Anger Counseling 101: Everything You Need to Know – Therapy in Grand Rapids

When Fred got angry, he didn’t physically hurt anyone, but he did yell and curse, and sometimes he said unkind things. His children grew up afraid of his temper, and as adults they’re grateful to be able to avoid him and any potential outbursts. Fred wants to see them and his grandchildren, but he doesn’t have the emotional skills necessary to understand how to go about addressing his anger issues. Fred would be a great candidate for anger counseling.

Being angry can, for a moment, feel good. It’s an opportunity to release pent-up thoughts and emotions, and that release can feel cathartic. Unfortunately, frequent or uncontrollable anger can have negative ramifications that outweigh the pleasure of momentary catharsis. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to contact Thriveworks Grand Rapids counselors for anger management therapy.

Unaddressed anger can hurt relationships or even result in job loss. While we’re angry, in some ways we’re truly unable to control what we do or say, because we’re focused on protecting ourselves from a perceived threat (Mills). Everyone has said something in the heat of the moment that they later regretted, but when those moments occur more often than not, pain and resentment can build—for both sides.

We’ve helped many people get help for their anger problems, and many of those people initially felt uncertain about the idea of getting help. In fact, many who struggle with anger problems may feel angry about getting anger counseling. Sometimes, the best way to combat these feelings is to understand exactly what you’re getting into. Read on, and contact us when you’re ready. We’re here to help.

Anger is Simply Another Emotion

Anger is an emotion – it is not something to be ashamed of. Part of anger counseling is helping clients understand the difference between the feeling of anger – which is normal – and the way that anger is handled. For most people, choosing to react to anger aggressively or excessively is where the problem lies. Counselors don’t try to prevent people from feeling this emotion – they simply give them tools to handle it in a healthy way.

The Causes of Anger

There are many causes of anger. Some clients only experience anger in certain situations or in response to specific individuals. Others feel anger and don’t know where it comes from. Memories can also be a strong trigger for anger. Understanding the underlying cause of the anger – and not just the trigger itself – is part of the process of anger counseling.

At Thriveworks Grand Rapids, your anger therapist will work with you to determine what’s at the core of your anger struggles. Is there an unresolved issue from your past that needs to be addressed? Are you suffering from unprocessed trauma? Or perhaps you grew up in an angry household and have normalized unhealthy behaviors. Whatever the cause, Thriveworks Grand Rapids counselors have seen it all, and we know you can get relief from the pain of your anger problems.

Counseling for Anger

Everyone needs a different blueprint to move forward. Your counselor will work closely with you to understand where you are today and where you’d like to be. Together you’ll come up with a treatment plan. However, it typically begins with the counselor assessing the client based on their anger triggers, the way the client responds to anger, and how often a person experiences intense anger. From that assessment, we’ll be able to determine where on the spectrum of severity your issues fall. Once we know that, we can develop a plan to help you overcome your struggle.

Your goals will vary based on your needs. Common goals of anger counseling include assisting clients in understanding what their triggers are and how to respond to them without aggression, teaching clients problem-solving skills that empower them, and helping clients find ways to relax and stay calm when they’re angry.

Immediate Steps

While Thriveworks Grand Rapids will be able to see you quickly once you make that first call for help, there are a few steps you can take to calm yourself immediately should anger arise in the interim.

  • Put yourself in time-out. Sometimes just five minutes away from a situation can allow you to calm yourself and gain perspective on how you’d like to handle it. Those few minutes can result in a much more positive outcome than allowing yourself to respond while angry or stressed.
  • Plan for a few minutes of quiet before a stressful encounter. If you know an upcoming situation is likely to trigger angry feelings, plan for a few minutes beforehand to breathe deeply or walk around the block. If you can prepare for the situation before it escalates, you can often prevent that escalation in the first place.
  • Develop relaxation plans. Whether you enjoy walking around the block, meditating, writing in a journal, or taking a hot bath, it’s important for everyone to regularly engage in calming activities.

You can retrain yourself to respond to situations in a calm, positive fashion, but it will take work, introspection, and commitment. It’s a process that can be difficult to work through alone, but with the help of a Thriveworks Grand Rapids anger therapist, you won’t have to. We’ve worked with many clients struggling with the results of their angry actions or words, and we know relief is possible. You can live a calmer, happier, healthier life.

Thriveworks Grand Rapids, Forest Hills Anger Counseling

Thriveworks Grand Rapids, Forest Hills Counseling & Coaching has the solutions to your anger problems. With a personalized approach, we can provide coaching for your exact needs. We don’t keep a waiting list, and we can usually see new clients within 24 hours of their call. You don’t have to wait any longer to begin finding peace.

Further Reading
Mills, Harvey, PhD. “Physiology of Anger.” 2005.

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