Benefits Of Online Anger Management Counseling
Updated June 12, 2019
Reviewer Lauren Fawley
What is anger and what does it do?
The American Psychological Association defines anger as "an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong." Anger is a normal human emotion and there are benefits to feeling and expressing anger. It can be a motivator for change, serve as protection in tense moments, and can be a way for you to communicate negative feelings. Some researchers that study anger even posit that underlying anger is commonly other emotions, such as hurt or fear, but that anger feels like a safer way sometimes to express and outlet these other emotions. The feeling of anger can have intense bodily sensations that come with it, sometimes described as "hot" or a "rush". The heart pounds, and your breathing changes.
However, when you do not have healthy ways of recognizing and expressing anger when it arises, it can build and become harder to handle in a productive manner. This excessive anger can contribute to relationship problems, substance abuse, or even legal troubles. It may feel like anger starts to bubble to the surface during inappropriate times and situations, making to harder to communicate or react productively. You may even find yourself reacting in ways that cause harm to others. In these situations, your feelings themselves are not "bad", but the ways you have learned to react to those feelings need to be changed. Excessive anger has been linked to major health conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. If you sense that feelings of anger control you more than you have the ability to control them, or if you can think of times that reactions to anger have really cost you in important ways, you may consider seeking counseling for anger management.
Counseling for anger management usually addresses the following topics and tools to manage anger:
- Relaxation: Excessive anger can be intense and long-lasting, and you will need to learn and practice ways of being able to calm your body and mind. Progressive relaxation involves learning to tense and relax muscle groups in your body intentionally so that your muscles can be trained to relax quickly. There are other forms of relaxation, such as mindfulness, deep-breathing, and guided imagery that can be learned.
- Cognitive therapy involves identifying thoughts that can increase anger. Many times, people become angrier because of the thought that occurs after an event happens, especially when the person is interpreting another person's behavior negatively. For example, if you are getting checked-out in the grocery store line by someone who says something in a rude tone of voice, one thought about that could be, "what is this guy's problem with me?" In cognitive therapy, you learn to identify and change thoughts that are not helping you out in these types of situations. Do you think you would have a different response to the thought, "well, this poor person doesn't like their job much"?
- Skill building: This step involves identifying some of the main triggers in your life that contribute to anger. Perhaps you get frustrated in conversations with your significant other that can quickly escalate to anger or you have a particularly hard time controlling anger at your child's sporting event, for example. A therapist can help you to learn some new skills to communicate more effectively or even learn to use humor to deflect tension in your own anger-provoking specific situations.
- Sometimes it is necessary to talk further about how anger has impacted a person's life so that they can more forward further with the choice to react to anger differently. A therapist can help to process those feelings and beliefs about anger in your life in order to help you make different choices and feel self-directed and in control.
There could be benefits to you doing anger management counseling online.
You can receive help on your own schedule.
You don't have to get in your car or take public transportation to attend sessions with a therapist or a group. You can get on your computer, smart phone or tablet and receive help when you need it. The flexibility of counseling and courses will allow you to set your own schedule. Plus, you can receive help in the middle of night, the middle of the day - whenever you are free. It provides a 24/7 connection to a therapist. If you have an emergency, you will always have someone to talk with about your issues.
It's easy to get enrolled in online anger management therapy and it can be anonymous.
Many people do not get therapy or the help they need because of stigmas, geography constraints, financial stresses, it is difficult to find the time or another reason. Online anger management counseling courses are easy to sign up for, from registration to completion. You fill out online forms or chat with a professional so they can get information about your background and about what is currently bothering you. The payments are less than paying out of pocket for traditional counseling and are secure. On most online counseling platforms, such as Betterhelp.com, you do not even share your full name or picture with your therapist. You share only what you feel comfortable sharing about yourself.
You're accountable for your progress.
In an online format, your therapist will require progress reports to ensure that anger management counseling is working for you and that you are achieving your goals. You can fill out or look at your progress report whenever you want. You will always know where you stand, which limits confusion and allows you to become more confident. There are worksheets that provide information and teach skills that you and your therapist have available so that you can make progress in between communications.
Having new tools to handle anger can be a great benefit to your overall well-being
In summary, online anger management counseling and courses can help you with greater self-awareness, give you more of a sense of calm in your body and mind, provide healthy methods to handle frustration (either in an anger diary, creating a piece of artwork, exercise etc.), ways to relax and improve overall impulse control, and ways to communicate more effectively to others how you are feeling. When you feel the onset of a stressor that will cause you to become angry, you will have new tools you learn from anger management therapy to help you to outlet and express anger in a way that you do not have to feel the negative consequences of later. Instead of feeling regretful over your past behavior, you will able to have a sense of pride in how you are able to handle yourself and respond to much of life's stressors.
^ The Benefits That You Can Avail By Opting For Online Anger Management Classes. Valley Anger Management, Inc.https://www.valleyangermanagement.com/the-benefits-that-you-avail-by-opting-for-online-anger-management-classes/ Written January 11, 2016. Accessed May 4, 2017.
^ Anger Management. GoodTherapy.org.http://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/anger-management Accessed May 4, 2017.
^ Therapy Articles. BetterHelp.https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/ Accessed May 4, 2017.
^ BetterHelp.https://www.betterhelp.com/start/ Accessed May 5, 2017.