Anger Management Counseling in San Antonio
At the 2022 Oscar Awards we saw actor Will Smith allow his anger to take over and he delivered a slap seen around the world, live on TV. The reality is all of us are susceptible to allowing our anger to get too hot to handle and the outcome of outburst of anger is never helpful to us. A 2021 American Psychological Association Study determined 84% of us are experiencing prolonged stress, with nearly 40% feeling anger at some level, at some point. This prolonged pandemic has brought with it a broad range of difficult emotions, including worry, despair, anxiety, sadness, guilt, but the far and away leading emotion that has commonly surfaced above the rest is anger. Brief or short-term anger is normal and understandable, often indicating something isn’t right and needs to be addressed. However extended or continuous uncontrolled anger is detrimental to you and those around you. Feeling a sense of rage or anger isn’t helpful mentally or physically — and has been linked to chronic pain and stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more. The aim of anger management counseling is to help minimize anger-evoking or stressful situations, improve your ability to recognize your personal triggers, exercise self-control, and give you the skills to express your feelings in a healthy manner.
What is Anger?
Though often irrational and unwanted, anger is a natural emotion we all experience which can range from minor annoyance to extreme rage. Generally anger surfaces when a person feels they have been violated or wronged, that something unjust and or unfair has transpired and they are frustrated, or that their reputation and or dignity has been reduced in some way.
Despite anger being perceived as an always harmful emotion, it can be a healthy emotional reaction when projected in a respectful and useful way. There are times when anger can be helpful in motivating a person to take positive steps and bring change to a situation for the better or to achieve certain goals and move on. Anger can be healthy if it helps you in righting wrongs, dealing with problems and expressing negative feelings.
However occasionally people display an uncontrollable anger that easily escalates, especially when the provocation is minor. In these cases anger is not a commonplace emotion but a major problem. Anger that’s out of control is emotionally, psychologically, and physically damaging, alienating co-workers, friends, and family, and reducing your ability to achieve personal goals. Anger can also trigger physical changes such as increased blood pressure, heart rate, and have an overall negative effect on a person’s health and wellbeing.
Anger is not something you can simply get rid of, however it also doesn’t have to get in the way of you living a happy, full life. While anger isn’t something that can be cured, the intensity and effect anger has on you can be managed. Here at Rhapsody we have effective therapeutic strategies for managing anger and can help you become less reactive. You can even learn to develop more patience in the face of people and situations you cannot control.
Causes of Anger
A person’s environment is often a leading cause of anger. Encompassed in this are financial issues, stress, difficult social or familial situations, and demanding requirements on your time and energy can all lead up to the formation of anger. Similar to disorders like alcoholism, anger issues may be more prevalent in people who were raised by parents with the same anger disorder, as genetics may also play a role in how you cope with anger. Feeling anger can arise due to how we perceive and respond to certain situations. Everyone has their own unique triggers for what makes them angry and most categorically fall into 1 of 3 classifications of circumstances wherein we feel:
● Threatened or attacked
● Frustrated or powerless
● Invalidated or treated unfairly
However just because everyone perceives things differently, it doesn’t mean that you’re perceiving things ‘wrong’ if you get angry. How you perceive and respond to a situation can depend on many unique ‘life variables’, such as your upbringing, past events, and current situations. But whether your anger is rooted in the past or something that’s current, exploring how and why we perceive and respond to situations can be helpful in learning how to effectively cope with our emotions, and form strategies to handle our anger.
Signs of Anger
It’s important to be able to recognize anger and answer important questions such as:
● “How do I know when I am angry?”
● “What events/people/places/things make me angry?”
● “How do I react when I’m angry?”
● “How does my angry reaction affect others?”
Though only the beginning, answering these questions is a healthy first step in becoming aware and knowledgeable about your anger. Generally there are a series of physical, behavioral, and emotional cues that inform us that we are getting angry.
