Anger Management

Your guide to anger management

Understanding anger management

In psychotherapy, anger management is a means of helping people to recognise the warning signs of anger and to find ways of preventing them from developing any further. At its simplest, an example might be counting slowly to ten when we begin to become frustrated with a situation so that we don't lash out unnecessarily quickly. However, such homespun ideas have been developed by therapists into much more tailored programmes designed to help people who become angry. Essentially, contemporary anger management therapy boils down to helping people to identify why they may feel powerless, frustrated or thwarted and to take action regarding the root cause rather than simply giving in to feelings of anger. As such, it tends to be tailored to the individual or group receiving the therapy.

  What types of anger management are there?

There are plenty of ways that psychologists have found that are helpful in anger management. One of the most widely used is cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, which aims to challenge certain mindsets and to change attitudes. So-called positive mentalisation is another popular technique that is frequently used in schools. Simply put, it seeks to make people feel happier about themselves so that they are less likely to become angry in social situations. Journal therapy is another method that some psychologists recommend. In this, angry and frustrated thoughts and emotions are committed to paper rather than being dished out on others. In some cases, psychotropic medications are offered, as well.

Why might you need anger management therapy?

Anyone who suffers from bouts of anger or losing their temper can benefit from an anger management class. People who may have experienced trauma or who were exposed to anger in childhood often find it harder to control their tempers and, therefore, will usually find such therapies of use in their daily lives.

Can yoga help anger management?

On its own, yoga has no known scientific effect on people who have above average angry feelings. However, any form of exercise can help to release the sorts of endorphins in the body that can lower levels of stress, so it is a good idea, nevertheless. Insofar as yoga can lead to a deeper spiritual understanding beyond its physical activity, it certainly will help people to manage their emotions more mindfully.

Who tends to need anger management classes?

Anyone who responds poorly to being frustrated with extreme levels of anger can benefit from the various therapies on offer. Many children and adolescents undergo anger management to help them cope with the stresses of school and growing up. Where adults need it, there can be some groups that particularly stand out. For example, substance abusers will often seek anger management courses as can people who have behaved in violent or criminal ways. It has also been used to help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders successfully, too.

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A talking therapy that is sometimes referred to as an intervention, cognitive behavioural therapy is based on several psycho-social theories. Sometimes referred to as CBT for short, cognitive behavioural therapy aims to challenge people in their thoughts, especially ones that have become cognitively distorted in some way, either through habit, belief systems or erroneous attitudes. By talking about such thoughts and challenging them in a secure environment, therapists try to alter the way patients think which can often include attitudes to themselves. Cognitive behavioural therapy was first developed to help people suffering from chronic depression. Still, it has since been adapted to treat people with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety and even psychosis and bipolar disorder.
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