Who can benefit from anger management therapy?
In its mildest form, anger is experienced as irritation or annoyance, however, for some people, anger can become a more regular and destructive part of life. If a person finds that they often feel angry over the slightest thing, or if they are unable to control their actions when they become angry, anger management therapy may be beneficial.
If a person finds it difficult to control their anger they may suffer with health problems - anger is thought to contribute to a number of health conditions including, insomnia, depression and even heart disease. Uncontrolled or prolonged anger can also impair a person’s judgment, cause impulsive behavior such as reckless driving, and lead to arguments or physical violence. People with anger management issues may also experience problems within their personal relationships or find themselves in trouble with the law. Therapy, medication, or both medication and psychotherapy therapy may be the answer.
Anger management therapy can help people with anger issues to:
Avoid psychological problems: Anger is linked to a number of emotional and behavioral difficulties including depression, substance abuse and troubled personal relationships. Learning anger management therapy techniques can help a person to avoid more serious emotional problems in the future.
Improve health and well-being: Anger is linked to a number of health problems that range from less serious complaints, such as headaches, insomnia and digestive problems to more serious conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Anger management can, therefore, help a person to experience and enjoy better levels of physical health.
Communicate more effectively: Learning how to talk through frustrations that are manifested by anger displays can help a person avoid flaring up into a rage. Anger management therapy sessions teach people who suffer from anger control issues how to foster positive relationships with others by expressing themselves without becoming aggressive or using hurtful language.
How does anger management therapy work?
Some people are able to manage their anger using self-help techniques such as physical exercise, breathing or meditation exercises, or by trying relaxation techniques such as massage therapy or listening to music. However, for others, self-help anger management techniques may not be enough; in these cases, it may be appropriate for the person to seek professional counseling or anger management classes.
Anger management classes or counseling can help a person to recognize the physical and emotional signs that indicate that their anger levels are rising. Physical signs of anger include jaw clenching, hand or foot tapping and a rapid heartbeat, emotional signs of anger include wanting to shout, hit or cry. Therapy has been proven to be an effective means of suppressing outbursts or manic behavior in many sufferers of this condition.
Another important part of anger management therapy is to help people identify their anger ‘triggers’, these are the things that set off or worsen anger; triggers may include certain people or situations or certain topics such as financial issues. It is also important for people with anger management issues to recognize when they are not thinking logically and to learn how to alter their way of thinking.
Once a person is able to identify and recognize how anger affects them, anger management techniques can be learned. Anger management therapy teaches people techniques that help them to calm down when they begin to experience anger and shows them how to express their angry feelings in an assertive, but non-aggressive, way. Redirection techniques can also be used as a part of anger management therapy; these techniques focus on teaching people how to deal with problems as they arise rather than putting their energy into feeling angry.