Anger Management
Neil Wood-Gaiger BSc (Hons) Psych; Ad Dip CP; Dip Hyp CS; MBPsS; MCS (Acc); MHS
Hypnotherapist ~ Psychotherapist ~

Anger Management Counselling

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Anger Management Counselling

Anger is one of the most powerful emotions that we experience; yet in western society it is often considered seen as an aberrant emotion that needs to be controlled and managed. It would also seem to have a gendered dimension, whereas it might be seen as being taboo for woman to express anger, it might be the only emotion that a “real man” can express. Anger can be marked by irrationality, loss of control and violence, however if channelled correctly it can be a positive emotion for driving change.

Anger, however often seems to go beyond the useful call to arms response to a situation, individuals experiencing repeated emotional outbursts of anger may find their social interactions becoming increasing difficult and the anger having a negative impact on their lives. It is this kind of individual who has difficulty in managing their anger that treatments are often sought.

How anger managment works in practice can be illustrated as

Pain Thought Target Anger Action

This model is based on the notion that there is an initial event that causes pain, for example someone takes your place in a queue; this then leads to a thought to trigger action, ie ‘this person has taken my place I will push them out of the way’; this thought is targeted at the person who caused the pain, that is the person who pushed in front of the queue; and then the action, the thought is acted out. However, this may be the response of a child or someone who is unable to manage their anger, however for most people reasoning takes over and the appropriateness and likely consequences of the action considered such as the likelihood of an escalated response, or being considered to be socially aggressive by onlookers. Reasoning will intervene between the target and action stages and return to the thought stage, where alternative targets or response are considered, with the result that the response might become one of politely saying ‘excuse me, but did you know there is a queue here’.

In order to avoid risky conflict this reasoning, although possibly non-conscious, may select different targets for anger such as oneself, or with others however, sometimes the non-conscious my not find an alternative for venting the anger, and instead that anger is suppressed internally without any anger action. However, not externally expressing anger will not lessen the internal pain, which if left unacknowledged may lead to other psychological issues such as depression.

Therapy will involve learning not how to supress anger, but how to appropriatly express it..

Anger management has the effect of reducing immediate risks, such as being hit back and improving social interactions. Those who have difficulty managing their anger and have trouble recognising that in some situations it is more detrimental to act by venting our anger than it is to adopt some other form of response have failed to learn these anger management skills. Psychotherapy can be used with clients who display anger in its negative form, by helping them learn coping strategies that allow them to live as normal life as possible. Inappropriate anger habits, learned through social interaction such as from parents or peers, and can be unlearnt through therapy.

Those with anger management issues can learn strategies to be aware of when they are becoming angry, to understand what triggers their anger, how they can control their physical responses and reactions and to learn social and coping skills. As well as helping them to learn new strategies they can also learn the implication of current coping strategies such as those involved around the use of alcohol or drugs. Learning the implications of their existing behaviours, for themselves as well as others, will help them to adopt more appropriate ways of responding to pain. However, it is important to acknowledge that someone has a right to be angry and to help them learn new ways of expressing their anger into more positive channels so that they can affect change of a situation that was causing them pain, whilst recognising that others might have equally valid country opinions.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), one of the many models of therapy that is used in anger management, maybe particularly useful by focusing on changing the way individuals think about certain anger provoking situations and not only in their past but importantly how they can improve their coping mechanisms for in the future. CBT challenges the negative thoughts and beliefs about the self, other people, and their future by firstly identifying these negative automatic thoughts then testing them as hypothesis rather than facts and determining what errors of logic are being made so that the logic errors can be substituted with more balanced ways of thinking. CBT will then go on to look at the deeper core beliefs formed from experiences in early life such as being controlled as a child; feeling abused or exploited; being criticised or verbally abused; emotionally deprived; not being good enough; etc. etc. which are often present as the source of underlying non-conscious beliefs manifested in anger problems, which are modified often by reviewing them from an adult perspective as an aid to preventing relapse.

To book your FREE initial consultation call Neil anytime on 07968 465933
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Neil Wood-Gaiger Counselling Hypnotherapy Taunton Glastonbury Somerset
Practice address
Rowan Cottage
130 Wells Road
Tel: 07968 465933 (mobile)


The British Psychology Society Member Insured with Holistic Services Insurance
National Hypnotherapy Society Member

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