Benefits Of Online Anger Management Counseling

Updated January 12, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

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 that arises due to a perceived threat, and there are benefits to feeling and expressing anger. It can be a motivator for change, serve as protection in tense moments, and provide a way to communicate negative feelings. The feeling of anger can include intense bodily sensations, sometimes described as "hot" or a "rush." Symptoms include a pounding heart and breathing changes.

However, it is important to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy anger.  If you do not have healthy ways of recognizing and expressing anger, 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 it harder to communicate. 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 may need to change. Excessive anger has been linked to major physical health conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease and can also significantly worsen your mental health.

If you sense that your feelings of anger control you more than you can control them, or if you can think of times that your reactions to feeling angry have cost you personally or professionally, you may consider seeking counseling, anger management therapy, or a medically reviewed and self-paced anger management class which can all be offered through in-person or online.

Is Online Anger Management Counseling Really Effective?

What Is Unhealthy Anger?

As mentioned before, anger is a normal and healthy emotion to feel. However, there are some cases where someone is experiencing unhealthy anger. This type of anger is usually persistent, creates significant problems for one’s mental health, or is expressed in a harmful way.  Below are a few signs that your anger has become a problem or is unhealthy:

  • You easily erupt into a rage over the slightest issues or inconveniences
  • It takes a long time for your anger to cool down
  • It seems that you are always angry about something and rarely feel good
  • Your anger is contributing to your overall mental health or pre-existing mental health conditions
  • When expressing anger, you resort to yelling or screaming at others
  • You struggle to control your actions when you are angry
  • Your anger leads to impulse control issues
  • Your anger is leading to problems with your physical health
  • You damage property when you are angry
  • Your anger results in domestic violence or other harm

**If you or someone you love is experiencing domestic violence, then please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

If you recognize that your anger is unhealthy, don’t despair. Self-awareness is the first step to healing, and there are many resources that can help you learn to manage your anger in a healthy way.

Resources That Can Help You Manage Your Anger

Anger management is an aspect of mental health that many people struggle with. So over the years, many resources have been developed to help people with this problem. If you struggle with your anger, then read on to learn more about how anger management courses or anger management therapy can help you.

Anger Management Courses

Anger management classes are probably the most classic way that people learn to resolve their anger issues. Throughout anger management training, you will learn various techniques to express your anger in a healthy way. For example, you may learn about nonviolent communication or relaxing techniques such as deep breathing.

Anger management classes are often the primary option for those who are directed by their employers or a court to work on their anger management skills. Therefore, certain anger management classes will provide a certificate of completion to show proof of the work they did. Furthermore, many anger management programs are developed, overseen, and medically reviewed by licensed therapists or a clinical psychologist, with many of the techniques rooted in different forms of therapy.

There are many anger management courses available these days for you to choose from. One popular option is the Anger Management Training Institute. They offer numerous lessons on how to manage anger and get to the root of it. For example, the lessons include how to be assertive in a healthy way and create boundaries as well as how to identify an anger addiction or chronic anger. Furthermore, this form of anger management training is self-paced, so you can go as fast or slow as you want. Completing the courses offered by the Anger Management Training Institute leads to a certificate of completion if you need it.

If you're looking for an anger management program that also promotes overall self-development, Anger Masters is a great option for you. Anger Masters will help you develop the anger management skills you need to get your life back together, all while at a reasonable price. This anger management course offers numerous options, from a single one-hour session to a year-long weekly course. This allows the program to be self-paced, so you can develop the skills as quickly or slowly as you want. It was created by the National Anger Management Association and also provides a certificate of completion. If, for some reason, the certificate is not accepted by a county court or your employer, Anger Masters will provide a refund.

Another virtual anger management course option is Open Path. Open Path offers courses that are affordable and self-paced and are as short as four hours or as long as fifty-two hours. Furthermore, upon completion, Open Path offers court-ordered certificates either immediately through email or through regular mail. Since 2014, 29,000 people have earned a certificate by working on their anger management skills with Open Path.

As you can see, most anger management classes are available online these days, allowing you to work on your anger control in privacy. A virtual anger management course or anger management program also allows more convenience and flexibility than a traditional anger management program can provide as you don’t have to commute and allow you to work at your own pace. You are also more likely to find more affordable classes or anger management programs virtually than in person, meaning you don’t have to break the bank to work on your anger.

