Anger management counseling is done for a variety of reasons. Sometimes counseling is done for personal growth or at the request of a loved one or employer. Anger management counseling may also be requested by the court or probation department as part of a plea bargain or minor violation of the law. If the court has ordered you to attend anger management counseling, then you are legally obligated to fulfill this requirement. Depending on where you live, the county may have certain requirements for the attendance or participation in court ordered anger management counseling. The number of sessions or hours is usually determined by the judge or by probation. If the number of classes is not specified, then a typical anger management class program is about 4-8 sessions.
Anger management refers to the process by which a person learns how to identify stressors, take necessary steps to remain calm, and handle tense situations in a constructive, positive manner.
The purpose of anger management is to help a person decrease the heightened emotional and physiological arousal often associated with anger. It is generally impossible to avoid all the people, things, and settings that incite anger, but a person may learn how to control reactions and respond in a socially appropriate manner. The help of a mental health professional is needed for this process.
Anger management therapy provides a clear and distinct set of guidelines for recovery. It gives the person seeking treatment a controlled platform for the release of his or her emotions while aiming to achieve positive and constructive responses, rather than negative and destructive ones. People in therapy are encouraged to examine the circumstances that trigger their anger and to become aware of their emotional state at each level of arousal. Affected people are taught how to use those psychological signs as a road map to control their anger. By identifying the emotional reaction to a specific situation, individuals in therapy may gain awareness and insight into the way their body responds to past and future circumstances. In addition, we work with people in therapy to identify anger responses that may actually be defense mechanisms for other concerns such as depression or anxiety.
Anger management therapy may help not only those individuals experiencing anger issues, but also the people who make up their social network. Uncontrollable anger may lead to harmful psychological and physical conditions. By reducing and controlling anger, an individual can reduce stress and significantly lower the risk for serious health problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure. The goal of anger management therapy is to teach people how to accurately examine their triggers, adjust their perception of situations, and develop healthy, constructive ways in which to express anger and frustrations. Some of the techniques which are used in anger management therapy include:
- Impulse control
- Frustration management (sometimes by writing in an anger diary)
- Breathing techniques
- Relaxation strategies
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