Anger management is the effort to identify triggers that generate sudden, escalating anger in order to find strategies to bypass the direct expression of the anger. The ultimate goal is to help people, after inhibiting the immediate feelings, find ways to express their frustration calmly and reasonably. A major goal of anger management is to help individuals control the intensity of their anger to handle their relationships effectively and to avoid problems associated with unrestrained rage.
How Can Counseling Help?
The key feature of anger management is to help people clearly identify the situations that trigger their anger and to become intimately aware of their bodily and emotional reactions in response to frustrating or threatening circumstances. Whereas prior to counseling the person would feel the angry impulse and react immediately, after successful counseling, he or she is able to stop and consider the alternatives. A frequent first step is the effort to associate angry emotions with the behavior of stopping to think. This takes practice because the well-practiced and innate reaction of feeling angry and then reacting aggressively or violently has become automatic. Counseling thus trains the person to associate a new reaction to the old feelings. During the course of anger management counseling, a variety of techniques are utilized. These include meditation, practice in self-awareness, frustration management, anger diaries, and relaxation techniques.