Anger Management Therapy

Though anger management classes are an incredible resource, sometimes you want to go a bit deeper into your work or work on your anger more after the course has finished. Anger management therapy is a perfect option for that. Therapists help their clients with a variety of emotional issues, including anger issues, and therefore are available to support your overall mental health as well.

In anger management therapy, you will be able to not only learn healthy ways of managing anger, but your licensed therapist may also be able to help you get to the root of it. Understanding why you get angry and behave in certain ways during your rage is important in order to heal and improve.

Furthermore, many people seek therapy or counseling services to also tackle issues that may be linked to their anger, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, or other mental health concerns.

There are a few different types of therapy that can help with anger management. Therefore, you will want to find a therapist who practices one of these types as they will be the most helpful practices for you. Below are brief discussions of each type:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of anger management therapy involves identifying thoughts that are causing or increasing your anger. Sometimes, people become angrier after an event happens because of thought patterns that follow. For example, if a clerk in a store uses a rude tone of voice, you might be inclined to react in anger or seek retribution, perhaps by demanding to see a manager or leaving a negative store review online. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you determine when such actions are excessive by identifying your own thoughts and reframing them—for instance, by replacing thoughts of “What’s wrong with this person?” with “Is this person having a tough day?”
  • Psychodynamic therapy: This form of anger management therapy focuses on self-reflection. In this practice, you are encouraged to explore why you have anger issues and discover potential unconscious motivations for your anger management problems. Your own therapist will also help you develop skills and techniques that help you manage your anger without affecting your loved ones.
  • Group therapy: Though individual therapy and anger management courses are great resources, sometimes working with others and sharing similar experiences can further your healing and anger management skills. That’s why you should consider group therapy or support group options. During these sessions, you can meet others who have the same struggles with anger, and the group can work together to help each other manage their anger better. Furthermore, these group sessions tend to be cheaper than traditional anger management therapy and work great in conjunction with anger management classes. These sessions are typically overseen by a licensed therapist or clinical psychologist, so you are still getting the guidance and support of a mental health professional.

Luckily, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all health insurance has some sort of coverage for mental health or counseling services. Therefore, if you have good insurance, you should be able to find a great counselor that can help you with your anger. Anger management therapy can occur in in-person sessions or online, such as with BetterHelp.

Benefits Of Getting Anger Management Counseling Online

All the sources that were previously discussed can be available in person or virtually. However, virtual options are becoming more popular and have numerous benefits. Read the benefits below to see how managing anger through virtual counseling or online anger management classes can greatly benefit your life.

  • Enrolling in online anger management therapy is easy, and it can remain anonymous. Many people do not get anger management therapy or the help they need because of stigma, geographic constraints, difficulty in scheduling, or other reasons. Online anger management counseling courses are straightforward from registration to completion. You fill out online forms or chat with a professional so they can gather information about your background and about what is currently bothering you. They will get to know you as an individual. You can keep your therapy services as private as you wish.
  • You're accountable for your progress. An online therapist will typically complete 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'll always know where you stand, which limits confusion and allows you to become more confident. A therapist can also give you worksheets and other resources that provide information and teach additional skills so that you can make progress in between communications.
  • You can improve your overall well-being. Online courses and anger management therapy can help you with greater self-awareness, provide healthy methods to handle frustration like coping strategies, and offer ways to relax and improve impulse control. When you feel the onset of a stressor that typically causes anger, you will have new tools from anger management therapy to help you express anger in a healthy way or calm down, avoiding negative consequences.
  • 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, smartphone, or tablet and receive help when you need it. The flexibility of counseling and courses allows you to set your own schedule. Plus, you can receive help in the middle of the night, the middle of the day, or whenever you are free. Online therapy options, such as BetterHelp, provide the opportunity to message your therapist in between sessions.
  • Virtual resources are much more affordable: Online courses and anger management therapy are usually much more affordable than in-person sessions. For example, some of the online anger management classes mentioned are as low as $20. Furthermore, online anger management therapy can be as low as $50/ session, whereas in-person counseling often costs hundreds of dollars per session. That means you are getting all the same benefits as in-person resources for a fraction of the cost.

Is Online Anger Management Counseling Really Effective?

