Modern psychologists view anger as a fundamental, natural, and mature emotion experienced by all humans at some point, and as an emotion that has functional value for survival. There are both positive and negative aspects of anger. Anger often can mobilize psychological resources for corrective action. However, when the emotion of anger becomes over-utilized or is the only type of emotion that is expressed, it then can become counter-productive and do more harm than good. Uncontrolled anger can negatively affect personal or social well-being and often serves as a “safe” cover for more vulnerable emotions. In our increasingly stressful society, anger issues aren’t uncommon in adults and they’re becoming more prevalent in teens and adolescents.
If you feel like your anger has gotten out of control or is leading to recurring negative consequences in your life, it may be beneficial for you to speak with an anger management counselor. Anger management counseling isn’t necessarily about eliminating anger altogether–after all, there are instances where it is understandable or even appropriate to be upset. Rather, counseling can teach you healthier ways to handle and express your anger or simply help you change the way certain situations affect you.
My therapeutic approach encourages anger that fuels positive momentum, resourcefulness, and change while examining more destructive anger, exploring broader feelings and more emotional awareness to better suit my client’s needs. In working with anger, it can be useful for clients to express other emotional states as well. I challenge clients to grow in this way. Emotions can provide the necessary information that can lead one to better determine their strengths, aptitudes, and needs; ultimately leading to healthier expressions of anger as well as other emotions.
In our work together, we may even discover specific situations that trigger your anger. While you may not always be able to avoid these triggers, once you have identified them you can formulate alternative responses. When you feel your anger building, your first instinct may be to lash out. However, there are several anger management techniques that can allow you to more productively address the situation. Some of these methods include reframing the situation, practicing relaxation techniques, problem-solving, using humor, changing your circumstances, finding a different way to communicate, and many more. The key is finding out which techniques work for you; a counselor can help you practice new responses. By learning to manage or defuse your anger, you may notice that your relationships with others improve and that you end up gaining a more positive outlook on life.