
Ways Of Being Angry Sometimes when we are angry it can be as if it comes from nowhere as our buttons are pressed and we often go on to automatic pilot, sometimes crashing into others' feelings. We may struggle to be aware, take back control, choose how we think, feel & respond. We may have more of a short fuse, when something seems to take over very quickly, snapping away at lightning speed as if we can't control it. Our surge of rage may take off like a rocket. Others may have a long fuse - simmering or stewing away, volcano-like we hold our anger just under the surface (people may be on tenterhooks around us) yet sooner or later will blow. Some of us can implode our anger or bad temper, taking it inside of us - keeping the lid on, almost bullying ourseIves (flight). We may try to let things go, yet a red mist may come over us and things build up inside, until we eventually explode (or implode). Whereas others with a short temper hit out verbally straight away, explode with rage or aggression, sometimes bullying, bulldozing others (fight) - "flying off the handle". We may get wildly angry about some things, that on other occasions may be irritating, which may indicate something else amiss in our life. We may sulk at first as our irritability, rage & anger wells up inside us. People may walk on eggshells around us, and we may become prickly, easily irritated. It can be as if we have a default position we find hard to break. Our anger may slowly drift in or arrive as a full blown storm - spilling out, as we struggle to withdraw from it. We may feel worse or lonely afterwards, following its destructive impact. Yet in the aftermath of our emotional outburst may live deeper issues to be resolved.
Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree,Aristotle
at the right time for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not easy.
Internal Or Indirect Anger Problem Some of us may struggle to express our anger - bottling it up or holding it in, tight in their bodies, or indeed their heart. We may turn our anger or irritability inwards, onto ourself or become bitter.
Passive Aggression We may be indirect with our anger, hostility, irritability - becoming passive aggressive, procrastinate affecting us & in our relationship. And in our relationship we may become controlling, competitive, withholding, withdrawing, give our partner the cold shoulder or silent treatment, put up walls, etc. We may have taken on other elements of passive aggressive behaviour, which can be explored in the anger management counselling. When we are angry with someone, and don't tell them, we may become passive aggressive or sabotage ourselves. These aspects may include:
- Complying on a temporary basis, so we initially comply to requests but build in delays before complying, never playing by the rules
- Allowing problems to escalate through our inaction
- Being intentionally inefficient when we do comply, doing things in unacceptable ways
- Taking pleasure & revenge through people's anguish because of our hidden actions, sabotage
- Being like a victim, martyr, helplessly acting like we can't help ourselves & using self-depreciation
- Using sarcasm, cynicism, sulking
- Closing off, shutting down, withholding, withdrawing, disengaging in our relationship
- Being manipulative
On The Receiving End Of Passive Aggression When we have experienced passive aggressive behaviour, we can choose not to engage, be so affected by this behaviour. We may consider pointing out to the other person that we know they are angry - affirming this in a non-judgemental & factual way. This may be denied (and we still don't have to react). They may become upset (yet inside the person being passive aggressive usually becomes aware of what they are doing). And when we acknowledge their feelings behind any negative behaviour, we are not only seeing them but also letting them know that their passive behaviour is detrimental to the relationship between us and need to change.
Storing Things Up Things may be slowly simmering away inside and when we reach boiling point we have to unleash our anger. Holding the pressure in, some of us may store things up, which can get too much for us (e.g. holding on to our resentments, bitterness, grievances, grudges, even the minor ones, want to get even & retaliate or maybe our unresolved grief). Other options of releasing our anger can be explored in anger management sessions or anger counselling.
