Anger is a normal human emotion. Often, anger occurs in response to a need to protect. Perhaps protecting someone or something, or we might be protecting our pride, opinion, or power. Anger becomes a problem when the expression of anger verbally and behaviorally begins to negatively affect relationships and the quality of life. Problem anger disrupts or interferes with the sense of self or normal routines. Anger management issues may cause physical aggression, negative verbal responses, serious health conditions, drug use and other negative consequences.

Early in anger management counseling the professional assesses the client’s self awareness. Anger management problems may develop when an individual is unable to identify and modulate the emotion until it is overwhelming. Monitoring and containing strong emotions are skills which may be cultivated.

Problem-solving skills training is useful when there are no behavioral skill deficits (e.g., poor social skills) and there is a lack of general problem-solving skills with which to assess situations and to choose various coping skills.

Self care must be examined. At times, a lack of self care makes an individual vulnerable to anger problems. Improving self care practices may increase the flexibility, adaptability and ability to cope. When boundaries are under-developed individuals may remain in situations which are unhealthy and develop anger issues. In other circumstances, a lack of boundaries may drive controlling or excessively angry behavior.

Unhealthy responses occur at times due to a lack of social or interpersonal skills. When upset, there is a lack of healthy responses, constructive words or actions appropriate to the situation. During anger management counseling, both the thinking style and skill set of the client are explored. Cognitive therapy often helps clients see alternative ways of thinking and reacting to anger—and is a helpful treatment strategy. The way we think when we're angry may make situations worse.Cognitive interventions target biases in information processing and cognitive appraisals. They help to identify distorted patterns of thinking, develop more reality-based and less anger-engendering cognitions, and free up problem-solving and coping resources. Focusing on compatible and appropriate behaviors enhances constructive skills. The healthy expression of appropriate anger is the goal of this type of work.

* Tips to increase success of anger management counseling:

* Motivation and willingness to change

* Commitment to practice between sessions

* Taking responsibility for adjusting/accepting/proactive steps

* Embracing relapse prevention

"Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." –Benjamin Franklin

Author's Bio: 

Marta Hatter, LCSW. Professional psychotherapist in private practice, Certified EMDR Therapist. My counseling philosophy is that we all experience difficulties in our lives - it’s part of being human. The purpose of our needs is to motivate us to reach out to others. When issues with relationships or personal problems make life feel unmanageable or hopeless, caring professional help is available.