Anger is a normal emotion that helps an individual to relieve stress prompting to solve problems and provides a way to express negative feelings. Experiencing anger is a healthy reaction. In most cases, anger is the appropriate response towards actions of other people. When properly managed, anger can be a significant assistance to a healthy adult. Just like any other deviations from ordinary behavior, anger has risks, and it can estrange people from others. It also makes individuals do things that they can regret about later. Anger can arise due to the present situation, or due to an experience of a past occurrence. Anger does not always result into negative behavior and unpleasant consequences. Individuals experience anger when they are lonely, sad or, perhaps, fearful. Some individuals believe that letting the anger out by yelling or screaming at someone helps them feel better. This essay elaborates the therapeutic interventions that contribute to reducing anger.
When Anger Becomes a Major Problem
Any powerful emotion influences people’s behavior, choice and thought patterns. Anger can lead to violence, aggression, legal and social problems, and unintentional or intentional acts of self-harm. Anger is also viewed as a sign of psychological conditions such as bipolar demeanor and depression. Alcohol and drugs help hide anger temporarily (Hollin, 2004). On the other hand, they can also worsen an individual’s state since they only reduce self-control and can increase impulsivity. Those people with anger-related problems can be aware of it in general, but lack information on actions in such cases. Moreover, other people may fail to notice if they have anger. The potential signs of anger include persistent frustration feelings towards others or oneself and inability to enjoy company or life of others. Other anger signals include physical signs such as pound heart, headaches, rapid breathing, a hot temper, or tendency to yell or argue with others.
Anger Treatment and Therapeutic Interventions towards Anger
Psychotherapy or counseling can significantly help those individuals dealing with anger problems. When seeking therapy help, it is important to consider several things. First, an individual should realize that anger is a common occurrence (Hollin, 2004). Thus, it is admissible to be angry at some time. However, when anger becomes uncontrollable, exaggerated or, perhaps, causes dysfunctional behavior, it can be a problem that can affect numerous areas of life.
Secondly, an individual should also be aware that angry expression patterns are habits that people develop, repeat, and reinforce over a lifetime. Notably, much anger is considered as an automatic emotional response, and thus, with practice, it can be quickly reduced. Therefore, it is essential to consult prospective therapists about the techniques to manage anger. Thirdly, if an individual has any concerns regarding his or her confidentiality in treatment, it is important to discuss such issues with a therapist. To prevent any harm, therapists warn a potential victim of any aggressive reaction in case a client intends to hurt someone.
Therapists have numerous therapeutic approaches that help individuals control anger. Attitude and cognitive changes are one of them (Sukhodolsky & Scahill 2012). Notably, cognitive behavior therapeutic techniques are very effective, especially for anger reduction. When angry, individuals make situations worse by the way they think of the situation. For instance, when people are angry, they have a tendency to demand things to be done in their way. In most cases, they call people by insulting and obscene names. At this time, the situation is seen as catastrophic or awful rather than been disappointing or frustrating. The attitude and cognitive changes focus more on identifying the thoughts producing anger and replacing them with more sensible ways of thinking (Sukhodolsky & Scahill 2012). For instance, a therapist can use a careful examination of thinking errors, self-debating and self-monitoring strategies to develop new behaviors.
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The second approach is anger disruption by removal and avoidance (Hollin, 2004). This technique is used to interrupt anger by removing an individual physically and mentally from the situation. For instance, it is wise enough to leave any situation that shows the possibility of anger developing. Specifically, this can be discussed with a friend, a spouse, or even a business associate in advance. It is wise to delay giving responses by requesting for enough time to think about the issue that could produce anger, or, perhaps, gather additional information before responding. Besides, it is also important to seek for another mode of response such as an email or a written answer rather than a spoken answer. The techniques mentioned above can either prevent or decrease anger. Participating in non-angry activity is also considered as an alternative. For instance, mothers with anger can cook meals or do laundry rather than be insulting or arguing with her teenager who failed his exams. Other individuals engage in their hobbies such as playing soccer, singing, and listening to classic music. These are some of the examples that make people become calm and distance themselves from anger or even approach to an anger situation in a more different way (Hollin, 2004).
The third approach is adapting relaxation coping skills (Kassinove & Tafrate, 2002). In most cases, anger is often marked with increased physical and emotional excitement. Thus, the relaxation coping skills target the excitement and can help individuals relax whenever they are angered. When a person becomes aware of what causes anger, he or she can relax, and this would help decrease this feeling. Some examples of relaxation skills include repeating a calming phrase or words and slow deep breathing just to mention a few. These skills can be used at home or workplace and help individuals regain control over themselves more quickly.
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Skill enhancement is also an intervention for anger. Some people experience anger just because they lack the necessary skills of negotiating common interpersonal conflicts and hassles (Kassinove & Tafrate, 2002). They might fight with a spouse since they cannot communicate well about family issues such as the budget. For this reason, they become furious and yell at children since they do not know how to handle their misbehavior. Others become angry and intimidating, especially when dealing with co-workers, since they lack knowledge on how to be assertive. In most instances, anger escalates due to insufficient skills when resolving a situation. Even though the skills needed vary from one person to the other, skill training helps approach adverse situations in a direct, problem-solving, and calm manner. It is important that the client and his therapist identify the skills needed and hence, practice them during therapy sessions until the client becomes comfortable with them. As a result, this can reduce anger since the skills lessen or stop conflict tension with others.
The last intervention is forgiveness and acceptance (Kettles & Collins, 2001). These are issue that therapist is unable to implement into the client’s mind. For instance, children spilling drinks, they shout and pout, argue and always put boundaries by saying “no” to each other. In industries, economic conditions at time result to layoffs. Sometimes, spouses also forget about the most significant things that are normally valuable in the family (Kettles & Collins, 2001). However, thinking that other people intentionally do some things to cause problems can be wrong. On the other hand, thinking that some things should have been done in a different way can result into ignoring other causes of the behavior. When an individual has the mindset that actions of another person is always intentional, this increases anger and does not solve problems at all. People need to understand that some actions are caused by genetics, biology, economic stressors, or normal development. Forgiveness and acceptance techniques that help an individual understand such realities (Kettles & Collins, 2001).
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In conclusion, although anger is an inevitable part of individual’s life, people should not be controlled by this intense and frequent feeling. Numerous therapeutic interventions for anger are available. They include attitude and cognitive changes, forgiveness, acceptance, and disruption by removal and avoidance just to mention a few. A therapist can help individuals understand the strategies that will work best for them in reducing anger. Anger is a normal emotion for human beings. It can lead to constructive behaviors. Anybody is prone to anger. The interventions mentioned above help decrease anger levels.