Anger is normal and a very healthy way to say that we are hurt or frustrated; Anger in itself is felt when we feel brushed off, not listened to or made fun of ect….

But anger becomes a major problem in the way it is expressed. As a Counsellor/Psychologist I work with anger issues, aggressive feelings in adolescents/children and anger problems in couple in daily practice.

A person who is screaming, pushing things around the house and putting his red face in your face can only be received with anger, disgust or fear. But often aggressive people are feeling as helpless and powerless as anxious people but whereas an anxious/panicked person will get the sympathy of the crowd via the symptoms expressed , the angry person is feeling the same emotions but he/she is choosing what is called the "fight" response out of the "flight or fight" response to over-activated state of perceived threat.

let me explain: the logic may be saying that "my keys misplaced or my voice not being listened does not mean my wife is ignoring me. maybe she is busy or tired!" but the emotional/right brain also called sometimes the amygdala is going into a state of tension every second maybe because of deep rooted fears from early years of being cornered, being made powerless. after a while that part of the brain has convinced the body that there is reason to be so tensed and it will trigger the "flight or fight" which simply means that the brain will send the message to the body to get ready to run for its life. the heartbeats will go up, the sweating will grow, the muscles will tense up and the blood pressure will go up...until the person releases the tension via angy explosion which will then calm the body and send the message again to the brain that the danger is over.

As a Solution Focused Counsellor i can help with anger that is becoming disruptive in terms of relationship, marriage bliss, work environment and that is being expressed physically, emotionally or mentally in the way described below. We are brought up in a civilized society that often says “don’t be angry”, “you don’t look good angry!” so that we grow up lacking the right skills to express our hurt feelings in a healthy way. So how do we express anger or aggressive feelings: often shouting, swearing, throwing things around, pounding on doors or tables, shrieking, or pushing people aside and stomping off , sulking in silence for days before exploding into rage…..all these expressions of anger are bound to leave us feeling released in the short term but ashamed, guilty, angry with ourselves and demeaned in our self-esteem and with an estranged, hurt or demeaned husband, wife, partner or child…..

When we say some people need treatment for Anger Management we mean that they need help to express their hurt feelings in a constructive way. I have had many clients over the years who have expressed a fear of losing all ability to be angry if they come for Hypnotherapy. What Counselling provides is a place for the client to address those voices in his/her head that seems to take over and control actions of aggression that the logic knows is wrong. usually there are deeper needs that the person does not know how to express and Counselling aims to correct the right expression of those needs as well as proper ways of expressing anger.

I am sure we all know somebody who cannot control their anger and just blows off out of proportion at simple things:
• They feel under attack if they are told they have done something wrong.
• They scream, shout, swear without any consideration for people around
• They start shaking, stammering even choking with their raging feelings.
• Afterwards they have either not much recollection of all they said or they feel ashamed of it.

Expressing emotions or thoughts can be done: either passively, e.g. bottling up, agreeing with everything that is said, following the other person at work or home even if we do not agree or aggressively as laid above. The only healthy way to express angry, hurt, aggressive feelings is by being assertive. Assertiveness skills are learnt from childhood when we are brought up in an environment that allows us to compromise, negotiate and argue within boundaries.

For people with anger issues often from childhood onwards they have learnt either to be passive with their feelings/thoughts or they have a very low frustration tolerance. So as they grow into adults and the pressure of life, work and relationships take over they respond either by silence treatment that ultimately explode into raging anger that the partner often does not understand at all or by reacting so defensively and so quickly that they look dangerous and threatening. They will later say that they were only expressing themselves but it is the other person who can hear the rage in the tone, who can feel the threat of attack and who can sense themselves in danger.

The fact is that the individual knows very well he/she should not behave that way and is even quite helpless with his/her own aggressiveness/anger. They probably promise never to lose it again and then, as soon as a similar situation happen they react in the same way. It is frustration both for them and people they love and care or work with.

In an angry, aggressive mode the person is in fact feeling very helpless and vulnerable; feeling threatened themselves as if their life is in danger and they just have to do something to protect themselves.

Counselling/Psychotherapy works marvellously well in these cases for two major reasons:

1. we are working with unconscious mind where all our instinctive reactions have taken roots and angry/aggressive people often feel helpless once those triggers get touched upon. they have forgotten when they learnt unconsciously to blow up if someone say “you are being silly” or if they just imply it. the trigger has been programmed in the inner mind and gets set up automatically.

What a Counsellor will do is access the inner mind and deprogram those triggers and set more constructive reactions to anger, like talking it out, shouting within limits, staying within boundaries of self-respect etc.

2. The added bonus here is that we train the mind to relax and become calm so that we can access the unconscious mind and this results in the clients also learning to relax their mind and body.

Author's Bio: 

Amreeta Chapman is a trained Psychologist since 1998, trained Hypnotherapist since 2003, trained Counsellor since 2008.

she practices Hypnotherapy seperately to counselling as clients who seek counselling need more time and space to understand and reflect as well as grow in the therapeutic relationship in terms of their confidence that they can change and get ready to move at their pace. Hypnotherapy is fast paced, tool focused techniques for people who have done the theory, have understood their issues but still do not know how to change those symptomatic behaviours.

Amreeta practices counselling, integrating solution focused Counselling, with her Psychoanalytic training as well as CBT to provide an integrative approach aimed at helping clients move to their goals within 10-12 sessions on average. sessions can go up to 15-20 for clients will trauma background like child abuse, or sexual abuse or else whose issues have been chronic over years... but generally clients will work 10-12 sessions.

Amreeta works in Reading, Wokingham, Woodley areas in Berkshire.