Anger is often a misunderstood emotion. We have typically been taught, subconsciously, to suppress our anger, or may have learnt that it is not an “acceptable” emotion. As an adult we may have learnt to not support this emotion within ourselves. Anger is, in fact, a very natural emotional response, and can be a very useful tool that acts as a signal that our values are being compromised or we are feeling threatened, vulnerable, or criticized. It is also, commonly, a secondary emotional response that masks more vulnerable feelings of sadness, loneliness, neglect, loss, or fear. Anger is a part of our survival infrastructure, and is linked to our fight, flight, and freeze response patterns.
When our anger transforms into all out rage, our ability to reason and respond rationally to what has triggered our anger can become compromised, and anger can be a difficult emotion to control. When we express our anger in unhealthy ways (i.e. violence, intimidation, humiliation, or verbal abuse) it may play a negative role in our life and have consequences that we later regret.
At Toronto Psychological Services, emphasis is placed on taking ownership of our actions, and we will help you explore all the areas of your life that have been affected by your anger. We will support you as you explore how your anger serves you (i.e. reduction of stress, masking emotional suffering, the desire for attention, the need to punish or seek revenge). Our therapists will also assist you in identifying cognitive distortions that may be perpetuating angry outbursts, including, magnifying situations, thinking in black and- white, over-generalizing, and demanding expectations.
Within a therapeutic context, clients explore their own family background and the role anger played in their pasts. Often, experiences of being shamed, criticized, ignored, controlled, humiliated, or abused at a young age and result in angry outbursts when those emotions threaten to resurface as an adult. In other words, when the actions of others in the present remind clients of situations from their past, anger involuntarily or automatically becomes the first reaction. Clients are encouraged to talk about the pain from their past and understand the role these unresolved issues have on their present life.
In sessions with a trained therapist, clients are taught to challenge and replace cognitive distortions with a more balanced and objective thoughts. They are taught coping strategies such as progressive muscle relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing technique. Through therapy, clients learn to remove themselves from situations when they are feeling overwhelmed before an angry outburst occurs, they develop new coping skills, and learn to use assertive communication.
With assertive communication clients may still feel angry but have freedom to understand their anger as a useful emotion that they are now in control of. In other words, clients now have power over their anger and have an ability to choose how they express their needs and interact with others.
Anger Management Counselling can support clients with issues that includes the
- Physical Abuse
- Psychological and Emotional Abuse
- Stalking/Harassing Behaviours
- Threats and Intimidation
- Sexual Abuse/Sexual Violence/Sexual Harassment
- Destruction of Property
- Road Rage
- Workplace Anger
At Toronto Psychological Services, we offer short and long-term psychotherapy services and our clinicians often utilize CBT in their work with clients seeking Anger Management Counselling. For more information about our Anger Management Counselling Services or to book an appointment with one of our clinical therapists, call (416) 531-0727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.