Everything You Need To Know About Anger Management Therapy

By ReGain Editorial Team|Updated June 23, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Nicole Gaines, LPC

Anger is an innate human emotion. Every healthy individual has experienced feelings of anger at one point or another and will do so in the future. While anger in and of itself is not inherently negative, how people choose to handle their anger is gravely paramount. Individuals who fail to exercise the proper control while anger can make costly mistakes that are virtually impossible to come back from unscathed. This is why so many people opt to take anger management therapy. While there are many merits to this form of professional care, one must first have a thorough understanding of anger before deciding whether or not to seek out professional anger management care.

Learn How To Release Anger In A Healthy Way
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An Overview of Anger

Anger is defined as "a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility." Psychology Today, moreover, affirms that certain circumstances or situations trigger anger. Sometimes people experience anger when things do not go their way or when perceived injustices occur.

Each has their methods of coping and handling anger. Sometimes people go for a walk, exercise, scream into a pillow, or simply isolate themselves from others until they have calmed down. Other persons employ unhealthier methods of coping with anger, such as lashing out at others, becoming physically violent, or engaging in risky behavior. People who are unable to handle anger in appropriate manners are likely to crash and burn at one point or another. Acting out of anger does not absolve individuals from the consequences of their conduct. This is why knowing how to control oneself even while angry is of the utmost importance.

Anger is usually caused by clinical social or environmental triggers. Some examples of these clinical social and environmental triggers could be underlying mental health issues such as anxiety depression or undiagnosed mental illness. Or, it could be work related stress, family related issues such as divorce domestic abuse or parenting struggles. Other clinical social and environmental triggers for anger include relationship issues for couples families and close friends. Learning about and understanding what triggers anger in one’s life is one of the first steps towards successfully managing one’s anger. 

As previously stated, anger, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Many individuals make the mistake of attempting to suppress their anger, or worse, never experience the emotion, to begin with. On the surface, this can appear to be positive, but in reality, never showing or allowing oneself to experience anger can lead to depression and worse. Counseling Directory states that the healthiest individuals are the ones who can experience a variety of emotions, without losing control of themselves.

Is Anger Management Therapy for You?

In most cases, each person is aware of whether or not they handle their anger appropriately. Individuals who fail to do so will inevitably wind up in some trouble at one point or another. However, there can be certain instances where people are unaware or simply don't care enough to take the time and evaluate their behavior and conduct in times of anger. In the preceding situations, anger management therapy may be the much-needed solution to help people who are headed down a dangerous path. It can be so easy to, in a split second, make a decision that one can never come back from.

According to the Priory Group, there are a series of telltale signs of someone who handles anger very poorly and would greatly benefit from anger management therapy. First comes whether or not their coping mechanisms do or could potentially bring peril upon themselves or onto others. Heavy consumption of drugs or alcohol, violence, and the inability to compromise or express their concerns in a safe, healthy manner are all dead ringers of a person who suffers from serious anger issues.

Other problematic symptoms are hitting or punching tangible objects or people, extreme irritation over minor issues, inability to control oneself, lashing out at relatives and loved ones, constantly revisiting the same issues or problems, and feeling regretful of one's conduct after the anger has subsided. Each of the symptoms above is highly troublesome. People who can relate to one or more would do very well to seek out professional anger management therapy.

In addition to these symptoms, underlying mental health issues such as depression anxiety or other stress-related disorders can also contribute to a person’s anger issues. Depression anxiety and other underlying mental health issues often put extra stress on a person’s ability to calmly address a given situation. As a result, people with anxiety depression or other underlying mental health issues will be more likely to lash out in anger. As a result anxiety depression is another reason someone might need to find themselves in anger management therapy. 

Believe it or not, one's physical actions and behaviors are not the only indicators of anger management issues. Observed emotional states can also serve as signs that an individual is struggling with healthy methods of processing and handling their anger. Insomnia, habitual paranoia, frustration, and anxiety are also signs that someone may benefit from anger management. People who socially isolate themselves for ongoing periods or experience depression should also seek out anger management therapy.

