Does your anger control you more than you control your anger?
- Have you broken remotes, game consoles or other possessions when anger took over?
- Does it feel good and justified to “tear someone a new one”?
- Have people let you have your way to keep you calm, but they are becoming more and more distant to avoid your moods?
- After a blow up, do you feel guilt for the outburst but then immediately feel even angrier that someone MADE you act that way? Is this an anger cycle just keeps spinning?
- Do others complain about your anger?
- Does the anger simmer inside of you rather than blow up, eating away at any contentment in your life.
- Do you criticize others or have frequent critical thoughts of others?
Many people with anger issues report the consequences of their anger being the larger problem, not the outburst itself. The consequences of your anger may be bitter. Perhaps you find yourself isolated, held back by the emotional distances anger creates with others. Maybe you have lost a job because you had an outburst at work. You may have even been arrested or incarcerated.
You wake up in the morning promising yourself to be patient today. The morning commute is snarled due to an earlier incident. Tick, tick. You are holding it in, telling yourself, “Stay calm.” Before work you keep your doctor appointment right on time. But the doctor keeps you waiting…waiting…tick, tick… When you get to work the new computer system has a glitch and the document you need is not there. Your typical day carries on like this where moment to moment you manage daily frustrations until your fuse is just gone and BOOM! Because, really, “What about my needs!?”
You are never sure what is going to set off that outburst. But after the initial relief of blowing up you see the uncomfortable sideway looks from others. The crab steps they take to avoid you. Due to heavy feeling of shame weighing on you, you hide from others. Or, since your guard is blown away, the angry outbursts continue throughout the day. Until you are bewildered after being warned you are in danger of losing your job or a relationship because your anger is out of control.
Many people struggle with anger. It is pervasive in our culture, particularly in the media. Viewed a reality TV show lately? What people get away with on reality TV, video games, or movies will not be accepted at your place of employment or your in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving dinner.
Most of us learned to express our feelings through modeling our parents. If the people who raised you were not effective with emotional expression, it is not realistic to expect yourself to be stellar at this.
Anger has an undeserved stigma. It is a healthy reaction to threat. Anger can be protective and energizing. We stand up to injustice because first we get angry, then we take action. Anger is a normal emotion that every person experiences. It is aggression –the behavior that results from anger – that results in problems.
The good news is that you learned aggression. If you learned that, you can learn more. You are not stuck in this place.
Anger Management Counseling Improves Relationships
For several years, I have facilitated anger management groups and individual counseling sessions. (My first career was a middle school teacher for 20 years. I am accustomed to working with anger issues!). I work with a range of people and anger issues for short term or long-term anger management counseling. If you need a certificate of completion for anger management for any reason, I can provide one.
In anger management sessions, I will not let accountability slide. Though I work with a laid-back style and calm demeanor so that you feel safe to explore angry, explosive feelings, I will also challenge you to do the work. We explore situations and how a change in perspective can change your expectation. We practice assertive communication skills. We examine thought patterns that have kept you stuck in anger patterns and try out strategies to facilitate change.
People who complete anger management counseling report improved relationships with others at home and work. Common results from this work:
- Ability to set healthier boundaries in relationships
- Feel more in control of emotional responses rather than controlled by emotions
- State own needs or feelings without diminishing the needs or feelings of others.
- Think before react
- Create more realistic expectations of self and others
Anger is not an emotion that you can do away with completely. But, through anger management counseling, you can gain more tools to respond to anger in constructive rather than destructive ways. Like the old adage, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail;” when anger is the only way you solve a problem, everything gets smashed. Anger management counseling provides more tools, which leads to more solutions.
With exploration and practice you learn to identify your feelings more quickly and manage anger before it boils into rage. Strategies tailored specifically for you calm you enough to employ thinking strategies to decrease aggression. Because anger management counseling is skills based, clients who do the work and apply the skills all demonstrate improvement managing their aggression.
Although you may feel that anger management counseling can help you deal with aggression, you may still have questions or concerns…
My approach to anger management counseling is personalized and more extensive than canned group lessons or online courses. There are several unique reasons people experience anger issues. In sessions, we will address your specific issues with anger. Most people who developed anger issues during developmental stages, often due to neglect or abuse, require insight oriented counseling. Implementing new behavioral strategies learned in a class are often not enough to make lasting change. One-on-one counseling can make all the difference.
Counseling costs too much!
You will likely take professional counsel from a lawyer, doctor, educator, accountant, hair stylist or auto mechanic. Isn’t your emotional well-being and mental health as valuable to you as the other aspects of your life? How costly are the consequences of your anger? What about the lost jobs and the ruined relationships? Counseling is an investment in your long-term well-being.
My anger is caused by the people around me! If they did what they were supposed to do, I would not be angry in the first place.
Often, it can feel as though anger is forced on us by the thoughtless actions of others. Anger management counseling explores this issue. This is one of the big hurdles –learning to accept that the only thing we control is our response to a situation. Life would be so much easier (maybe) if we could control others and situations. A key step in therapy is learning to accept responsibility for our emotional responses to situations. That includes our anger at the difficult people in our lives.
If you are ready to roll up your sleeves and begin the process of exploring your anger issues and perhaps what lurks beneath your anger, take the next step and download the free report, “Counting to Ten Just Makes Me Angrier!” It is filled with strategies to decrease anger outbursts.
*Important point: there is a difference between anger and domestic violence. Anger management counseling can help in some cases but domestic violence needs to be carefully assessed. If violence at home stems from a need to dominate, then more than anger management counseling is needed.