Some of anger’s physical signs:
● grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws
● stomach ache
● increased and rapid heart rate
● sweating, especially your palms
● feeling hot in the neck/face
● shaking or trembling
Emotionally when angry you might feel:
● dropping everything and fleeing
● sad or depressed
● like striking out verbally or physically
Also, you may notice that you are:
● rubbing your head
● cupping your fist with your other hand
● getting sarcastic
● losing your sense of humor
● acting in an abusive or abrasive manner
● wanting to unwind using substances like alcohol or marijuana
● raising your voice
● beginning to yell, scream, or cry
Symptoms of Anger
- Someone had mentioned your temper or anger directly to you: Most people with an anger issue generally hear it first from a spouse or romantic partner, friends, and family.
- You tend to erupt in volatility in one or both of the following ways:
- Verbal Aggression: Including throwing tantrums, screaming, issuing threats, name-calling, criticism, sarcasm, or mockery.
- Physical Aggression: Your uncontrolled anger elevates into physical assault or you provoke altercations
- Resentment: You hold grudges over minor mishaps and little things
- Ill Will: You contemplate obtaining revenge, or imagine having bad things happen to others.
- Interpersonal Consequences: Your romantic and social relationships go up and down and suffer from instability.
- Familial Consequences: You project harm or violence toward family members, including children, spouses, siblings, and parents.
- Educational & Employment Difficulties: You have academic or career setbacks due to your inability to manage your temper.
- You have health issues related to anger: sleep problems, hypertension; digestive problems, etc.
- Legal Problems: You’ve gotten in trouble with people or the law in some way rooted in your temper and or fury.
How Anger Affects Your Health
When angry, our pulse, blood pressure, temperature and breathing rate may increase, possibly to dangerous levels, from the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol (the same hormones released when we encounter stress). This is a natural biochemical response designed to produce an instant boost of energy, commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” response.
However just as stress left unresolved can produce illness, so to can anger unmanaged. Our bodies are not designed to withstand a constant flood of the 2 hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, over long periods of time and or regularly.
Health problems that may occur can include:
● Aching pain, often in the back and head.
● High blood pressure
● Difficulty sleeping
● Digestion problems
● Skin conditions and disorders.
● Compromised immune system.
Anger can also produce to psychological conditions:
● Reduced self confidence.
● Eating disorders.
● Substance abuse.
Anger Management Counseling
Anger management counseling helps you identify what’s truly causing you to feel anger and teaches you the skills required to manage your emotions and anger more effectively. In sum, the Rhapsody counselors help you rewire your brain (so to speak) to process anger in a more healthy and constructive way. If you or someone you’re concerned with has issues with anger, please reach out to us before it becomes worse. We have several counselors experienced in anger management here to help you.
At Rhapsody Counseling, our approach to therapy is client-focused. Our anger management counselors will work closely with you and help you with the following:
● Understanding the anatomy of your anger: We’ll unpack and sort out the roots of your anger including how it functions at the physiological and psychological level; and identify the origins of your emotional reactivity.
● Exploring how to cognitively restructure your anger: By modifying unhealthy thought processes that drive your anger
● Developing a relaxation and calm regimen: Your counselor may suggest: journaling, meditation, exercise, essentially connecting you with something you enjoy that’s personally calming.
● Practicing modifying outbursts: We’ll find a way for you to express “legitimate” frustration and anger without the aggression.
● Mending Fences: Repairing the quality of your relationships in every direction.
Suppression of anger is ineffective in having the emotional upset of anger vanish. Attempts to suppress anger commonly lead to hostility that simmers below the surface, needing only a spark to explode into rage. It is critical to understand, process, and release anger without denial of its existence.
At Rhapsody Counseling, we offer support to teens, adults, and entire family units who are struggling with anger issues. No one needs to try to navigate the feeling of anger alone. As with all counseling, anger management counseling is a process that unfolds over time. Reach us if you would like to continue the conversation and learn how we may be helpful.
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Free Discovery Call to Talk with a Counselor
Take the first step in your wellness journey and book a free 10-20 minute discovery call with a Counselor. The Counselor will start off the call with a few questions to get to know you better, so they can make sure they’re qualified to meet your needs. This includes questions about why you’re considering counseling, how you’ve been feeling over the past few weeks, and your goals for counseling.
If possible, take a few minutes before the call to reflect on these topics, so you can have a clearer sense of your goals for counseling. But don’t worry, if you can’t verbalize the answer to any questions, our counselors know how to guide your thinking so you can figure out what to say and the Counselor will welcome you to ask questions about counseling and Rhapsody.