Techniques To Control Rages, Inspired By Common Anger Management Counseling
By: Sarah Fader
Updated May 26, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Anger is a common, powerful, and negative emotion that can affect anyone, regardless of their otherwise neutral or calm composure. It can be set off by the most miniscule of triggers, from misplacing the remote to getting a fender bender, but how do you know when you are struggling with keeping your anger in check? How do you know if you need anger management counseling?
What Is Anger Management Counseling?
It is a form of psychotherapy or talk therapy which is designed to equip you with the skills to cope with your anger. Talking with a trained psychologist can help to determine if you do indeed have an anger disorder. They can help you to explore your triggers in a safe way and help you learn how to handle them and take control of your anger.
There are inpatient facilities as well as outpatient programs designed to deliver anger management counseling to those in need. The therapy can be conducted as either one-on-one sessions with just you and the therapist or in a group setting where you get to hear from and share with persons dealing with similar issues. There are also cases in which family therapy is the approach taken, to help improve communication and soothe tensions between partners or parents and children.
Who Needs Anger Management Counseling?
Generally, when a person is too involved with their emotions outside of anger, they may allow their emotions to take over. They may lose control over the situation and become unaware of what to do or unaware of what they are doing, the fits can become more frequent and more intense. But, when is it time to seek help?
Anger management is worth considering if:
- You get angry very easily and for the slightest of reasons.
- Your anger is beginning to negatively affect your relationships with family, friends and coworkers.
- Persons around you have raised concerns about the frequency and level of your anger.
- You run the risk of addiction by trying to manage your anger with alcohol or drugs.
- Your anger is negatively affecting your physical health with conditions like headaches, high blood pressure, weakened immune system and tightening of the chest.
- Your emotional health is also negatively affected with signs of irritability, guilt, depression, stress and anxiety.
- You are harboring a grudge and contemplating ways of exacting revenge.
- Your anger takes you to the point of becoming aggressive or violent towards those around you.
What Can You Hope to Gain by Trying Out Anger Management Techniques?
Just as uncontrolled anger affects all areas of your life, so too do the techniques you learn in anger management counselling. They are meant to:
- Help you to become more aware of what triggers your bouts of anger and how you react to these triggers.
- Equip you with coping strategies to use whenever you are confronted by a problem which would normally leave you angry.
- Teach you self-control so that you are able to delay your anger while you put your learnt coping mechanisms in place.
- Improve your physical and emotional health.
- Help with rebuilding your current relationships and with forming health relationships in the future.
What Techniques Are Involved in Anger Management Sessions?
At anger management counseling, you will ` learn how to calm yourself during trying situations. These techniques include breathing exercises and imagery (imagining that you are in a place that you are most relaxed or content).
When you are overcome with intense emotion, your mind also becomes clouded with intense thoughts, most of which is neither realistic nor positive. When you are in anger management counseling, you will be redirected towards a more realistic and even positive way of thinking. You will also learn that most people are not intending to hurt you and there are more reasonable ways to fix a problem.
Communication is also a key ingredient in anger management. Most persons with anger management issues will find that when they are unable to properly express what is troubling them, they tend to turn to other more damaging means of expression. Therefore, it is taught and encouraged during these sessions to tell those around you what is bothering you and negotiate how you can sort frustrating issues out.
Here are some other approaches you will learn.
Get physical - Use up some of your negative energy by going dancing, walking or exercising.
Get the tension out - Sometimes a good bout of crying is all it takes to calm you. You can also try screaming into or pounding on a pillow; or throwing something (make it a soft object and don't throw it in a direction where it could possibly do damage!)
Express yourself - You could try channeling your anger into creating a work of art, not necessarily for display - unless you feel like it.
Find a listening ear - Someone who is willing to listen in a non-judgmental way can lend an ear while you talk through your emotions.
Lean on your support system - Knowing you need help managing your anger is a big step and it is one many of your family and friends will truly appreciate. Be open with them about your attempts to change and the challenges you are facing. Let them know how they can help.
Write it down - If you are not comfortable speaking directly to someone then keeping a journal might work for you. You can document your triggers, reactions and emotions. Sharing the contents of your journal is strictly your choice.
Mind your words - Absolutes such as "never" and "always" should be used with caution. Be mindful of how you say things like someone "always does" something bad or something is "never going" to work. Those terms are not constructive when it comes to finding a solution to a conflict.
Try centering - This is an ancient technique which involves focusing on the ill effects produced by the negative energy of your anger. You then try to redirect that energy so that you feel calmer inside.
Meditate - Engaging in meditation is a good way to step away from the trigger of your anger while you take control of how you will respond. A few quiet moments can clear your thoughts and help you take a different, more constructive approach to dealing with the trigger.
Learn to let go - It is not uncommon for anger to persist long after the trigger has come and gone. For some of us, we tend to dwell on the issue which caused the anger, rehashing and replaying it multiple times in our heads. Letting go can free you of the anger and leave you able to focus on more positive aspects of your life.
Try avoidance - There are times when you must face the situations which trigger your anger and for those times you can try any of the techniques we have outlined. When there are instances, however, where the trigger for your anger can be avoided, sometimes it is simply best to do so.
There will also be times when you are angry with yourself or with things that are beyond your control, such as the weather. When these moments arise, using the above techniques such as breathing exercises and realistic thinking will help you not only to cope with anger, but also to understand that having fits of rage may not get you where you need or want to go.
Where can I receive Anger Management Counseling?
One of the better options to receive anger management counseling is BetterHelp, a website that can match you with the right therapist for your circumstances. They can assist with anger management as well as depression and anxiety, or any other potential anger trigger or source. You can speak with them through text, phone, or video chat at any time.