Counselling for Anger Management

Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

We all feel angry at times but it can be a real problem and impact on others when it's unhealthy and turns to aggression or rage. When anger gets distorted there is no positive outcome.

Anger is an expression of emotion, can be subtle and is in the here and now. Rage is a reaction borne of self at risk, unmediated by rational processes, unpredictable, a culmination of appeasing and resentments, and can be dangerous and physical. Rage is often seen as a defence mechanism when we feel that we have been unfairly treated or disrespected, or that others have broken or fallen short of our rules, standards or expectations.

Anger Responses

The Vicious Cogs of Anger - click to enlarge

There is a big difference between aggressive and assertive behaviour:

Aggression involves:

Putting forward your own needs, ideas and feelings whilst at the same time ignoring or putting down others for problems and mistakes using sarcasm, adopting a patronising attitude and verbal hostility or physical violence. It is concerned with achieving you own goals and having little or no respect for the goals of others.

Assertive Behaviour is:

Putting forward your own needs, ideas and feelings but also respecting the right of others to do the same. It is concerned with operating in a manner that develops your self assurance and confidence coupled with respecting others rights.

So anger is a normal reaction and emotion and can be helpful as it motivates us to do something to right an injustice. If we think that someone has misjudged us or disagreed this stimulates the body's adrenaline response which helps us to cope with either fighting or running away ' fight or flight response ' and we may therefore respond to these thoughts and feelings by acting in threatening or aggressive ways.

After an angry outburst you may think critically of yourself and your actions leading to guilt and shame, so you need to try and have an understanding of your triggers and what ' lights the fuse ' which will help you to work at making positive changes to reduce your anger and deal with situations in a different way.

What to do when you feel angry: (Carol Vivyan – www.get.gg)

STOPP:
  • Stop and Step Back
  • Take a Breath
  • Observe
  • Pull Back : put in some perspective
  • Practice what works

It can help to:

  1. Walk away and take some time out.
  2. Ask yourself the following questions:
    • What am I reacting to?
    • What is pushing my buttons?
    • Am I getting things out of proportion?
    • How is this really important?
    • What harm has actually been done?
    • Are my expectations of this person or situation unrealistic?
    • What's the worst and best that could happen?
    • Am I jumping to conclusions about what the person meant or misreading between the lines? Is it fact or opinion?
    • What do I want or need from this person or situation? Is there a bridge to middle ground?
    • Is there another way that I could deal with this? What would be the most helpful and effective action to take to have the best possible outcome?
  3. Finally you could try and visualise yourself dealing with the situation in a calm and considered manner which is non aggressive but assertive thus respecting the rights and opinions of others. It can be really useful to keep an Anger Diary and Thought Record Sheets to monitor your triggers, bodily sensations, unhelpful thoughts and feelings and then look to finding alternative more balanced ones.

Whilst looking at your own anger its also important to try and make sense of your past experiences to see how they are impacting on the present. We will explore how anger was expressed in your family, who showed the anger and to whom, what were the effects on the giver and receiver and what happened subsequently.

This will enable you to gain an understanding of how all these things have affected your responses to situations and your relationships in the here and now. Through this process I want you to be able to manage your anger or rage in a healthier way with a better outcome for yourself and all others involved.

Anger Management Counselling for Leamington Spa, Warwick, Kenilworth & South Warwickshire