Using Our Anger As A Tool We can utilise our anger to:
- Shield & protect us (e.g. against demands, criticisms, or anything we don't want to hear. Also to deal with threats or new ideas)
- Believe we are safe by maintaining our role of being the dominant person
- Attack others
- Dominate rather than be strong
- Give us a false sense of superiority
- Make people comply with our wishes
- Try to control or make others do what we want, yet feel helpless inside
- Give others what they deserve
- Be judgemental of others, when they don't agree or do what we say
- Force our sense of entitlement, that the other person owes us something
- Keep people at a distance
- Avoid expressing other emotions or our needs
- Blame other for not taking care of our needs, because we are unable to do so
- Avoid our experience of vulnerability, weakness or shame
- Avoid managing our frustration
- Model the aggressive or forceful behaviour of one of our parents
Responsibility For Our Anger Problem We can be stuck or wrapped up with our anger issues, that this is largely what we feeI & who we are. We may struggle to keep a grip on our anger, especially fuelled by alcohol or drugs. Our anger may become toxic. We may be angry at ourself and stick it onto others. We may be angry about what has happened, which has nothing to do with a particular person. Taking responsibility for our anger problem & conflicts may be a challenge for some. We may try to justify it, that we were provoked ("It's your fault"), lost control, have a bad temper. The anger management counselling may also therefore explore what we now tell ourselves, following early wounded feelings in our life, like shame, guilt & the connections between our anger and anxiety, self-esteem, insecurity & self-judgement, negative thoughts & beliefs, depression. We may at times struggle to recognise that there is an anger problem, be aware of our aroused state, accept we can't control things, relax or reassure ourself. We may regress to an almost child state, become wounded, or find it hard to cope with underlying unwanted feeIings (e.g. fear). We may also struggle to contain our own anger, when other people are angry. Some of us may burn bridges at cost to us & others. We may become angry or upset, wanting to blame others, yet it is our own anger or irritability, and we can choose to keep this going or calm ourselves down. The anger counselling also investigates how we might responsibly take care of all our own feelings. The anger management counselling & psychotherapy can help us learn to respond differently to our anger issues, so our anger no longer defines how we are. (See also Self-Identity & Personality)
What Lays Underneath Our Anger Often when we are angry, it doesn't feel like the core of us is angry - that other factors, moods are influencing our anger. We may also explore sources of our anger - what's underneath it, our primary & secondary feelings, what it means & ways to look at the bigger picture, not just the small details. For example, beneath our anger, bad temper or rage we may be bored, lonely, scared or hurt, sad, feel heartache, heartbreak, grief, feel misunderstood and struggle to compassionately manage these feelings. (It may be less embarrassing to express our anger than some of these feelings or to allow for our vulnerability.) And when we are angry, we may feel inadequate inside. We can initially be certain that our anger is about something someone has said or done, yet on reflection it may point to wounds that have gone right to our core - our own pain or the way things "should", "shouldn't", "ought", "must", "never", "always" be. We can use our anger as a barrier to this. We will unpack our emotional response to your anger triggers - our significant beliefs & interpretations about these triggers, and other possible rationales, like our expectations or need for perfection.
What Is Anger Management Managing our anger problems, anger issues, dealing with anger, irritability, aggressive behaviour (or being passive aggressive), having a bad temper, flaring up can be addressed using various anger management techniques. Learning to contain our feelings at times may be important. For many people, anger treatment and controlling anger is insufficient, because underlying triggers, causes, effects may also need attention. Our anger problem, anger issues may go back a long way. We usually have a story to tell. The anger therapy therefore not only looks at our current situation, but also takes into consideration the impact of our past and includes where we would like to be, what stops us getting there so far.
Anger Management Counselling, Anger Management Therapy & Anger Management Sessions Anger therapy or anger counselling can provide a container for anger, irritability, fears, pain & hurt to be expressed. Taking into consideration the internal forces of the unconscious, we will also look at ways to become more aware of our anger problem, how to de-escalate our anger, so we are no longer at the mercy of our anger, irritability or frustration. We will look at how to put the handbrakes on, ways to go off on our own & take care of our own reactions, rather than dump our anger issues onto others and calming strategies, so we can be with our anger. We may need to learn how to express difficult feelings sensitively in conflict situations, so we don't bottle things up or explode. The anger therapy and anger counselling may also look at how free is our choice to get into a battle, and can help clarify what precisely it is we are battling over. Anger management therapy has parallels to anger management courses, anger management classes. The anger counselling will also look at the cost of our anger, irritability, reviewing alternative ways of expressing our needs, without overspilling. The effect of stress, tiredness, poor eating patterns, excessive alcohol, drugs or other unwanted habits or addictions may also be addressed. Anger counselling & anger therapy will also examine other possible responses to our anger, bad temper, irritability, urges, impulses, passion, including the filters we use and how we can be assertive without being angry.
