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Anger Management

                                                               He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. (Proverbs)

                               Anger is a momentary madness, so control your passion or it will control you (Horace)

                                                 Be angry but do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger (Ephesians)

                                                   Anger is quieted by a gentle word just as fire is quenched by water (Camus)

 

 

Do you find yourself unable to control the lava flow of anger and rage that flows from some unidentified volcanic crater deep within your gut?

Are you unable to resolve conflict with loved ones without verbal outbursts, breaking things, kicking the dog?

Have you been written up at work because you couldn't control your emotional upheavals /responses and get along with co-workers or supervisors?

Are you constantly irritated and sensitive to any confrontation and criticism?

Do you know all too well what I mean when I use the term “anger hangover?”


Anger can range from mild irritation or annoyance to intense fury and rage. An anger hangover is that uncomfortable, heavy mixture of guilt, self-recrimination, sadness, and regret that frequently follows a brief or extended episode of unbridled anger or rage. This condition can contribute to depression and anxiety.

I call it a hangover because, much like the hangover that accompanies getting high or intoxicated on any substance, your body and brain are attempting to recover from the rush of neurochemicals (adrenalin, cortisol, and testosterone) that accompanies such an episode of emotional expression. Like drinking or drugging, these chemicals can take control of your central nervous system resulting in an inability to process situations and events through the judgment centers of the brain leading to lowered inhibitions and out of control behaviors.

You may find yourself yelling, screaming, hitting, kicking, punching walls, breaking things, slamming doors, calling names, threatening, and stomping out. Or perhaps you shut down (freeze), withdrawing into cruel silences, refusing to engage or forgive, stonewalling, criticizing, blaming, and any variety of the less overt but nonetheless equally hurtful, damaging passive-aggressive behaviors.

Many of us grew up in households where our caretakers lacked emotional regulation skills and could not serve as models of self-control, restraint, and effective conflict resolution. Whether this inability manifested as simmering withdrawal (sometimes for days on end), pouting, or volcanic episodes of rage, some of us were witnesses to and/or victims of someone else’s anger and rage, often while being disallowed our own right to express or process our own deep anger, hurt, fear, and despair.

As a former rage monster, I consider anger management therapy among the most beneficial mental health services I can offer. I struggled for many years before the pool of hot lava that seemed to reside somewhere in my midsection, seeming to spew forth without warning, was effectively cooled and dissipated. I had to acquire a new perspective of the function of anger in my life, develop relaxation and anxiety reduction skills, and learn to manage my frightfully low frustration tolerance. In addition, I discovered the distortion in my thinking that made me vulnerable to misunderstanding and mistrust in my relationships with others. I discovered what was and wasn’t under my control.

It was equally enlightening to discover what was in that lava pool – years of unresolved conflicts, hurts, fears, disappointments, guilt, regret, and perceived abandonments. Self-care and stress management became twin pillars upon which my recovery rested and most powerfully for me, spiritual development and resolution of my existential dilemmas. But perhaps that last part is too woo woo for you and the last area you want to explore. You want skills – practical, scientific, evidence-based and effective skills training that you can implement as quickly as possible. That’s fine. We can do that. You can learn to empty your own lava pool quickly and efficiently.

Volcanos throw tons of gas and ash into the atmosphere and impact the climate for a long time past the explosion. We’ll discuss the impact of explosive anger on the individual, his/her relationships, and the general social and work environment.

The purpose of anger management is to help a person decrease the heightened emotional and physiological arousal often associated with anger. Though it is generally impossible to avoid all the people, things, and settings that incite anger, but a person may learn how to control reactions and respond in a socially appropriate manner. The support of a mental health professional may be helpful in this process.

I’ve developed a group program utilizing the best information and techniques I know about anger management. We’ll discuss healthy and unhealthy anger, triggers (those buttons we always claim someone else knows how to push) characteristics of people who develop anger problems, the destructive consequences and impact on self-image and self-esteem, the need for effective stress management. We’ll talk about anger’s impact on mental health in general, social and interpersonal relationships, career success, parenting, and the unfortunate acting-out behaviors that can lead to involvement with the criminal justice system. We’ll work on skills including assertiveness training, relaxation and calming techniques, conflict resolution skills, frustration and stress management, meditation and mindfulness, distress tolerance techniques.

I’m offering two 5-week programs.

Part I – 5 weeks of the basic anger management program

Part II - 5 weeks – Going beyond the basics - advanced education and practice

I’m setting aside two time frames on Fridays beginning on September 9th, 2016. First session is 9-10 a.m. Second is 5:30 to 6:30 P.M. Whichever session fills up first will begin first and be the designated time slot. Minimum of 4 pre-registered, prepaid individuals. Maximum of 6.

Cost is $35.00/session paid in advance. Credit Card payments accepted. No refunds past the second week.

I’ll provide you with a certificate that can be used to satisfy mandated participation.

This program can be worked individually as well – regular 50 minute sessions - $65.00 each. Prepayment not required.

Either program may qualify for EAP or insurance reimbursement.

Call or email to schedule.

518-406-3119

carolw@opendoorscounseling.com