Anger Management Therapy London Guide
Anger is a natural emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, when it becomes excessive or uncontrollable, it can have a negative impact on all aspects of your life.
Anger management therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can help you:
- Understand the root causes of your anger
- Recognise what triggers your anger
- Develop effective strategies for managing angry feelings
In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of anger management counselling and therapy, and what mental health benefits you can expect from the process.
The Root Causes of Anger
Anger is a natural emotion, which can arise from a variety of factors, including:
- Childhood experiences: If you grew up in a household with immature parents, or where there was childhood abuse or injustice, it might be difficult for you to regulate your own anger as an adult.
- Relationship problems: Difficulties in your personal relationships can contribute to feelings of anger and frustration.
- Work-related stress: Job-related stress can contribute to feelings of anger if you feel undervalued, overworked or bullied.
- Health issues: Chronic pain, lack of sleep or other health problems can make it difficult to regulate your emotions and contribute to feelings of anger.
- Substance abuse: Substance abuse can exacerbate feelings of anger and make it more difficult to manage your emotions.
- As a defence against other feelings: this could be fear, as in a physical threat, or a threat to your job or residential security. Or it could be a defence against feelings of deep sadness.
The emotion of anger has both negative and positive qualities. Anger can be an indication that something is wrong and needs attention. The energy generated from anger can be harnessed into powerful energy to effect changes you want to make.
Anger becomes a problem when there’s an imbalance. Because it’s often seen as a negative or shameful emotion, it tends to become suppressed. Sometimes anger about a particular issue can remain hidden in your subconscious, as a form of denial. It will find a way to express itself eventually, perhaps through unexplained irritability, or a feeling of depression. It can also be one of the many symptoms of PTSD and Complex PTSD.
Understanding your anger is the essential first step in developing effective strategies for managing it.
“Understanding your anger is the essential first step in developing effective strategies for managing it”
The Benefits of Anger Management Therapy
There are several benefits to anger management counselling and therapy.
Firstly, it can help you gain a deeper understanding and awareness of your emotions. You can learn to recognise the specific triggers, and to feel what happens in the body at this time.
You can learn to tolerate feelings of anger, so that you can choose whether or not you want to act on the anger in the moment, or to take some time for contemplation. This will have a big impact on your sense of personal control, and whether or not you react impulsively, only to regret your actions later.
Anger management therapy can help you improve your communication skills and build open and honest relationships with those around you. By learning how to express yourself in a healthy and productive way, you can reduce the likelihood of conflict and improve your overall quality of life.
What to Expect from Anger Management Therapy
During your first session of anger management therapy, I’ll ask you about your anger, and we’ll look at what triggers it. We’ll also explore the thoughts and feelings you experience during an angry episode, and how the anger affects your behaviour.
I’m an integrative psychotherapist, and will draw on several therapy modalities to tailor the therapy to suit your specific needs. This will be based on your personality type, and what the underlying causes of the anger are.
One strand of psychotherapy is called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It involves identifying and changing the thought patterns that contribute to anger. There’s many thought patterns that can generate feelings of anger. For example, you might have an over sensitivity to criticism, or feel that people are out trying to humiliate you.
There’s other modalities we can draw from to help with anger management, including mindfulness-based therapy, psychodynamic therapy, trauma therapy and body therapies. Each of these approaches can be effective in helping individuals manage their anger in different ways.
In therapy we work collaboratively to explore the emotion of anger. It’s a process of experimentation, exploration and becoming familiar with an energy which can feel messy, volatile and difficult to control. The therapy room is a space where it’s okay to make mistakes, and get it wrong.
“The therapy room is a space where it’s okay to make mistakes, and get it wrong.”
Spotting triggers with anger management counselling
Anger counselling explores anger from different angles – through the body, its sensations and symptoms, and the mind – through thoughts, projections and assumptions. By gaining awareness and sensitivity, you can learn to recognise your own triggers and reactions, and develop new ways of behaving that are calm and rational.
Once you become aware of thought patterns that were once hidden beneath your conscious awareness, you’ll have the chance to question them. You’ll also be able to look at where the habitual thought patterns might have originated from. Perhaps the internalised voice of a critical parental figure, or from self beliefs which are inaccurate or out of date.
