Anger management is a psychotherapeutic treatment for controlling and preventing the escalation of angry behavior. Anger is a common human response to frustration, blockages, and thwarted goals. The anger management therapy aims to help clients control their anger and replace negative thoughts with more rational ones. Fortunately, it can be an effective solution for various anger-related problems. First, however, what is anger management therapy? And what can it do for you?
Controlling feelings of anger
While anger outbursts can lead to strained relationships, suppressing these emotions can only worsen their impact. Over time, this can result in depression, hostility, or boiling rage. Anger management therapy teaches people how to control their reactions to anger and avoid the resulting negative effects. This type of therapy has helped nearly 3 million people improve their lives. It also teaches people to understand themselves better and control their behavior when they feel angry.
While many people suffer from occasional bouts of anger, it’s important to seek professional help to manage it better. A psychologist or doctor can help. A family therapist can help parents resolve issues that may be contributing to anger. Psychodynamic therapy helps identify the underlying psychological reasons for anger. A mental healthcare provider can also prescribe medication. Anger management therapy involves:
- Understanding what triggers an outburst.
- Developing strategies to diffuse anger.
- Changing thoughts about anger.
Learning coping strategies
Anger management therapy focuses on helping you learn to control your emotions and recognize your anger triggers. Anger is a normal emotion, but it isn’t good when it controls your life and causes you physical, emotional, and mental damage. Luckily, anger is treatable, and there are many ways to deal with it. Both internal and external events cause anger. Internal events include thoughts, perceived injustices, and failures. External events include upsetting incidents caused by other people.
Anger management therapy also includes learning coping strategies to deal with your feelings. For example, you might feel angry about nothing but worse if you don’t let it out. You may want to consider therapy if you feel you’re losing your mind more than controlling your anger. It’s important to know that you’re not alone. Some people have had the same experience and adapted to it.
It is important to understand the causes of anger and the appropriate consequences of a disproportionate reaction. Anger can be destructive, leading to relationship breakdowns, job problems, and even criminal charges. Anger can also harm our health, triggering the body’s stress response system. Chronic anger experiences can contribute to coronary heart disease. Self-reflection can help control your physical response to anger.
In addition to self-reflection, someone can try to diffuse an angry situation by vocalizing it. While this is difficult for some people, other methods can help reduce anger. For example, practicing deep breathing or calming music can help diffuse anger. Try to concentrate on your breath as much as possible, spending more time exhaling than inhaling. Again, self-reflection is crucial for overcoming anger.
Replace negative thoughts with more rational ones.
Anger management therapy can be beneficial for many different reasons. One way to improve a client’s behavior is by teaching them to replace negative thoughts with more rational ones. However, this approach is often difficult for clients who experience intense anger regularly. To combat this challenge, anger management therapists often employ imagery. By asking clients to imagine a scenario, a therapist can help them develop more balanced thoughts.
Cognitive therapy, on the other hand, challenges negative thinking and teaches healthier strategies. There are many different techniques for this therapy, but one of the most effective involves challenging negative thoughts. One technique, called “cognitive restructuring,” asks clients to collect proof that they are unlovable and acknowledge those who love them. The goal is to reframe negative thoughts, so they don’t have to rely on them anymore.
Cost-benefit analysis of anger management therapy
The effectiveness of psychological treatments for anger is well documented. Several meta-analyses focusing on a comprehensive package of interventions show positive correlations between treatment outcomes and moderator variables such as manuals, fidelity checks, and publication status. The findings of these studies have limited generalizability, but they provide valuable information for determining if psychological interventions are effective. In addition, further research is needed to determine whether the results are replicated across different populations and treatment modalities.
Anger management therapy has several advantages, but the costs and benefits of this type of treatment need to be weighed. Because many other negative behaviors can disguise anger, it is necessary to consider it an independent primary outcome. Most reviews, however, include both anger and aggression as outcomes. Again, it is because anger is often masked by other negative behaviors and should be examined as a distinct outcome. In this way, the effectiveness of any therapy will be assessed based on its ability to reduce cost and improve the overall quality of life.