Anger In Relationships Although our anger, irritability is temporary, our relationship with our partner is more permanent. The anger counselling may consider how we communicate in our relationship. Hurt inside, some may close off, shut down or give their partner the silent treatment. Our anger can have a psychological influence on our sex life. Sometimes we can frighten ourself by what we say, do or could do. Some of us may want to find a better way of dealing with anger in relationships, and the anger management therapy or anger counselling can support us in this, so we can take ourself off, take care of our own feelings and not put them onto someone else. We may treat others badly, saying things we would like to take back. We may feel remorse, guilt or shame. Sometimes it can be as if we are watching ourself doing it - being angry, and hold onto the belief that we can't stop, as if we have no choice. (See also Emotional Abuse, Possessiveness, Overdemanding, Undermining & Conflict In The Relationship Or Marriage)
Rescuing, Attacking, Blaming It can be as if we switch roles between attacking, being sorry for us or others (deflation), or rescuing situations. We may end up attacking (see also Controlling Behaviour, Blaming & Criticism in our relationship), because our role of trying to fix things or please others hasn't worked. We may not want to feel like a victim (see Drama Triangle of Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor). Some of us may find it hard to forgive, so we get angry.
Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger, but faces it head on.Alice Miller
Fear Of Anger In Other People When faced with someone else's anger our fight-flight-freeze response gets activated. We may become afraid of anger in others. Some of our responses may date back to earlier experiences in childhood. Being on the receiving end of anger is something we can work with in the anger therapy or anger management counselling. Some of us may try to avoid all conflict or fear confrontation. Others may want to find ways to powerfully transform our responses, defuse anger, especially when feeling blamed, criticised, controlled.
On The Receiving End Of Anger Many of us don't like it when someone is angry with us, when someone's behaviour is closed, goes into resistance, treats us with uncaring ways, withdraws, disconnects, shuts us out, makes demands on us, disrespects our right to disagree or say "No". As someone's anger is likely about them, they may blame us for their feelings they find hard to manage (see also Receiving Our Partner's Projections). We may feel lonely inside, our personal boundaries can help us and it can call upon our courage to stay loving to ourself and others when faced with someone's anger. Monitoring our emotions, taking a pause before we say or do anything may be wise. People often say things they don't mean when enraged, often forgetting what they did say and trying to talk about the exact words spoken may be fruitless. Letting go of trying to immediately resolve things may help. Reacting defensively, getting angry in return or telling the other person to calm down (certainly helpful if we do so - even our feathers become ruffled) may have an adverse effect. Sometimes it can be best to listen and hear the other person out and on other occasions to disengage while they are angry, so they learn to manage their feelings, yet keeping our own heart open. After cooling off period the relationship between each other may be healed if both the person being angry and the one on the receiving end don't blame themselves or each other, yet find some compassion, so we don't hold on to grudges and can get our points across. (See also On The Receiving End Of Criticism & Behaviour We Find Unacceptable, Intolerable)
Childhood Experiences How anger, irritability, bad temper was expressed, or not expressed, in our family of origin can shape how we express our anger as adults. We may for example have learnt to "hold our tongue", struggling with ways of expressing our anger healthily. How we express our anger now, may be influenced by uncomfortable experiences when we were younger, e.g. pain of rejection, our envy & jealousy or a sense of entitlement from a parent who spoilt us. When we are angry now it may also be a projection of our own inner child's anger at us for being hard on ourself. Anger counselling & anger management therapy can help uncover these links, alongside our own relationship style.
