According to a 2008 report by the Mental Health Foundation, around 1 in 10 people say they have difficulty controlling their anger, and almost a third of people polled said they knew someone who has trouble controlling anger. Interestingly fewer than 13% of people who admitted having anger issues had sought help for it. The reason for this is likely to include feelings of guilt or shame, denial or diminishing the issue, or it may simply be that people don't know where to go to get help. Allow me to reassure you then that anger issues are successfully treated in a non-judgemental fashion here at The Bristol Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Clinic.
Anger is a natural part of our fight or flight survival response. When we experience stress, or we are exposed to particular triggers, anger can be an instinctive way we react. While anger is perfectly normal, and at times is a healthy response to various life stressors, you may have found that anger is becoming an unhealthy force in your life and it's time to take control.
Anger can evolve into a pervasive pattern of short-temperedness, explosiveness, irritability, or frustration. When this happens it is usually an indication that something is going on. It may be work, financial stress, kids, or marriage problems, or the cause may be completely unknown to you. At the emotional level anger is a way of establishing certainty where there is uncertainty. At the intellectual level anger is a way of communicating the message, “I want this to stop!”
"At the emotional level anger is a way of establishing certainty where there is uncertainty. At the intellectual level anger is a way of communicating the message, “I want this to stop!”"
Anger can be destructive to relationships and so it’s important for us to establish what is triggering your anger and get to work resolving it. Unchecked anger issues can easily damage family, friendships, and working relationships leading to a great negative cost to all involved. While I use the phrase 'anger management' at times, the goal of therapy for anger issues isn't really to control or manage the problem, but to completely resolve it by understanding and attending to the underlying cause.
They are many potential reasons as to why you may be experiencing angry flare-ups. Anger may be a sign of stress and frustration, or even simple exhaustion. Alternatively anger may be a learned behaviour, acquired from your parents or the environment you grew up in. Often anger is a sign that you have unmet needs or that you feel out of control in relation to an important aspect of your life. The goal of therapy is to establish what those needs are and put you back in control. Anger may also serve as a defence against feelings of guilt, shame, or a sense of responsibility. The potential causes of uncontrolled anger can be many!
"Often anger is a sign that you have unmet needs or that you feel out of control in relation to an important aspect of your life. The goal of therapy is to establish what those needs are and put you back in control."
While both sexes can experience anger issues it is typically males who experience chronic patterns of short-temper and angry outbursts. This may be due to the fact that males tend to be less open with their feelings and have greater difficulty understanding and expressing feelings.
Anger issues tend to fall into two main camps: general anger and specific anger. General anger is where you experience what psychologists refer to as a low frustration tolerance. Any number of day-to-day experiences such as a draw not closing properly, or the dishwasher not rinsing properly can trigger an anger response. General anger is usually a sign that there are broader stresses at play that require resolving.
Specific anger is anger triggered by a highly specific set of circumstances or by a specific person, such as your child or spouse. Rather than being related to general stress levels, specific anger usually has a deeper emotional relevance that as a sufferer you likely have little conscious awareness of. If you knew why you were being triggered in this way you wouldn’t be triggered! The goal of our therapy therefore is to not only lower your general stress levels but to access and resolve any unconscious triggers that cause you to lose control.
If you are concerned about your emotional reactivity and would like some help with anger management rest assured that both psychotherapy and hypnotherapy can be highly effective at dealing with anger issues and putting you back in control. You are warmly invited to join me at The Bristol Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Clinic or online via Skype for a friendly chat about what’s been happening. Why not get in touch to book your FREE initial consultation.