How Does Anger Management Therapy Work?

Skills You Need states that anger management therapy can occur in group sessions or individual sessions with the patient and the therapist. Some people are better suited for sessions with other patients, whereas others would benefit most from individual sessions. Persons who choose to seek out anger management therapy should decide which works best for them and seek out the proper therapist.

Most anger therapy is conducted by a marriage and family therapist, since the issues of anger management have the biggest impact at home. While work related issues and other problems outside of the home and family can be triggers that lead to the need for anger management therapy, the fallout of the anger issues are most acutely experienced at home. For this reason, it is usually a marriage and family therapist who will oversee anger management therapy. This is true whether you’re doing one on one therapy with a marriage and family therapist, participating in a group anger management session, or even if you prefer marriage and family therapists teletherapy. Whatever setup a person chooses for their anger management sessions, the marriage and family therapist will be committed to providing top-notch care and helping individuals manage their anxiety depression and anger.

Learn How To Release Anger In A Healthy Way

The awareness around anger-mental related issues, including anxiety bipolar disorder, depression stress, etc. has significantly increased in the past decade. In fact, anger management anxiety management, and stress management all go hand in hand: it’s nearly impossible to separate the process of learning to manage anger from the processes of learning to manage anxiety depression and stress, as well.  The perception has drastically reduced stigmatization and helped people control anger by turning to management courses as much as therapy anger management therapy.

Individuals who attend anger management therapy should also expect to hear that understanding that they have anger issues and looking for professional help are the first steps towards recovery. This is the first and most common thing that people in anger management courses hear from their marriage and family therapist. Some people may interpret this as a rehearsed comment coming from the typical shrink, but the therapist is right. Without acknowledging the anxiety depression and stress that can cause the anger management issues, there’s no way to move forward with the person centered therapy.

One of the very first steps of overcoming a problem is acknowledging that it exists and doing something about it. Some so many people have considerable problems and shortcomings, yet cannot overcome them due to a lack of honesty, acknowledgment, and self-awareness. Being truthful with oneself is important, especially when striving to overcome personal problems such as anxiety depression, stress, and the related anger issues that stem from these triggers.

In most cases, the longevity of anger management therapy can be between one month and six weeks. Depending on the progress and success of the patient, it can last for longer or shorter amounts of time. The pace and frequency of the sessions will be set by both the marriage and family therapist and the person who is seeking therapy. Individuals should also seek out therapists whom they feel comfortable with opening up to, so that they can ensure that their marriage and family therapist is a good fit for the entire course of their anger management treatment. For progress to be made in anger management therapy sessions, the patient has to open up to the therapist. Both parties need to get to know and trust one another. Without trust, progress is virtually impossible.

It’s important to remember that even if the first marriage and family therapist is a good fit for the patient, he or she is free to talk to another marriage and family therapist. The therapeutic relationship between the patient and the marriage and family therapist should be one that is open and honest, where the patient feels free to share honestly without fear of judgment or retribution from the marriage and family therapist.

Each anger management or marriage and family therapist will inevitably employ his or her own techniques and strategies. However, the overall objectives are usually quite similar. Anger management therapy is designed to help patients identify the sources of their anger, handle the sources calmly and appropriately, learn healthy anger management skills, think constructively, retain control over oneself, and identify critical problem-solving strategies. The goals above are designed not to vanquish anger, but to handle it effectively without getting oneself into trouble.

Because the goal of anger management therapy is largely focused around responding to anger instead of completely ignoring it or stamping it out, there is also a huge focus on things like anxiety depression and stress that can lead to anger. By looking more deeply at these clinical social and environmental triggers of anger, a marriage and family therapist can be committed to providing treatment with the explicit goal of helping individuals respond well to their anger. 

Anger management therapy also helps patients understand the various levels of anger. This is vital for several reasons. Not only does it boost levels of self-awareness, but understanding the levels of one's anger also helps individuals identify potential hidden triggers and develop appropriate coping strategies.

