What Is Anger Management?
Anger is a well-developed coping mechanism that we turn to when our goals are frustrated, or when we feel threat to ourselves or to people, things and ideas we care about. It helps us react quickly and decisively in situations where there is no time for a careful, reasoned analysis of the situation. And it can motivate us to solve problems, achieve our goals, and remove threats.
Acting in anger can serve, therefore, to protect yourself or others. A positive response and constructive outcome can improve your self-esteem and self-confidence.
On the other hand, a negative response can damage relationships and lead to a loss of respect and self-respect. This is particularly the case when we react instantly and angrily to what we perceive to be a threat, but where that perception is wrong. This can leave us looking very foolish.
People experience anger in many different ways and for many different reasons. What makes you angry may only mildly irritate one of your colleagues, and have little to no effect on another. This subjectivity can make anger difficult to understand and deal with; it also highlights that the response is down to you. So anger management focuses on managing your response (rather than specific external factors). By learning to manage your anger, you can develop techniques to deal with and expel the negative response and emotions before it causes you serious stress, anxiety and discomfort.
So we need to learn to use anger positively, and manage it so that it is constructive and not destructive. Where situations are not immediately life-threatening, we need to calm down and evaluate the accuracy of our perceptions before, if necessary, channeling anger in a powerful but controlled way.
Anger management, then, is the process of learning how to “calm down” and diffuse the negative emotion of anger before it gets to a destructive level.
Related articles from our experts
- Male adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse: men coming out of the shadows
Amanda Perl MSc Psychotherapist Counsellor MBPsS BACP (Accred) CBT Practitioner26th November, 2016
- Relationships and anger, how do you manage?
Graeme Orr MBACP(Accred), UKRCP Reg. Ind. Counsellor24th November, 2016
- Anxiety and escapism: Pre-traumatic stress
Amanda Perl MSc Psychotherapist Counsellor MBPsS BACP (Accred) CBT Practitioner19th November, 2016
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.