Anger Management Therapy
What you need to know
Anger management can help you control your anger in three ways.
You can learn scientifically based anger management techniques that prevent an anger episode from occurring in the first place, reduce the intensity and length of your anger episodes once they occur, and help you to act effectively even when you are angry, instead of shooting yourself in the foot and make a situation worse. You can learn how to change your thinking, feelings, and behaviours with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy exercises that have empirical support.
Will anger management therapy be worth it for you? First let’s take a look at why you may need anger management.
Why You May Need Anger Management
Anger problems can be incredibly costly and even physically harmful. So if you or someone else has an anger problem it is critical that you get effective anger management. Anger when it is incredibly intense, long lasting, and frequent can wreck people’s lives.
Even a single anger episode, if intense enough, can put people at risk for strokes or heart attacks. And over time anger appears to be associated with many kinds of other health problems including gastrointestinal problems, cancer, harmful fat tissue, etc. Anger has been shown to predict death as well as cholesterol and blood pressure.
Anger is also correlated with poor decision-making and interpersonal problems. In fact, it is very common for people with anger problems to have issues with family, friends, and coworkers. Relationships can suffer a great deal when an anger disorder is present.
Anger issues lead to impulsive acts, bad decision-making, and/or relationship problems that cause problems in the workplace. Many jobs are lost or career paths are blocked when anger problems go untreated.
Here are some questions to consider if you think you or a family member may have an anger problem:
Does your anger become so intense that physiological changes like rapid heartbeat, perspiration, energy in your arms make it difficult for you to do anything else until you are calm again?
Do you have difficulty calming yourself down after becoming angry?
Have you ever become physical because of your anger? Hurt yourself, someone, or damaged property, e.g., smashed cell phones, computer screens, punched walls, etc.?
Have you lost or significantly hurt relationships as a function of your anger?
Has your work or your reputation at work suffered because of your anger?
Have you made bad decisions in the moment when you are angry that you later clearly see could have been avoided?
Has the feeling of anger or thoughts (ruminations) made it difficult to concentrate?
Many people with anger issues can answer “Yes” to many or even all of these questions. But if the impairment in functioning is extreme to even one of these, anger management could be recommended, and ultimately helpful if it is a scientifically based program.
What is Anger Management and How Can it Help
Anger management that is scientifically based is an intervention aimed at helping you to prevent anger episodes, reduce the intensity and duration of anger episodes that do occur, and help you behave in your best interests, even when you are angry. The last thing you want to do is to make a bad situation worse.
You learn how to prevent being upset in the first place and how to change how often, how long, and how intensely you feel angry. Sometimes you may no longer become angry from a trigger that used to really enrage you. Other times you may still become angry, but you are able to practice skills that bring the intensity down very quickly so you can get back to a productive day or reconnect with someone you care about, instead of escalating matters.
Finally, in my anger management work, I really focus on having you learn how to behave or act in line with your values and goals, whether you are angry or not.
It is much easier to behave effectively if you are not intensely angry, but we also want you to be able to behave constructively while angry, so you don’t make matters worse.
Types of Anger Management Treatment
While this is costly by most people’s standards, the good news is that with an expert clinician, significant results can usually be seen in eight weeks. We typically recommend at least 16 sessions as we want the skills to really take root, so that clients can handle whatever comes their way once they are out of treatment.
There are different modern approaches to anger management as taught.
Here is some of them:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT is a behaviour therapy that emphasises accepting feelings while still behaving according to plan. So in the case of anger management, anger is not a target of change at all. In fact, ACT clinicians may argue that trying to control or manage anger may make it worse. Instead clients would be taught how to accept the angry feelings and still speak and behave constructively regardless of what feelings are present.
Cognitive Therapy. Cognitive Therapy is a form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Cognitive Therapy, as its name implies, focuses on the role cognition’s play in causing or influencing emotions. But it also contains techniques that are behavioural in nature as well. Cognitive Therapy would help anger management clients identify cognitive distortions and consider how accurate they are. An angry client may “magnify” how serious of an offence a friend committed blowing it out of proportion. Cognitive Therapists would help the client check to see if the perception of the offence is accurate and correct if it isn’t, thereby reducing the emotional intensity of the anger.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). DBT is a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) that encompasses a number of cognitive and behavioural techniques. Its primary application has been Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). That diagnosis can include anger, so it makes sense that DBT could be helpful to clients with anger management issues. DBT includes a number of skills. Mindfulness skills, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness skills could all be useful for those struggling with anger problems.
Exposure Therapy. Exposure Therapy is a Behavioural Therapy (BT) that has been applied to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Specific Phobias, Social Anxiety, and Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD). It has also been utilised in anger management. But this should not be done without a great deal of specialised training, as there is concern it could make things worse.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). REBT is a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) that also includes many behavioural techniques. REBT theory emphasises four core irrational beliefs as the cause of intense emotional responses. These are Demanding, e.g., “People have to treat me with respect!” Low-frustration Tolerance, e.g., “I can’t tolerate rude people.” Awfulness, e.g., “Criticising me in front of my family was the worst thing you could do!” and Global Evaluations of Worth, e.g., “He is a piece of sh&% for talking to me like that!” While there may be some truth in those statements, REBT therapists hone in on the logical, empirical, and practical problems in those statements. By constructing more flexible and moderate (but still accurate, not necessarily positive) beliefs, clients would still feel annoyed and upset, but hopefully not enraged.
Why Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is the best treatment for anger management.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has been the most scientifically supported treatment for anger. CBT for anger management has been applied to college students, veterans, and outpatients. It has been shown to work for men and women. And as mentioned earlier, some techniques and formats that have been used in anger management have made things worse. It is likely that with time other forms of therapy may prove to be effective. But until then, CBT is the safest bet we have if we want to reduce anger and change the self-defeating behaviors that are associated with anger, since CBT has the most scientific support.
I am Sergejs Marmilovs and most people just calls me Milo and I believe in the power of alternative therapies and natural medicine with the focus on wellness for mind, body, and soul. Life has become more rushed and everyone is looking for a quick fix. That’s half the problem people are facing in life. As quick fixes have long term repercussions with sometimes huge negative side effects.
My approach is hands-on and I make use of my business skills, work and life experience with psychology in my anger management therapy sessions.
My Anger Management therapy sessions are focused on getting to the root of the problem. As an Industrial Psychologist, complementary and alternative practitioner I use my empathetic, non-judgemental approach to enables us to openly explore and make sense of your issues and together we find long-term solution. My goal is to inspire, motivate and drive you to finish life on the goal path you have set. I have had great success with my approach to anger management therapy and is happy to help you on your way forward in life.
PhD of Industrial Psychology
M.S.c Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Full Spectrum therapist
Stress and anxiety relief therapist
Relationship and sex therapist
Usui Reiki Master Trainer
Kundalini Yoga teacher
Vinyasa Yoga teacher
Yin Yoga teacher