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Unpacking Anger is a Management Tool

The term “anger management” is commonly used to name voluntary or court mandated therapy programs and workshops, and is treatment sought for an employee, a love partner or a youngster when he or she experiences difficulty communicating or functioning without explosive reaction.  Individuals often get “pushed” into seeking treatment for negative behavior which is useful and understandable. But, it is my experience that simply requesting or demanding someone calm down is not enough to affect lasting change.

Anger is a feeling we all experience to varying degrees and aggression is a behavior with a range of actions. The challenge in changing a pattern of negative behavior is to separate what the person feels from what he or she does, and it requires unpacking the anger a person carries rather than simply ordering them to drop it.

In a recent article in Psychology Today, the author cites different sources listing positive aspects of anger such as; enabling leadership, inspiring creativity and ambition, mobilizing resources and removing obstacles in the way of our goals. While emotional charge may be viewed as motivating, controlling and engaging rather than avoiding, it causes tremendous problems in relationships, families, work settings, and creates physical symptoms which can have long range effects.

Is anger used to get what a person wants? Sometimes, but mostly, it triggers behavior that causes stress, fear and pain in others as well as shame, regret and self- loathing in the person exhibiting aggression.  Interestingly, I have found that those who seek help in anger management are usually highly sensitive, vulnerable and caring people. Commonly, their life stories contain traumatic experiences and issues of low self- esteem.  In delving beneath the anger, a bundle of hard to hold emotions are placed on the table to be explored and met with compassion.

While gaining control of one’s behavior is a key element of anger management, it is the journey to understand and heal painful triggers that offers hope and has the most positive results.  Bring your load in and we’ll get started.

Anger Management NYC

My psychotherapy practice is located in Midtown, NYC. I provide anger management counseling as well as individual, couples, and family therapy.

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Joan Warren, LMFT

Joan Warren Therapy

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