Remember that experiencing feelings of anger is common. A leading psychologist found that most people experience anger at least a few times a week, and research shows that 58% of anger episodes involve yelling or screaming. Feeling angry or experiencing anger outbursts does not necessarily mean you’re doing anything wrong. But if you find yourself frequently feeling so angry that you resort to physical aggression, like throwing objects or breaking things, you may benefit from online anger management therapy, such as the flexible programs offered by BetterHelp. Seeking therapy can benefit your relationships and family, and therapy can also address other challenges you may be facing like anxiety, depression, challenges with your children, or stress.

The mental health professionals at BetterHelp have training and experience helping with anger issues and behaviors. Online therapists or psychologists can work with you in several ways—video chats, phone calls, or messaging, all based on your preference and schedule. You can receive private, personalized treatment specially tailored to make you feel comfortable and supported. And rather than waiting to connect with a therapist in person, you can get started on BetterHelp right away. It's important to note signing up for BetterHelp will not connect you with a psychiatrist, someone who can prescribe medication. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from individuals experiencing similar issues.

Therapist Reviews

"Steve is amazing and does a good job at making this seem like less of a counseling session and more of a conversation between friends. He helped me talk through my anger issues and road rage and gave me lots of problem solving tools. I highly recommend him!"

"Regina helped me pinpoint where my anger issue stemmed from in the very first session, and has been helping me become more self aware of my warning triggers. Very insightful and helpful!"

What Else Can I Do?

Besides getting help online, you can take several steps to manage anger at any given time. The good news is that anyone has the capacity to change how they act on their feelings by utilizing anger management counseling, giving them new coping mechanisms. Here are a few anger management techniques you can do on your own:

  • Relaxation techniques: Excessive anger can be intense and long-lasting, and you will need to learn and practice ways of calming your body and mind. Therefore it is important to explore calming techniques to bring you back to a relaxed state. Progressive relaxation techniques involve learning to tense and relax muscle groups in your body intentionally so that your muscles can be trained to relax quickly. Other forms of relaxation, such as deep breathing techniques, and guided imagery, may also be used.
  • 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 hard time controlling anger at your child's sporting event. A therapist can help you learn new skills to communicate more effectively or even learn to use humor to deflect tension in specific anger-provoking situations.
  • Addressing past issues: Sometimes, it's necessary to talk further about how anger has impacted a person's life in order for them to move forward and choose to react to anger differently. A therapist can help you process even long-held feelings and beliefs about anger in your life to help you make different choices and feel more in control. Exploring these links can be crucial for healing.
  • Exercise: You can also try working out when you are feeling angry. This can help you physically expend the rage you are feeling without hurting anyone else. It can also help you relax your muscles.
  • Distract yourself: Another tactic for controlling anger is thinking about other things. If someone or something has made you angry, do your best to redirect your focus to things that don't make you feel that way, such as a pastime like watching television or a productive task like cooking a meal.
  • Identify your triggers: Sometimes, you can identify your triggers for feelings of anger. If you know certain things in your life always make you feel rage, see which ones you can stay away For example, if the customer service at a restaurant always leaves you feeling angry, order your food to go or choose a different place to dine. Avoiding triggers and finding a different approach can lower your stress levels and your anger.
  • Meditation:Peer-reviewed studies have shown that meditation can help significantly reduce anger issues. Meditating as little as five or ten minutes daily can reduce your ruminating thoughts, the escalation of anger, and even the length of time that you feel angry. This practice can also help you to be mindful of your angry thoughts and discover what triggers them.
  • Mindfulness: In addition to meditation, practicing mindfulness throughout the day can also help you to become aware of your anger as well as its causes. Mindfulness has been known to improve overall emotional awareness and can help you improve other aspects of your mental health.
  • Vent to a friend: Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone about your problems. Talking with a friend or loved one is a great way to blow off some steam without causing any harm. Just make sure to choose a friend who is willing to create a safe space for venting. You don’t want to vent to someone who is unsupportive or doesn’t want to listen to you or help.
  • Get some fresh air: When something angers you, it’s best to walk away and get some fresh air. This will give you a few minutes to collect your thoughts and calm down. Furthermore, the extra oxygen will benefit your brain and body and encourage them to go back into a calmer state.

Conclusion: Anger Management

Getting online help for your anger management can be simple. With so many ways to connect with people who can help you and learn to control your emotions in between sessions at home, you don’t need to feel like anger is inescapable. A truly fulfilling life in which anger doesn't hold you back is possible; you just need the right tools. Take the first step today.

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