Is anger management a problem in your life?
Anger is a common emotion, a response in many situations that is understandable, however chronic (ongoing) and uncontrolled anger could be a reaction to deeper underlying circumstances. It may be necessary to seek professional help.
If you feel like you’re constantly angry, that anger has taken over your life, it may be time to explore therapy. In severe cases, it may even harm interpersonal relationships and career.
Therapy is considered an important part of anger treatment. The overall goal of therapy is assisting in learning strategies to help change behaviors toward triggers and manage anger in a constructive manner.
Many times, anger is the result of severe underlying issues that have festered overtime, due to trauma, or uncontrollable situations that leaves someone feeling helpless.
Anger may be a symptom in some mental health conditions, including:
antisocial personality disorder
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
dissociative disorders, such as from trauma
intermittent explosive disorder
oppositional defiant disorder
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The treatment can vary depending on the underlying cause or severity of the anger. A mental health professional will ascertain specific therapies after the initial discovery appointment. Then alter, if necessary, as the treatment continues.
Mental Health treatment is not a cure for the anger management, but it can improve quality of life by improving reactions to triggers. You may also benefit from improved interpersonal relationships and communication with those your anger might affect.
Anger therapy in children and teens
As children mature it’s natural for them to experience occasional outburst of temper tantrums, or teens to be irritable, as their hormone levels are inconsistent, but extreme frequent outbursts should be addressed immediately to discover any underlying causes.
If your child is showing signs of uncontrollable anger, discuss the issue with their pediatrician. After which it may be necessary to seek a mental health professional.
In young children, using parent management techniques (PMT) focuses on positive reinforcement by rewarding good behavior, rather than punishing children for angry outbursts.
Therapies for Anger Management
Therapy is an important component to treating chronic anger issues. Anytime someone is suppressing anger rather than seeking positive actions, the results can be disastrous. Therapy is designed to help anyone live a healthier, more balanced relationship with your emotions.
A mental health professional can make specific therapy recommendations based on the severity of your anger as well as its underlying cause(s). You may also benefit from therapy if a loved one’s anger is affecting you.
Some effective therapy treatments for anger management.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is a psychotherapy technique to help clients recognize anger triggers. Then the therapist will guide clients in learning how to handle anger. This type of therapy may also be helpful in treating anger caused by emotional trauma.
A therapist will help identify personal goals and outcomes to gradually change your thoughts and behaviors — and stick with the changes.
Anyone how suffers from life altering anger issues, a therapist might recommend a technique that focuses on self-reflection. Psychodynamic therapy is used to revel unconscious motivations to alleviate inner trauma.
The outcome would be for clients to express anger is ways that do not physically or mentally affect others.
Chronic anger may affect self-esteem and leave someone feeling guilty or isolated. In such cases, group therapy can help. Led by a professional, these sessions allow participants to meet on a regular basis, such as weekly or monthly.
The advantage of group therapy allows people to feel less alone throughout treatment. It can also be helpful to hear about others’ coping strategies. Depending on needs, some group therapies are family-based.
The bottom line
Anger is a regular part of life. In fact, it’s considered a completely normal human emotion. But if you are feeling angry often, especially about past situations, it’s critical to work through these feelings and forgive yourself and others for what happened.
Sometimes, knowing how to do this can be challenging. That’s why being able to identify the causes and then learning how to deal with them in a healthy fashion is a key strategy for preventing pent-up anger.