Is Your Inability to Control Your Anger Damaging Your Life?
Are you disturbed by constant thoughts about your angry actions, who you hurt and the consequences of your behavior? Has your anger damaged or broken relationships, caused struggles at work, or created legal problems? Do you feel guilty or ashamed about your actions and wonder why it seems harder for you than others to control angry impulses? Have you abused substances or engaged in any other self-harming behavior? Do you sometimes question why it’s so hard for you to stay calm, and just be happy and normal?
You Are Not Alone
If you are struggling to control angry thoughts and behaviors, you are not alone. Many of us have said and done things in anger that we regret. Anger is a very common emotion and all people experience it to varying degrees. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get a lot of training on how to handle our emotions. But, once we do, we realize that dealing with our emotions – including anger – can be a workable, changeable and possible process.
And, it’s normal to feel guilty or shameful about past actions. Those destructive behaviors do not define you, but rather highlight areas of possible growth. What matters now, is that you identify what’s causing your anger and develop tools to handle it in healthier ways.
Anger Can Be Managed
There is one main difference between you and people who don’t let their anger spiral out of control. And, it’s not that other people don’t get angry. It’s that others have learned skills to help them manage their emotions in nondestructive ways.
Many people with anger issues have successfully gone through anger management therapy. They have made significant progress in how they handle their emotions. Through learning to identify the true causes of their anger and how it feels in their bodies, they are now able to stop themselves before they blow up. And, now, not only is their anger more manageable, but other aspects of their lives are as well.
With help, you can learn these skills, too.
A BPS therapist who is highly trained and experienced in anger management counseling will help you to identify the underlying causes of your anger. Anger has been identified as a second emotion – meaning that it is caused by another feeling, usually fear, hurt or sadness. Once you identify the root causes of your anger, you’ll develop the tools you need to manage anger and other emotions in ways that are safe and don’t negatively affect your life or relationships. Others have gone through therapy and learned – and you’ll learn this too – that, just like everything else in our lives, we have the power to manage our emotions and behaviors. And, although it might not feel like it now, with help, you’ll be able to get a handle on your anger and live a much more fulfilling, positive and productive life.
But, you still may have some fears or questions…
Nothing helps. I’ve tried a lot of things and I still find myself blowing up.
In anger management therapy, you will learn the root causes of your anger and develop self-awareness around your anger. The first step of our work will be to help you identify and understand your emotions – to notice how your body feels and what your thoughts are like when you experience anger. Once you’re able to do that, the next step is to develop the skills you need to make necessary changes. Change is very possible, and with positive change, your life will be much more manageable and happier.
I’d like to try anger management counseling, but I don’t think that I can afford it.
This is your life and your wellbeing. Learning how to develop self-control and manage anger in nondestructive ways may be the best investment you ever make. Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to handle anger issues or who they couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced in your issues and whose personality is a good match with yours. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to yourself is the investment of a lifetime – imagine being much happier on a regular basis and ask yourself what that is worth.
If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale.
I feel ashamed and guilty about my angry behavior. I’m not sure I’m able to talk to anyone about it – even a therapist.
The most effective remedy for shame and guilt is to bring it into the light – especially in the context of a safe, therapeutic relationship. Talking about your past angry behavior is the first step toward healing and making courageous life changes. Keeping shame and guilt hidden only allows it to grow. And, building a therapeutic relationship takes time. Not many people “jump into the deep end” of therapy and immediately disclose all the details of their shame to a complete stranger. Allow yourself some time to get to know your therapist. In time, talking about your feelings and past behaviors will become easier and more comfortable. It may also provide enormous relief.
We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by bPS Director, Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you and a BPS anger management therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.
You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you with a therapist who has expertise working with anger issues.