Are you worried about not being in control of your anger or afraid when others get angry? Does anger get in the way of your relationships or your work? Do you isolate yourself because you are afraid of anger?
Without awareness, people tend to implode with anger or explode. There is a middle ground of allowing yourself to feel angry and express it in an appropriate and contained way.
People often seek therapy to help manage their anger in order to lead a more satisfying life, have better relationships and learn to say no in an appropriate way.
Because anger can be felt in different ways, during therapy we will look at what your relationship is to anger; what you learnt about anger from your history; what triggers you to feel angry or how you don’t feel angry and then we can look at how you express it.
As the picture of you and your anger becomes clearer so we can work to find ways of expressing your anger in a contained and clear way.
If you are willing and wanting to explore how you are in relation to anger then therapy can help you express your ‘No’.
Isn’t being angry just being aggressive?…
Anger is a feeling and it is OK to be angry. It is what we do with our anger that’s important and this is what the focus of therapy can be. So feeling angry is not being aggressive. Saying we are angry is not being aggressive. If you act out our anger in an explosive way then you are being aggressive.
Anger is a natural human emotion as a response to threat, disappointment, attack or an injustice. In its simplicity it is just us saying no I don’t like or I don’t want ‘that’.
It becomes complex when we don’t know how to express ourselves clearly or fear for consequences of expressing ourselves.
Anger as an emotion is often feared and judged. This fear and judgment can come from the experience of the ‘acting out’ of feeling angry.
You may have a history of living in a family with someone who was aggressive and emotionally or physically violent. You may have experienced of someone close to you withdrawing in a passively aggressive way. As a consequence you too may show this behaviour or indeed fear this behaviour in you so have no outlet to your feeling of anger. You may say you are fine when indeed this is not so but the least threatening path.
“But I don’t get angry, that’s my problem.” “I’m afraid that if I open the angry box I’ll be angry forever and who wants that?”
“I’m scared of conflict so avoid it. If I look at anger in therapy then it will all be too messy”
People will often shy away from talking to a therapist about their anger. Sometimes a person may feel shame about an explosive episode, some people are afraid that they may become monsters and go from zero anger to becoming the Incredible hulk.
The actual opposite can be true. To talk about our shame can help us manage it better and then address our relationship to anger. If we believe we will go from zero to extreme then it can be helpful to find the middle ground.
Anger is just saying no, it’s how we say it that matters.
What difference could therapy make?
One of the benefits of understanding our relationship to anger through knowing what our pattern of expression or lack of expression is simply the benefit of choice. If you know what you am feeling and know that you have more options than imploding or exploding then you can be more connected to yourself and feel empowered.
There is something very liberating when we find a way to clearly express our anger in a contained way without the need to act out.
You can learn the importance of anger within your emotional vocabulary. Discover that being angry doesn't always mean you either shout, get violent or sit there sulking with steam coming out of your ears.
Understanding that anger comes within a spectrum from mild irritation to furry. therapy can help you recognise when you feel anger.
When you are clearer about when you feel angry you have choices about what you do with your anger and how and when you express your feeling of anger.