Anger can be one of the most destructive emotions. In many cases, anger is a secondary emotion, used in place of extreme sadness, fear, and it is often a response to stressful events and triggers outside of a person’s control. Anger that is handled in an unhealthy way can destroy a person’s relationships. Some people deal with their anger in other maladaptive ways, such as turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with stress and overwhelming frustration. Studies on patients who come to therapy with high anger traits report more frequent drinking and drug use. For people who have negative anger responses, they can benefit from anger management therapy under the guidance of an experienced therapist.
What is anger management therapy?
Anger management therapy is focused on how the patient processes stress and anger. Patients in anger management therapy learn how to identify their specific triggers and stressors for anger. A therapist helps the patient learn how to stay calm in the face of adversity and situations that would typically trigger a maladaptive, angry response in the patient. Patients may learn how to navigate tense situations healthily and constructively without resorting to destructive anger.
Anger management therapy does not invalidate a person’s emotions. Instead, it helps someone learn how to decrease their anger before it reaches an unhealthy, destructive level. An anger management therapist guides the patient on how to de-escalate the emotional and physical stimulation that anger causes.
Why is anger management helpful for people in recovery from addiction?
This type of therapy is incredibly important and helpful for patients who experience repeated, negative consequences because of their anger responses. It is impossible for someone to go through life without experiencing situations that can make them angry. Instead of hoping that someone with destructive anger won’t become mad, it is better for the patient to learn how to control themselves and their anger responses in a healthy, constructive way.
Who can benefit from anger management therapy?
During therapy, an anger management patient will explore the roots of their anger, and the specific triggers for their anger responses. The things that make someone angry will differ for everyone. But in general, anger triggers can be broken down into internal and external factors. Internal factors would be how a person feels about themselves. They may be frustrated, ashamed, and disappointed in themselves which can trigger destructive anger. Externally, they may be triggered by a loss or humiliation at the hands of another person. For people who have not learned how to handle their anger constructively, their anger triggers result in destructive, externalizing behavior:
Destructive anger can be indicative of a more serious mental health condition, substance use disorder, or emotional problems. Anger management therapy can be incredibly beneficial for helping people to learn how to slow their anger reactions, identify the roots and causes of their feelings, and how to communicate in healthy, socially appropriate ways.
If you or a loved one are turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with feelings of anger, therapy can help. The experienced therapists and counselors at Mission Harbor Behavioral Health have helped hundreds of patients with substance abuse and anger management issues. Please contact Mission Harbor today to learn more about their therapy options.
The facilities at Mission Harbor are staffed with trained experts to best assist patients with their mental health issues. We are capable of dealing with any and all cases with a licensed staff, equipment, and approved techniques. Our mission is to help those who want to help themselves, and we support your decision in seeking help.
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