Anger management counselling

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

ANGER

The more angry and frustrated you become, the more unpredictable you are. I suspect that deep down it scares you, because you can feel so out of control when the 'red mist' descends.

Self help anger management or anger management counselling can both be effective, when at times you can't think straight through anger and frustration.

My site offers extensive online relationship advice. This particular page helps you to get to understand your anger and what you can do about it immediately and in the long-term. Managing your emotions, including anger is a vital part of building healthy relationships.

Anger 'management'...
Fight or flight? Or tend and befriend?

When you're seething with anger - you may hardly know what you're doing. You could even have an 'anger black-out' and forget what you've done whilst in the grip of the 'red mist'. You've been in a 'trance'.

When we're very emotional, our brains will go into a ‘primitive’ 'fight or flight' mode. Shelley Taylor discovered in her research that this is true particularly for men*. Women, she says are more likely to 'tend and befriend'. Our brain assumes our lives are in danger!  

And you know what? When we are that emotional (angry) we're likely to be at our most unintelligent!

You would want to invest time and energy in anger management counselling therefore alone!

Everything you are presently angry about, blocks you from seeing happiness

What happens when you are very angry

When you're very angry your brain goes into survival mode. It adopts a ‘'better to be safe than sorry'’ approach. The effects are:

  • black and white - ‘all or nothing’ thinking
  • loss of objectivity
  • loss of context
  • narrow focus of attention
  • inability to consider other people’'s point of view

You can see immediately that there's no point in discussing any subject when you're in an anger trance state.  So let's continue and try to discover more about what might be going on for you.  

Use my very best anger management counselling tips and you'll be building better relationships.

Anger management counselling...
Are you really out of control?

Your primitive brain runs the show: 'do or die'.  It directs your mind and body accordingly, milliseconds before you're consciously aware. You're in an emotional 'trance state' and - depending on the intensity of your anger - you may or may not be able to calm yourself down.  

Oh, if only we could see ourselves!

On one end of the scale 'anger' gets you out of bed. Somewhere in the middle it helps you achieve the seemingly impossible. On the other end of the scale it kills.

Only you know at which point you're deliberately out to hurt someone and when you're beyond your own control. You will know where on that scale it's time you seek some anger management counselling or attend a course on learning to deal with your anger.

I really hope that the information on this page is going set you on the right track for self help with your anger.

Just a note of caution though: if you've 'finally' decided to do something about your anger only because your partner is threatening to leave you, you shouldn't just deal with your anger problem. I'd really recommend that you also read my page about Getting a Reconcilliation. (However - this is only if you can honestly say that you haven't been abusive to your partner, because in that case he or she probably needs to leave.)

Why are you angry?

- 16 questions I would ask you in my anger management counselling sessions

To start with, maybe I can help you by giving you some direction to your self help. Your first step is to explore in a little bit more detail what your anger 'looks like'.  

I'll ask the questions I'd want to ask you if you came to me for anger management counseling. Feel free to grab a pen and paper, and let's get started...

  1. Have you always had a 'temper'
  2. Have you always been easily irritated or frustrated?
  3. Do you consider people generally as less worthy than you and therefore you've 'given yourself permission' to 'let rip'?
  4. Have you been deeply wounded by someone and/or by something that's happened? 
  5. Have people you love been deeply hurt? 
  6. Have you been unfairly treated?
  7. Have you been badly let down by someone?
  8. Do you seem to be getting angry about 'nothing' - none of these reasons exist for you?
  9. Do you have the worrier gene? Is there a family history of aggression and violence? (Learn more from the surprising family history and the brain scan of neuroscientist James Fallon)
  10. Have you been feeling depressed?  I have plenty pages on that subject, but I'd recommend you start by filling out a depression questionnaire (see links below).
  11. Have you been going through a particularly stressful time?
  12. Are you having relationship problems? (See links.)  If you need to take action right now to save your relationship - even if your partner seems to have given up - check out my page on How to Save Your Marriage/Relationship
  13. Are you suffering from a lack of sleep? Have a look at my page about Insomnia and Treatments.
  14. Are you having problems at work? (you may be able to get some anger management counselling at work)
  15. Could you be suffering from a post-trauma stress reaction, through a work-related incident, accident or through growing up in a violent environment? (see: PTSD symptoms link below)
  16. Do you suffer from low self-esteem and quickly feel criticised? (Guess what?  I have a page about that too!)

Whether what's happened is real or whether you perceive it to be real - if you've searched for information on dealing with anger, you're probably feeling at a loss with how to 'manage it'.  

Maybe you're well aware that you're hurting the people around you, that you're always on a short fuse. Maybe you see that people can never feel secure that you're going to have a 'good' day, or that the 'outing' isn't going to end up being spoilt by your anger.

Causes of anger

There are lots of things that can make you feel angry - but how can you deal with the rush of emotions?

Hop over to Part 2 for more in-depth information on Dealing With Anger, together with a list of things that might provoke your angry feelings.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

References

*Azar, B. A new stress paradigm for women. American Psychological Association, 2000, via APA

Images courtesy of: Cecile Graat, BK