Anger Management Therapy: How to Get Help

Sunday, September 8, 2019

     A 2018 Gallup poll has revealed that worldwide many people are experiencing increased levels of anger and stress. Indeed, we have all experienced intense and irrational anger at some point in our lives, whether as hormonal teenagers, or stressed adults facing financial and family crises. While everyone gets angry, there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy anger. If you notice your anger becoming a problem, many options for help are available.

      Anger can be managed effectively through therapy to allow you to live a peaceful and fulfilling life. Anger management sessions can either take place in a group or one-on-one sessions with a therapist. For busy individuals, online therapy is becoming increasingly popular. Rest assured that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Improving mental health, relationships with family, work colleagues, and your community is the first step to building a more positive life.

Anger Management Therapy: How to Get Help
What is Anger?
      Causes for anger can be divided into two main categories, internal and external events. Internal events are perceived as injustices and failures. Have you ever felt angry at yourself for letting people down? External events can be humiliation and bullying. Have you ever felt that you were treated unfairly at work by your superior? Were you passed over for that well-deserved promotion? We have all experienced these feelings, however, how you handle these events is key.

What are Techniques for Dealing with Anger?

     The Canadian Mental Health Association states that two factors are important in dealing with anger problems -learning to manage anger, and limiting anger and reducing stress.

      Managing anger consists of talking to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, spiritual advisor, or health professional. It also involves becoming introspective and searching for the root of your anger. Once you find the reason, take steps to resolve it.

      Reducing stress and limiting anger involves being active – go for a walk or a run, listen to your favorite songs, read that book that has been waiting on your nightstand, sing, draw. Journaling and writing down your thoughts can help process and understand them. Meditation and relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness can have a calming effect. Be still in the moment; appreciate what you can see, touch, smell, hear, and feel around you. Breathe.

What is Anger Management Therapy?

     Anger management therapy is one of the main ways to manage anger. It is a process to help identify stressors and causes of anger. 

     You will develop skills to deal with your anger through problem-solving techniques, learning to communicate your needs, or even changing how you act and think in certain stressful situations.

     4 to 6 weeks is typical for anger management therapy, however, some people need more.

     Find a therapist that you are comfortable with. Gender, age, area of expertise, and location are all factors to consider.

     In Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)can help you find the perfect therapist, located within a specific kilometer radius of your area.

     In the US, the National Anger Management Association (NAMA)lists physiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and religious leaders, such as clergy. 

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)?

     Anger management therapy usually employs Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)techniques. CBT focuses on solutions and modifying behavior, thoughts, and emotions. You will be encouraged to acknowledge and change unhealthy behavioral patterns.

     According to the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies, you will work on changing how you feel, act, think, and deal with physical or medical problems. They state that CBT is the most effective treatment for anger problems.

     In between sessions, make a plan of what to do when anger arises. Do you need to remove yourself from the situation? Do you need to try a relation technique, such as meditation or going for a walk? Do you need to change the subject?

     Keeping a journal is also a great way to express yourself and record your angry episodes. Look for patterns, in the long run, to better understand the causes of your anger.

     Remember that anger develops over time. It will also take time to resolve your issues. Have patience, with practice, it is possible to learn techniques to reduce your angry emotional response.

Are You Ready to Make a Change?

     In addition to improving your relationships, anger management therapy can have a tremendous impact on your overall health. According to the Journal of Medicine and Life, the health benefits of reducing anger include decreased risk of heart disease, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes. 

     Do not hesitate to transform your life. The Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies offers a handy tool which offers a search option for CBT therapists in your area for both US and Canadian residents. Select “Anger” under specialty.

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