While experiencing anger is part of the human experience, learning how to manage it if it becomes out of proportion to situations and begins to impact one's quality of life is necessary for clients to maintain healthy relationship dynamics and live a meaningful life.
Anger management therapy can be utilized to help clients manage the emotional and physical arousal that comes with anger, as well as recognize triggers for their anger and how to cope with them in a more effective, healthy, and different way.
What are the types of anger management therapy?
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) --- using the practices of identifying thought patterns, adjusting the way one thinks of them, and ultimately adjusting thought patterns, individuals can feel more calm and in control in the face of anger as they understand their triggers, develop coping skills, and behave differently in response to an angering situation.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) --- a form of CBT, DBT aids individuals in regaining emotional control over their intense/frequent anger through emotional regulation. Additionally, some skills that are practiced include distress tolerance, mindfulness, and effective communications in relationships.
- Family therapy --- this is useful in situations in which anger is mostly directed at individual family members or familial dynamics; this can help families work together to improve communication and solve issues.
- Psychodynamic therapy --- this allows clients to do a deep dive into their past to explore the possible root psychological causes of their anger and how they responded to it; this can help clients notice and correct unhealthy patterns.
What are some techniques used in anger management therapy?
- Identifying triggers and responses --- helps clients understand the factors that contribute to the expressions of their anger, their current and past triggers for anger, their responses to it, and the consequences of using anger in those situations on themselves and those around them.
- Learning strategies to diffuse anger --- involves learning different strategies to stop anger in its tracks and/or manage one's response to anger through avoidance or distraction. Role-playing, in which a client and therapist model situations in which anger may arise, can help clients practice skills such as assertiveness and direct communication.
- Changing attitude and thought patterns --- this is common when taking a CBT approach (discussed above); this can involve restructuring thinking patterns and changing clients' attitudes toward anger. For example, a therapist may help a client identify unhealthy patterns of rumination and catastrophizing, among others.
What are some benefits of anger management therapy?
- Identify triggers of anger --- crafting a proactive plan for what to do in typically angering situations can help a client avoid them or manage their reaction to them.
- Change thinking --- identify and alter unhealthy thought patterns that can fuel anger.
- Develop coping skills --- aids clients by providing them with tools to to regulate emotions and control actions that can help cope with triggering situations.
- Learn relaxation techniques --- these can help calm individuals down and relax their body and mind in angering situations.
- Solve problems --- if situations/other people continually trigger anger in a client, the therapist can offer potential solutions and brainstorm for how to avoid those situations to the best of the client's ability.
- Improve communication --- therapy allows clients the ability to learn how to express their feelings in a more healthy way without being aggressive, improving their communication with others and helping relationships thrive.
Here at Madrigal, we are committed to using trauma-focused therapy to help you reach your best potential.
*This information was adapted from Very Well Mind. Click here to learn more information.*