Richard is frequently angry. He often finds himself gritting his teeth, and people at work avoid him, since they never know when he’ll respond calmly or snap back. Even his wife and children are sometimes the object of his frustration.
Anger Counseling in Chesterfield—We Can Help
Being angry can feel really good—for a moment. It’s a chance to release pent-up emotions and express thoughts that have been suppressed for awhile, and that release can be cathartic. Unfortunately, anger that is frequent or uncontrollable has consequences that far outweigh any momentary pleasure from the initial outburst. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to schedule your first anger counseling session.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling angry, and in fact, every person experiences anger at some point. It becomes an issue when that anger is out of control or destructive. It can lead to serious consequences in every aspect of life—personal, professional, and it can even affect health. The good news is that anger counseling can help. At Thriveworks Chesterfield, we are trained in helping patients understand the root cause of their struggles with anger.
The Basics of Anger
At its core, anger is just an emotion. It can be a mild irritant or it can be intense—it can be rage. Like other emotions people experience, it doesn’t just manifest in the mind, but in the body as well. It can cause blood pressure to spike, the heart to race, and it can even cause nausea. Adrenaline and other hormones can also increase. In fact, anger is an action of the fight-or-flight response in the nervous system—a system responsible for detecting dangerous situations and helping us avoid them. Because our body is trying to protect us from a situation it perceives as a threat, in some ways we’re truly unable to control what we say or do while angry—we’re more focused on protecting ourselves from the “threat” (Mills). However, with some forethought and anger management skills learned through anger counseling, it’s possible to develop skills that enable us to rise above our natural inclination to strike out at that threat.
Causes of Anger
Many things can cause anger—both external and internal—and in fact, many of them justifiably create this response. Injustice, for example, is a frequent cause of anger. Injustice in the world, injustice to a friend or family member—it’s understandable that any one of these might cause a rise in temper. And, sometimes we get angry over little things—like going to the store for an item only to find it sold out.
But anger is more complicated than simply having an experience that creates a reaction. Our response to anger is all tied up in our individual experiences across a lifetime. What makes one person angry may not faze another.
At Thriveworks Chesterfield, we’ll work with you to figure out what’s causing your anger struggles. Is there an unresolved issue from your past that needs to be resolved? This could be trauma of any kind—from a death in the family to some kind of abuse. It’s also possible that behavior you were exposed to as a child influences your expression of anger as an adult. Whatever the cause, when you seek anger counseling in Chesterfield, know that at Thriveworks we’ve helped many find relief from unrelenting anger problems.
Appropriate Anger Levels
Now that you know anger is normal, how can you tell if the level of anger you’re experiencing is within the normal range? At Thriveworks Chesterfield, one of our counselors can assess the intensity of your feelings, the actions you take when you experience anger, and how often you experience anger. This assessment will tell us where you fall on the spectrum of anger expression. If we do find your anger is concerning, we can work with you to determine what underlying issues are impacting your anger levels. We will also work with you to develop a plan for regular anger management.
If a person has been scared of their own anger or felt out of control when angry, then they may need help handling this particular emotion.
Goals of Anger Counseling
Each person will have a different treatment plan based on the assessment and suggestions of their counselor. However, some common goals of anger counseling include helping patients recognize their triggers, working on skills to respond appropriately when their anger is triggered, and noting times they didn’t react logically when angry. Counselors can then teach clients to stay calm while still being assertive when necessary. Anger counseling isn’t meant to stop anger completely. It’s meant to teach alternative ways of dealing with situations that cause anger so the outcome can be a more positive one.
Anger Management Steps You Can Take Immediately
Though counseling is a great long-term solution for addressing anger issues, below are a few tips you can use immediately if anger rises (The Mayo Clinic):
- Take a deep breath and think before you speak. This can be one of the most difficult changes to make, even with professional help, but it’s one of the most powerful changes. Taking a moment to pause instead of immediately lashing out can drastically change the way you and your family experience your anger.
- Give yourself a time out. Similar to taking a deep breath, sometimes what you need is a pause on the whole situation. If you know something stressful is about to occur, allow yourself a few minutes of quiet to prepare for it.
- Develop relaxation skills. This might be journaling, a quiet bath each night, or a walk around the block—whatever helps you to increase your feelings of calm.
Thriveworks Chesterfield Anger Management
Have you ever worried about your anger levels or the way you deal with your anger? If so, Thriveworks Chesterfield Counseling & Coaching may be exactly the solution you’ve been looking for. We can usually schedule your first appointment within 24 hours, so give us a call today to get on the road to a calmer self.
The Mayo Clinic. “Anger management: 10 tips to tame your temper.” MayoClinic.org.
Mills, Harvey, PhD. “Physiology of Anger.” 2005. MentalHelp.net.