What Is Anger Management and How to Expect of the Therapeutic Process

Health and Wellness

Anger is a normal reaction to threat, an emotional response triggered a person or situation perceived as intentionally harmful. While anger can normally trigger positive outcomes, such as finding solutions to problems, when the emotion becomes overpowering and gets out of control, it can become a problem in itself. Anger management Denver therapy is the process of learning how to cope with situations that trigger anger and how to control anger with help of healthy mechanisms.

angry people needing counseling

What is Anger?

Anger is a natural, primary emotion that initially helped the human being survive threatening situations. Anger is in fact a way of coping with perceived wrong-doing that jeopardises our primary needs such as food, sleep or shelter or of reacting to other forms of frustrations less practical in nature, such as criticism that we find unjustified or unreasonable.

Anger is almost invariably associated with physical symptoms, such as a rush of adrenaline, increased blood pressure and increased pulse rate – in short, the physical signs that accompany a fight-or-flight reaction. The expressions used by humans to express anger can be verbal and non-verbal and both types of reactions can vary in intensity. The verbal forms of expressing anger include shouting, using strong language or a threatening tone of voice, while the non-verbal forms include the clenching of the fists, frowning, staring and a number of techniques that make the angry person look bigger and therefore more intimidating.

When Is Anger Management Therapy Necessary?

Anger management treatment becomes necessary when the anger experienced becomes overpowering and the manifestations of the emotion become harmful for the well-being of the patient as well as for the people around the patient. In many cases, these uncontrollable manifestations involve physical manifestations as well, but verbal aggression is considered to be just as harmful for everyone involved, so people who experience persistent anger and use strong verbal expressions to cope with the emotion also need professional help.

How Does Anger Management Therapy Help?

During the therapy, the patients first of all learn about the situations that trigger their anger. The next phase usually consists of analyzing the mechanisms used by the patients to cope with their anger and of identifying the mechanisms that need to be un-learned for healthy anger management. In the last phase, patients learn new mechanisms to cope with their anger, such as discussing the emotion with the person who elicited it instead of using physical or verbal threats or instead of internalizing it.

Anger management therapy can also teach patients other strategies for coping with anger, such as relaxation techniques. The process may also involve cognitive therapy to teach patients alternative methods of thinking about a situation that triggers anger and communication training to give patients the verbal tools to express strong emotions in a calm and focused way.

Anger management therapy can also teach patients how to improve their general well-being in order to improve their abilities to cope with situations perceived as extremely stressful. These strategies might include lifestyle-related changes, such as the implementation of a physical exercise regimen or diet changes, so the process drives multiple benefits that range much further than the ability to contain anger.