What is anger and when do anger management issues require counseling?
Anger is a common and instinctive response to the perception of threat. Its purpose is to help provide the courage to defend ourselves and others we care about when we perceive danger. These instinctive emotions can be triggered by emotional (or physical) pain, frustration, fear or grief as well. Some people may have learned to become habitually angry when they feel unworthy, helpless, confused, disrespected, slighted, criticized or unappreciated. Some people with anger issues may rage while others may stew in quiet, chronic resentment.
When anger begins to replace rational thought, it can increase aggression. This can have negative effects on intimate, family and working relationships. It can also make you less effective in dealing with stressful situations.
When a person's anger issues deepen and escalate, they can trigger rageful, aggressive or destructive behaviors. These include yelling, lashing out at others, blaming, saying something cruel including name calling, put-downs, becoming defensive, sarcastic, behaving in a consistently negative or nasty manner. Anger can also escalate into the physical, including door slamming, punching holes in walls, becoming generally violent.
It can also be expressed by carrying chronic, ruminative resentment which is ultimately corrosive.
These dysfunctional anger management issues are detrimental to your relationships and can be frightening to others. Anger often results in further feelings of shame and reduced self-worth. This process creates a cycle of low self-esteem leading to anger, and anger leading to more shame and lower self-esteem.
When anger is uncontrolled, negative feelings fester. Chronic mutual feelings of resentment can slowly destroy the fabric of a relationship. When children are present, the tension is always detrimental and usually traumatic.
Anger creates more problems than it solves. Other consequences of out-of-control anger may include legal issues, medical problems, substance abuse, infidelity, divorce, problems in the workplace or job loss.
Controlling angry outbursts and resentment
Understanding and identifying the hurts or frustrations, as well as the specific triggers behind your anger are important steps in learning how to take action and manage your angry feeling productively. As a licensed psychotherapist, mental health professional and clinical psychologist providing anger management therapy in White Plains and Greenwich, I will work with you to examine underlying reasons behind your anger. I will provide useful anger management tools and techniques to help you control angry outbursts, road rage, stone-walling, bullying, holding onto resentments, "garbage-dumping" (angrily revisiting old, unresolved issues) and other persistent negative reactions.
I am an anger management psychologist licensed in Connecticut and New York with over 30 years of experience in psychotherapy and counseling. We will work collaboratively to help you respond in a more productive way to the important people and situations in your life.
Anger management in relationships
Anger counseling can help you regain control and communicate calmly and effectively so that you are more likely to be truly heard. You will get better results and will feel better about how you have handled an emotionally difficult situation.
In addition, I will help you remain focused on what the other person is trying to communicate, even if it is hard to hear.
When appropriate, I offer marriage counseling and couple's relationship therapy, family counseling, parent and adolescent therapy as well as individual psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and counseling for depression and anxiety to help with anger issues.
You can benefit from anger management therapy if you have tried to change the angry way you automatically react, but have been unable to make any permanent changes by yourself. Anger management counseling will help you develop tools to quickly regain control of yourself.
Improved communication and relationship skills will increase the likelihood of effecting change in the other person as well.
Some goals of anger management therapy include:
- Learning to avoid common male-female and other relationship misunderstandings that frequently lead to anger.
- Learning effective stress management and self-regulation techniques to reduce susceptibility to having your "buttons pushed."
- Learning to avoid self-sabotaging behaviors like emotional retaliation, garbage dumping, stone-walling, name-calling, passive-aggressive or clearly aggressive behaviors, yelling, threatening, bullying, insulting your partner or partner's family or engaging in other hurtful words/behaviors.
I help my clients get to the bottom of their anger problems and provide the tools they need to avoid and manage frustration and anger.