The first step to controlling anger issues, especially so in the case of adults, is for them to admit there is a problem and accept their actions and reactions for what they are; uncontrolled anger.
Anger and The Blame Game
Unfortunately, such people tend not to see the situation as being their fault. Individuals who have trouble admitting to their anger and accepting responsibility for their actions, often play the blame game; there’s always something or someone to blame for their rages and they get angry because someone didn’t act the way they wanted them to. How many people do you know whom you’ve heard say, “What he did made me furious!” or “That person really winds me up!”?
What we can see is that people often place the blame at someone else’s door. Some rationalize it as follows:
‘I haven’t done anything to deserve being treated in a way that makes me feel angry. That is why I get angry. I feel helpless to it. After all, I can’t control the other person…so I end up resigned to the fact that I have to live with other people’s actions or words and the feelings they provoke in me’.
Anger Management Components
There are many people who are striving daily to work through their anger issues on their own. Some are successful but many fall back into regular outbursts. Anger is an emotion which is difficult to tackle without the right information and tools. Working through anger-related issues requires certain essential components to be successful: hard work, anger management skills, encouragement and support.
Remember, wanting to and being able to do it, are two entirely different things. Unfortunately without having the essential components in place, dealing with anger problems is extremely challenging.
Seeking Anger Management Guidance
Often anger relates to the desire to improve an important relationship in one’s life. Anger will never work to do that. You may get the initial satisfaction of controlling the other person to do what you want, but in doing so you will have damaged something in the relationship. Anger management can change this pattern of behavior and ensure a healthier, more productive and positive life for all concerned.
Anger management guidance may be sought for a variety of reasons. For example, a spouse, doctor or colleague may suggest it, or an individual may work at a business which offers anger management support. In other cases, even though the anger-prone individual may not resort to verbal or physical actions, they may come to the realization that the emotions they experience are not within the bounds of normality for a given situation. At the point of this recognition, a wise person will consider anger management classes, training or counseling to keep their emotions under check and to manage responses in a healthy way.
However, many people who have anger issues find it demeaning when anger management is suggested. There is no shame attached to seeking anger management counseling; in fact, true shame comes from the failure to admit there is a problem and by not taking remedial action. If a person continues down a path where they are constantly angry and acting out, it will eventually cause major problems. Without anger management this individual may end up experiencing loss on many levels; loss of self-respect, loss of their own identity, loss of their family and loved ones, loss of their job and possible loss of their own freedom through incarceration.
Therefore, it is essential to convince the person that anger management is not meant to be a punishment but rather a liberating experience that will help them obtain a better quality of life. There are all sorts of strategies to help adults with anger issues. These aim to enable the person to take control of their life and not be enslaved by their emotions and anger. Once the individual becomes conscious of the reasons they choose their behavior i.e. anger, then they can consciously choose to do something more responsible and effective. A type of psychotherapy called cognitive therapy has proven to be of great assistance to many in overcoming their anger problems.
It is not uncommon for people new to anger management to feel frightened or threatened by the thought of a class environment. Conveying to such people that these classes are not meant to be a threat or demeaning is vital. By definition, anger management classes should not be embarrassing or intimidating but the exact opposite, providing an informal and relaxed environment. Although the experience may be challenging, the support and encouragement offered by the class will greatly help the person to work through their negative behavioral issues.
Remember though that if the therapist is not a qualified medical practitioner, try to ensure that the anger management counselor is someone who has received professional training through appropriate anger management certification. They should have received training addressing areas such as how to deal with angry, aggressive and potentially violent clients, abuse (including child, domestic and substance abuse), mental health, corrections, pastoral care and law enforcement. In addition, there are qualified online counselors who are able to offer help and advice regarding anger management.