Anger management refers to a process. It can help people identify stressors. People learn steps to help them stay calm in anger management. They may then handle tense situations in a constructive, positive way.
The purpose of anger management is to help a person decrease anger. It reduces the emotional and physical arousal that anger can cause. It is generally impossible to avoid all people and settings that incite anger. But a person may learn to control reactions and respond in a socially appropriate manner. The support of a mental health professional may be helpful in this process.
EXPLORING THE ROOTS OF ANGER
Many different events can make someone angry. These may include:
- Internal eventssuch as perceived failures, injustices, or frustrations
- External eventssuch as loss of property or privileges, teasing, or humiliation
Anger may result in externalizing behaviors. These can include verbal arguments and tantrums. Anger can also cause internalizing behaviors. Internalizing behaviors can include sulking or increased symptoms of depression. People may show anger through aggression. Aggression is the biological function of anger. It is an evolutionary response that helps prepare people to fight off threats.
Inappropriate displays of anger may mean a more serious mental health or emotional issue exists. People who receive anger management therapy learn skills to slow their reaction to anger. This can help them identify the reason for their feelings. The roots of anger may be buried in emotional trauma, addiction, grief, or other issues. But a natural inclination may be to find temporary relief in lashing out. This can obscure the true cause of the anger. If this is the case for you, working with a therapist might be helpful.
HISTORY OF ANGER MANAGEMENT
Anger management dates back thousands of years in human history. Prominent figures in the history of anger management include:
- Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C.-65 A.D.)
- Greek physician and philosopher Aelius Galenus (129-216)
- Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
These figures highlighted the importance of adjusting one’s perspective of events. They also supported avoiding situations which could incite rage.
In modern times, trained psychologists have developed programs for people with anger issues. These programs help people better control their emotions. Some of anger management’s major modern-day contributors include:
- Peter Stearns
- Raymond Novaco
- Howard Kassinove
- Raymond Chip Tafrate
- Louis Dundin
- Brad Bushman
- Michael Hoyt
HOW ANGER MANAGEMENT WORKS
Anger management therapy provides a clear set of recovery guidelines. It gives the person in treatment a controlled platform for the release of their emotions. At the same time, it aims to achieve constructive responses, rather than destructive ones. People in therapy are encouraged to examine what triggers their anger. They try to become aware of their emotions at each level of arousal. People learn how to use those signs as a map to control their anger.
In therapy, people gain insight into how their body responds to past and future events. They do this by identifying the emotional reaction to a certain circumstance. Therapists also help people notice anger responses that may be defense mechanisms for other concerns. These concerns might be depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
Anger management therapy often helps people with anger issues. It may also help the people who make up their social network. Uncontrollable anger may lead to harmful psychological and physical conditions. Anger management helps to reduce and control anger. This allows people to reduce stress. It can also lower the risk for serious health problems. These can include heart disease and high blood pressure.
The goal of anger management therapy is to teach people how to examine their triggers. It also helps people adjust how they look at situations. Successful anger management therapy develops healthy ways for people to express anger and frustration. Some techniques used in anger management therapy include:
- Impulse control
- Frustration management (sometimes by writing in an anger diary)
- Breathing techniques
Anger management therapy may take place in one-on-one or group settings. Classes address specific types of anger issues. These can include relationship issues, parenting, teens, and work-related anger or rage. Sometimes people are court-ordered to attend an anger management class. This can be a result of a domestic or legal issue.
Therapy is available on a continuing basis. People interested in anger management may also take a retreat or online course. Most anger management classes include homework assignments and exercises. These strengthen the techniques learned in therapy. They also allow the person in therapy to practice their new skills in real-life situations.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM ANGER MANAGEMENT?
Anger management courses are beneficial for people in the fields of business or health care. They also benefit people who are court-referred. Anger management may benefit anyone seeking to improve their relationships with others. But this treatment may be particularly helpful for certain social groups. These include:
- Violent offenders
- People with bullyingbehaviors
- People affected by behavioral changes associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- People with behavioral changes associated with posttraumatic stress (PTSD)
- People experiencing substance dependency or undergoing recovery
- People with cognitive or mental health issues that make it difficult to control anger
Article Provided By: Goodtherapy.org