Why We Get Angry We get angry because we choose to get angry, even though we believe we have no choice. We can blame our anger, irritability, bad temper or aggressive behaviour on many other reasons. We can feel:
- Unheard (see also Being Heard, Seen, Appreciated & Met In The Relationship Or Marriage)
- Hurt in our relationship
- Controlled, blamed, criticised
- Envious or jealous
- Rejected or abandoned
- Alone or lonely
What We Do With Our Frustrations We may want to get rid of, or "cure" ourseIves of certain frustrating or uncomfortable feelings yet frustrating times & ambivalence are part of life, especially when we can't control others, outcomes, feel helpless or when our priorities are different from others. Managing our anxiety around this may be important. Some of us may create more frustrations than we need to. How we respond to our frustration is up to us. If we have a tendency to respond negatively to what frustrates us, this can compound our frustration even more. (See also Procrastination Compounding Our Frustration) We all struggle with certain frustrations. How we respond to our frustrations, tensions, apparent opposites & ambivalence is up to us. We may become angry, depressed. We can respond in destructive or creative ways, exploring our disharmony.
Existential Frustrations Our anger may also be of an existential nature - simply being angry at life's limitations & questions.
Understanding Our Anger Acknowledging that our anger is causing us a problem, and the problems our anger has led us to, we may want to do something about it. Using the therapy to also pause & reflect on our anguish and anger - understanding that this is us, who has created the anger, not someone else, can enable us to become clear why we get angry in the first place. Anger can be experienced like a runaway train yet can also be experienced as part of our energy and this energy may need accepting, expressing, dissolving, diverting, transforming, changing.
Anger Counselling & Anger Therapy can support us in overcoming our anger problems (anger templates) and see how we might choose a different response or feeling, so we are less caught or attached to our anger, in control of our anger rather than it controlling us, so we can choose to express it cleanly, defuse it or control it at other times. This could be supported by being curious about why we are the way we are and in touch with & expressing other feelings, learning to contain certain emotions & thoughts, including unfulfilled expectations and express them in healthy ways. We may forget that our anger will pass. We may struggle with suppressing anger or letting it go - often getting angry & even "getting off" on it - it can give us a sense of power, sense of righteousness of being hard-done-by. This adrenaline rush can have an addictive quality to it and may also be used to keep our depression at bay. And we may at times feel powerless and unable to control anger. Being powerful, without abusing our power, may be a challenge for us. Anger management counselling & psychotherapy looks at our anger style, and also considers what gets us angry in the first place, what gets us on edge - our stress triggers, frustrations, mood swings that invoke our anger, and ways we might want to diffuse our anger, control it when necessary. We may also consider whether it is anger we are experiencing or frustration - how this may be connected with our unmet or unrealistic expectations, and what else we could do with our expectations. We may have feelings milder than anger, like irritability, agitation or simply being upset, hurt, which escalate to anger problems. Some of us believe it is not safe to be vulnerable, fearful or terrified, so rather than show or express this, we are angry instead. The anger therapy therefore also explores what might lay under the surface of our anger alongside offering supportive relaxation techniques.
Anger Management Courses & Anger Management Classes The anger management sessions I offer are one to one. Some people may prefer working with others in a group, rather than attending individual anger management sessions. Anger management techniques alone may not be enough for us, without understanding where our anger is from and what it means for us. Anger management courses and anger management classes are available elsewhere for those who prefer to work with their anger issues or anger problems in a larger group.
Counselling Questions About Anger Management Counselling, Anger Therapy We may have certain questions about anger control, passive aggressive behaviour, anger issues, anger problems, etc, e.g.:
- What is anger management?
- What do anger management sessions consist of?
- What are the anger control techniques?
- Is dealing with anger possible?
- How to control anger?
- What is passive aggressive behaviour?
- How to control a bad temper?
- How can I get practical help with anger?
- Why do I have irritability?
- Why am I explosive with a short fuse, short temper?
- What are the ways of controlling anger?
- How effective is anger management counselling, anger counselling or anger therapy