You’ll learn to recognise the physical sensations and symptoms of anger. Sometimes the physical aspect of an angry episode precedes awareness of the mental feeling. Physical symptoms of anger and rage can come on rapidly, and include:
- tightness in the chest area
- rapid heartbeat
- trembling arms, hands or legs
- excess tension in the body
- a hot flush sweeping through the body
- excessive sweating
It’s possible that you sometimes find yourself in the midst of an angry episode, without knowing how you got there. It can feel physically and mentally uncomfortable, with no space to question what’s happening. The only choices available to you might be to ‘attack’ the object of anger, or to try and suppress it, both of which have drawbacks and consequences.
But through working with the body, you can learn to recognise the initial symptoms of anger before they have time to escalate. The body becomes your barometer, where you can recognise the subtlest of feelings, to understand how you’re truly feeling.
Through meditation, mindfulness, watching the breath, grounding, and other techniques, you can learn to calm down during moments of anger.
Anger and Domestic Violence
Unchecked anger can sometimes escalate into aggressive behaviour, including domestic violence. Domestic violence is an unfortunate and severe consequence of failing to manage anger effectively. It can cause considerable harm, both physical and psychological, to the victims and can have long-lasting effects on their wellbeing.
If you struggle with controlling your anger and it has resulted in harm to your loved ones, it’s crucial to seek help immediately. Many anger therapists specialise in working with individuals who have engaged in domestic violence. They can help you understand the root causes of your violent behaviour, develop coping strategies to manage your anger, and repair the damage caused to your relationships.
The Role of Anger Therapy in Treating Borderline Personality Disorder
Anger therapy can be particularly beneficial for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a condition often characterised by intense, unstable emotions, including anger. BPD patients often struggle with managing anger, and their angry outbursts can harm their relationships and overall quality of life.
Therapists use a broad range of techniques to help BPD patients express their anger in a more constructive manner. These techniques can involve exploring past traumas, teaching mindfulness techniques, and developing more effective communication strategies. Over time, these techniques can lead to substantial positive changes in a person’s behaviour and relationships.
Anger and Physical Health
High levels of stress and poor physical health can lead to increased anger and difficulty controlling it. Anger management counsellors can work with you to identify these physical stressors, which could range from lack of sleep and poor diet to more serious health conditions.
Engaging in regular physical activity, improving your diet, and ensuring you get enough sleep can all contribute to reducing anger problems. Exercise, for instance, has been proven to reduce stress levels and improve mood. This, in turn, can have a positive impact on your ability to manage anger.
“you can learn how to harness anger into powerful energy for change in your life.”
Anger and Related Mental Health Issues
I find that anger issues often don’t exist in isolation. It can be a symptom of or exacerbate other mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. For instance, chronic anger can lead to a low mood, making it harder for you to find joy and satisfaction in life. Conversely, individuals dealing with anxiety or depression often have a lower tolerance for frustration, leading to a quicker anger response.
In cases where anger is intertwined with other mental health issues, therapy becomes even more critical. As an experienced integrative therapist, I can help you untangle these emotions, so you can better understand how they interrelate, and we can develop a comprehensive plan to address them.
It’s important to remember that it’s okay to feel angry. Anger is a healthy emotion, part of our natural stress response. The key is to manage it constructively, without letting it harm you or others. It’s about learning how to be comfortable with anger, and not letting it control you.
By understanding your triggers, employing coping strategies, and using talking therapies, you can learn how to harness anger into powerful energy for change in your life.
The Trusting Relationship in Anger Management Therapy
Building a trusting relationship with your therapist is a cornerstone of effective anger management therapy. It takes courage to open up about your anger issues and related struggles. The initial session might be challenging as you try to put words to your feelings, perhaps experiencing a degree of shame or embarrassment. However, you can rest in the knowledge that I will be there there to help you, not judge you.
This trusting relationship can lead to significant positive changes in your life. As you delve deeper into your emotions and triggers, you’ll start noticing patterns in your behaviour that you weren’t aware of before. Recognising these patterns is the first step in breaking them. As you continue to work with in therapy, you can replace these harmful behaviours with healthier alternatives, significantly improving your relationships and overall quality of life.
Anger Management Therapy in Central London
Anger is a natural emotion that can have both positive or negative effects on our lives and sense of wellbeing. While it is normal and natural to experience a degree anger from time to time, excessive or uncontrolled anger can become a serious problem.
Anger management therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can help you understand the root causes of your anger and develop effective strategies for managing it. With the right treatment, anger can be transformed into a powerful energy to make positive change in your life.
If you’re interested in exploring anger management therapy, the first step is to arrange an initial consultation. With a willingness to grow and learn about yourself, you can overcome your anger issues and have the relationships and quality of life that you deserve.