Anger is a very common emotion and is experienced by all from time to time.
It is a harmful emotion and how different individuals respond to it is also different. Uncontrollable anger can interfere with the overall health of an individual. It can also harm a person’s relationship with others and a career.
If you feel that you are constantly angry and it is taking over your life, it is good to go ahead with therapy for the same.
How Does Therapy Help With Anger?
Therapy, if given for the long term can bring in positive changes in the brain.(1) It is considered an important part of the anger treatment plan. It creates an overall plan to help a person learn strategies to change behaviors towards the triggers and manage anger in a better way.
Therapy can also help other members of the family affected due to the anger issues of a person.
Anger can be a result of some unsolved issues, trauma, or even depression. It may also be a symptom of other mental health conditions including:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Dissociative disorder
- Intermittent explosive disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Oppositional disorder
Therapies are recommended by a mental health professional on the basis of cause and severity of anger. In some, the therapies are also combined with medications.
Anger Therapy For Children and Teens
Young children are seen as having occasional temper tantrums and the teens are found getting irritable from time to time and having frequent anger outbursts. This may indicate an underlying issue.
Talk to a child’s pediatrician if you think he has uncontrolled anger. Depending on the child’s condition he can further recommend a therapist for mental health evaluation. For younger children, parent management techniques can help.
Therapies That Work For Anger
Therapies are keys to controlling chronic anger issues. Therapies do not suppress anger instead help you work through it so that you have a healthy and balanced relationship with your emotions.
Based on the severity of anger and underlying cause, the following therapies are recommended.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is used in a variety of mental health treatment programs. It helps recognize the trigger of anger and help you know how to respond to such triggers.
CBT also helps in treating anger that is a result of emotional trauma. The therapist guides others on how to respond healthily to a person’s anger.
If anger is taking over life and affecting others around, the therapist might recommend a technique called psychodynamic therapy.
This therapy is more focused on self-reflection and works by revealing the unconscious motivations to alleviate inner tension.
It helps a person to express anger in such a way so that it does not affect friends, family, and co-workers.
Chronic anger affects a person’s self-esteem and many times leave them feeling guilty or isolated.
Here group therapy plays its part. It is led by professionals, and the session has participants who get together on regular basis weekly or monthly.
The participants feel less alone after therapy and also get to know about other people and coping strategies. Sometimes group therapies are also family-based.
Group therapies are often used as a supplement to other therapies.
Play therapy is specifically designed for children. It is done by a licensed therapist, who creates creative forms of play that help children express their feelings and thoughts. The play may include sand, puppets, art, music, and other things.
The therapy helps children to learn how to cope with challenges and also increases self-esteem.
Lifestyle Changes For Controlling Anger
Deep breathing is often used as a quick fix for anger. Lifestyle changes are also recommended by therapists that include:
- Meditation. Helps a person gain insight into the roots of their anger
- Exercise. It can raise endorphins and reduce stress
- Hobbies. Hobbies help lighten a person’s mood.
- Time management. This can help people prevent themselves from being overwhelmed with responsibilities.
- Journaling. Writing down emotion can be a way to vent out emotions without hurting other people.
All the above measures can help a person manage anger
Therapies help a lot in knowing how to deal with anger and it’s important to have patience with the process. Finding the right therapist and a person who you are comfortable with might take time. But the efforts surely pay off.