This means that it is crucial for patients to understand how not all anger is the same. This allows patients to approach the clinical social and environmental triggers of their anger with a better understanding of what they’re addressing. This can be especially useful when approaching anger in terms of couples families and other relationships, since taking a step back to assess the anger and the causes of the anger also allows the patient to see how their anger is affecting those around them. Furthermore, acknowledging the different types and clinical social and environmental causes of anger can set patients off on the right foot with their anger management therapists. 

Anger management therapists may suggest many appropriate coping strategies. Some of the techniques above include, but are certainly not limited to, temporarily separating oneself from the source of their anger, altering certain conversations which could trigger anger, counting to ten, and relaxing via deep breathing. Most therapists specializing in anger management will also stress the importance of recognizing the differences between and the links between anger and frustration. Making this distinction early on is a way that therapists who specialize in anger management can better help and understand their patients moving forward, and it helps the patients to make careful distinctions when they process and talk about their issues for anger management.

Different strategies work for different individuals. Each person has his or her triggers and solutions, which work most effectively for them. The job of the anger management therapy is to help patients understand their anger, identify its underlying sources or triggers, and then develop appropriate and constructive coping mechanisms.

Naturally, you may be unsure about how management therapy works, but people around you may be willing to share their experience with therapy and how talking to a professional has helped. The process differs from person to person, so your approach to managing anger is based on your experience. If you're struggling with chronic pain, substance abuse, or other anger-related issues, therapy helps you work through it. 

Therapy doesn't operate using a one-for-all approach; it instead employs a non-judgmental option and space where you can talk about your challenges. In this safe space, you’ll be free to talk to your therapist or counselor about whatever is on your mind, especially as it relates to expressing anger and anger management anxiety management, or stress management. You get to deal one on one with a therapist because they're there to listen. Through their therapy, anger management skills, and management courses, the therapist helps you walk around changes and results. To put it simply, they help you identify what to work on and find the right tools.

A Final Word

There is no shame in seeking out anger management therapy or any other form of professional help. Far too many people are somehow convinced that asking for assistance is indicative of weakness or shortcoming. The ultimate reality is that every person alive needs help sometimes. That help can come from relatives, friends, colleagues, or other loved ones. In other cases, assistance can come from licensed professionals who have made it their life's work to help people become the best versions of themselves and live the best quality of life that is humanly possible.

In fact, anger management sessions - whether they are one to one and face to face, one on one via therapists teletherapy, or in group anger management courses – can be a beneficial way for anyone to address their anger management issues. In doing so, they are also quite likely to receive help with other underlying issues, such and anxiety depression and stress management. They will also receive help with navigating the clinical social and environmental triggers that cause them to get angry. By learning how to deal with the underlying disorders, emotional stressors and other clinical social and environmental factors that contribute to their anger in the first place, patients in anger management sessions are actually working to improve their mental health overall. 

Here at ReGain, we provide ourselves on providing the best possible quality of therapy. We offer counseling for individuals, couples, and families. We are ultimately here to meet your needs and the needs of any other loved ones. Communication, trust, and companionship are some of our most treasured core values. We thrive on helping the world around us, one person or family at a time.

Unlike other companies that provide counseling and therapy services, ReGain is readily available for individuals and families at any time whatsoever. Our service is designed to help people overcome whatever battles they are struggling with, whether it's anger management or something else altogether. ReGain is also completely confidential and can be used for as long or short a period as you feel necessary.

Hopefully, the preceding information about anger management therapy and ReGain's offered services was educational and enlightening. There is an abundance of options for individuals who aspire to rise above destructive coping methods and manage their anger appropriately. Nobody deserves to feel as though they have nobody they can turn to during their times of need. Anger management is a critical skill that every person needs to succeed in life.

Ultimately, the choice rests with you, but if you ever feel the need to contact ReGain for anger management therapy services or any other reason, you can do so by clicking here.

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