These Days of Anger
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Helen Swords MA UKCP
30th July, 20120 Comments
Many of us who live in a city will have been stuck on a train - maybe for what feels like an eternity - and yet there's still no announcement. Would somebody please tell us what is going on? And more to the point, when is this journey going to gather speed again? There are many, many triggers for anger. Life can be extremely frustrating for most of us at some point. Patients will arrive at counselling or therapy for a range of predicaments that are causing them to get angry: a son has a mother who constantly complains, and yet she will not take his advice; a woman feels let down by repeatedly disappointing relationships, and barks out why are there no good men out there?; at work there are less and less resources but management keep piling on the work-load and pressure, and nobody seems to care; a much dreaded redundancy letter arrives in the post, and it is the second time this has happened; a man's wife is always too tired for sex and inside he silently fumes.
Men are traditionally allowed to release pressure through contact sports, but that does not work for all men, of course. Women can be especially subject to pressure to be nice at all times, to smooth things over, but that is not always possible or even advisable sometimes.
Counselling or therapy can help in many ways to alleviate anger. It is vitally important to understand what or who is triggering anger, in the first instance. Then attention to bodily changes, and the need to find ways to deal with anger - in the moment, where possible - can be discussed. For example, can you take yourself away for 'time out', however briefly. Learning to channel anger and disappointment (two closely related emotional states) can be very important and helpful. In this process feelings become acknowledged, then understood, and then appropriately acted upon in some instances.
At times, anger can be dangerously destructive. This is usually when some form of violence takes place, sometimes in the home between a couple caught in domestic violence. The latter needs special care, and unfortunately it very rarely stops without some kind of outside intervention - so look for help sooner rather than later if this is happening to you, whether you are the receiver of this violence or the perpetrator. Help is out there, and good counsellors or therapists will try first to help rather than be judgemental.
Life can be difficult. Anger is a natural part of our emotional world, but learning to understand anger, and use it constructively may take a bit of time. Anger can be transformed. Life can be calmed. Finding good support, and challenging talk from a professional along the way, can make a huge difference, helping you to take charge of life but through other means, enabling you to feel good again.
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