We all experience anger from time to time – it’s part of being human.
Feelings of anger may be generated when you have words with someone, when driving and another driver puts you at risk, or when you don’t get paid on time.
Levels of anger may go from mild to intense; however it is when it gets “out of control” that it becomes an issue, and anger management counselling can help.
What’s behind the Anger?
Anger can in fact be a mask for many different emotions, such as embarrassment, shock, frustration and being unable to express the appropriate emotions. This can be due to poor emotional support and teaching from a child’s primary caregiver/s, resulting in them not knowing how to deal with these feelings and growing up to become ‘angry adults.’
So how do we know if anger has become a problem? Consider the following signs as red flags:
- when anger involves verbal, emotional, physical or psychological abuse;
- you feel angry a lot of the time;
- people close to you are worried about your anger;
- your anger is leading to problems with personal relationships and work;
- you think you have to get angry to get what you want;
- your anger seems to get bigger than the event that set it off;
- your anger lasts for a long time, and well after the triggering event has passed;
- your anger affects other situations not related to the original event;
- you are becoming anxious or depressed about your anger;
- you are using alcohol or other drugs to try to manage your anger;
- you are getting angry with the people who are closest to you, or with people who are less powerful than you, rather than dealing with the situation that sparked off your anger in the first place.
It may well feel that having a bit of a ‘bad temper’ may be a family trait or just ‘who you are,’ however if it is spiralling out of control, professional anger management counselling is important, as out of control anger can negatively impact every area of your life: relationships, work, study, family, and social life.
What to Expect at Anger Management Counselling
An excellent technique for managing anger is a relapse prevention tool, which you can learn about in anger management counselling. This will enable you to identify a situation when you may become angry; what the triggers are; how it makes you feel; and what you may do in this situation.
With the support of your therapist, you will then look at distraction techniques to try and prevent escalation of your feelings of rage and anger. Distraction techniques may not sound like they can be very effective, but once your individual ones have been identified, they can work very well.
Mindfulness and meditation are also useful tools, as is keeping a ‘mood diary’ to identify what can trigger anger management issues. People speak of a feeling like a ‘red mist’ coming over them when they become angry. This is a physical feeling that can spill over into not only mental rage but also physical rage.
Anger is something that we all can relate to; it is when it feels uncontrollable that it is important to seek professional help in a non-judgemental environment.
Author: Liz Taylor, BA (Hons).
Liz Taylor is a social worker with over ten years’ experience in helping people with personality disorders and other mental health issues. Liz’s counselling strategies are drawn from the Relapse Prevention Model, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). She is passionate about enabling her clients to function and feel a sense of control in their lives, and to achieve the goals and outcomes that they wish.
To make an appointment with mental health social worker and counselling professional, Liz Taylor, try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.