Anger management is a powerful and effective way to implement control over one’s anger outbursts. It is important to understand that the elimination of anger all together is an improbable goal. Anger is a biologically based response. The key is to manage any inappropriate outburst.
How do we define inappropriate outbursts? Inappropriate anger outbursts cause consequences in one’s life; such losses of peer or primary relationships, loss of work, or any physical outbursts not in the defense of one safety.
Let’s begin with some very simple definitions. Anger management is not about controlling anger but focuses on controlling our behavior. Anger behavior, such a yelling, name calling, or physical outbursts such as hitting, are considered disturbances in anger regulation. More specifically they are disturbances in behavior regulation.
It’s ok to get angry at things, but we cannot act any way we like. When we do, we open the door for negative consequences, such as involvement by the police or the loss of a relationship. No one wants to be around an angry person who can’t control their behavior.
That’s when there is a need for anger management therapy.
So how does counseling help? Well, the first thing that’s needed is a clear assessment of what triggers the anger. When we know what causes the anger, we can then create a dedicated and specific plan to proactively intercept an outburst and also to learn to manage the anger when it does occur. All of this is focused on behavioral control. Once that has been mastered, we can go back and create cognitive interventions to limit the feelings of anger themselves.
These are the fundamental steps to learning appropriate anger management.
Finding the right therapist who understands the central components of anger management counseling will be the fundamental core to an effective course of treatment.