What is the best therapy for anger management?

In this article, we are going to answer the following question: What is the best therapy for anger management? We will also explain what is anger; what causes uncontrolled anger; what society thinks about anger and how to learn self-control.

What is the best therapy for anger management?

The best therapy for anger management is considered to be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  By going to CBT, the person is trained to control their negative thoughts, which reduces attacks of anger, jealousy, and emotional discomfort, this through a technique called Cognitive Restructuring, which aims to change those negative ideas by more realistic and positive ones.

We will explain in more details how CBT helps with anger management below, but before, we first must understand what exactly is anger.

What is anger?

Anger is one of the basic emotions that we all have, it is normal that we get angry when things do not go as we want, or sometimes, because we get frustrated with some injustice, and we can even scream or attack other people.

The problem arises, when we have problems to control it, some negative consequences that arise when we lose control of anger, are:

  • Damage in social relationships (Because others get angry about our explosive reactions, they walk away and start criticizing us).
  • The person who explodes feels guilt, sadness, frustration and concern associated with her anger. (Anger is outward, then it goes inward, beginning self-criticism.)

Anger is seen by many people as the most negative emotion, it really is the most basic destructive emotion, which can cause the destruction of relationships, weakens our body protection systems, and causes us to have extreme impulsive reactions if we do not know how to handle it. When angry, people often tend to use scapegoats as a way of letting go of their anger.

Anger is, at the same time, one of the most primitive emotions, and its function is to help the organism to defend itself from aggression, and to guarantee control of the environment to the person, it arises in injustices and by feeling mistreatment, and it gives us the energy to react abruptly and defend ourselves with great energy.

Some people start to cry when angry but don’t know the reason for it.

What causes uncontrolled anger?

Anger is one of those emotions that, if it gets out of control, has more to do with our experience and how we handle it than what happens to us, people with problems managing anger have some of these characteristics:

  • Hostile family environment, where he assaults instead of negotiating.
  • Little ability to express what they feel.
  • They don’t know how to express what they want, and they get frustrated because others don’t understand them.
  • After losing control, they reinforce the idea that “they cannot be controlled” (false idea, by the way).
  • They do not know how to handle their emotions (such as sadness or helplessness) properly, which causes them frustration, which leads them to attack.

Parents or guardians of an individual treat adults like children during anger management or otherwise. You might exercise control over someone who needs help, treating them like a child, guiding them what to do and what not to. This constant treatment, an adult gets like a child causes infantilization.

What society thinks about anger

Don’t keep the anger inside: the accumulation of anger inside really turns you into a time bound incendiary device. But that doesn’t mean that every time something angers you, you have to express yourself instantly.

If you are angry you impose respect: you do not impose respect like that. In this way, you only drive people away from you and it doesn’t take long for you to find yourself alone.

Self-control means suppressing a normal emotion: even when the emotion is normal, it is necessary to pass it through the filter of the thought you are endowed with. 

This means self-control: to understand what is happening, why and what you can do so that you can manage the situation in a civilized way.

The costs of expressing unhealthy anger 

Your physical and emotional health are affected: when you show your anger, real revolutions take place in your body and in the emotional state you have. Something that keeps repeating itself ends up weakening certain inner springs.

It destroys interpersonal relationships: it is expected that an angry man will drive those around him away. They can be family members, friends, acquaintances. Even co-workers.

The angry person begins to have problems in his career: many things related to his career and professional success are also related to the interactions between people. If they are parasitized by anger, they can no longer be effective.

How to learn self-control

Find out what infuriates you: there may be concrete things, of an immediate nature, things you remember, something that justifies your anger.

Analyze yourself: how do you behave when you get angry? Be aware of what happens to you when you get angry. Anger has an ugly “face”. You may be ashamed, not like yourself as you are when you are angry.

Find out how you can calm down: whatever the situation, there are ways you can calm down. Maybe for some, it works when they drink an aromatic tea, for others when they are left alone, for others when they listen to a certain type of music for 5 minutes.

Find ways to express anger in a healthy way: if you feel tense and do not want to express your feelings and moods aggressively, you can express them through sports activities, extra hours of sleep, etc.

If you are unable to find out on your own, it is recommended that you consult a psychotherapist who will guide you on the path to recovery. If the situation drags on for some time, take measures for your health. 

The best therapy for anger management

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to control anger, is done by attacking 3 fronts:

  • Thoughts
  • Physiological (body) sensations.
  • Relationship with other people.

Thoughts

Thoughts (especially assumptions) cause strong and exaggerated emotions in situations that do not warrant it.

  • Ideas such as the Fallacy of Justice (believing that others have to be fair to us),
  • Personalization (thinking that what others do or happen to us, is a plot to harm us), and 
  • Thought reading (guessing what others think of us without proof, and hoping that they criticize us or think badly of us).

These cognitive distortions especially influence anger, because when feeling injustice we will get mad and will not be able to control our behaviour.

When negative thoughts come (and they will come), it is not enough not to notice them … You have to replace them with a positive thought.

Physiological sensations

Relaxation is the treatment of choice to control body sensations. Most relaxation techniques serve to calm the body’s reactions. Someone with anger can feel tension, causing them to “lose control.”

Learning a relaxation technique is very useful, because it is the basis to be able to stop before attacking, and it helps with the management of thoughts, better decision making and relaxation in the body.

Communication

Anger is a response we have when we feel that others are using us, sometimes we cause that, either because we are not assertive, or because (in pairs, for example), we do not communicate what we want from others. 

The solution to this is, to learn to say no, and learn to communicate what bothers us to others. The best way is not just letting go, but to communicate to the other person why we feel bad or offended, and kindly ask for a change.

Communication treatment is done through two techniques:

  • Assertiveness training – The person is trained so that he can demand his rights without violating the rights of others, in anger treatment, it can be so much because the person is very aggressive because of his anger, and he is taught ways to ask for things in a friendly and positive way to avoid conflicts.

On the other hand, it may be that one is very passive, and their frustration is because others take advantage of them. The frustration turns into anger, in this case, the person is taught to defend their rights, to say no, to avoid conflicts without giving in to others.

  • Social skills training – We analyze the person’s ways of communication and her way of saying to others when she disagrees, when she needs something, and deepen relationships to make them stronger and more functional.

Having strong social relationships gives us support networks that help us better control our emotions and relax in the face of stress, instead of misusing it and breaking out in anger.

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FAQ about What is the best therapy for anger management

What is the best therapy for anger?

The best therapy for anger management is considered to be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  By going to CBT, the person is trained to control their negative thoughts, which reduces attacks of anger, jealousy, and emotional discomfort, this through a technique called Cognitive Restructuring.

Can therapy help with anger issues?

Yes, therapy can definitely help with anger issues. If you are unable to manage your anger issues on your own, it is recommended that you consult a psychotherapist who will guide you on the path to recovery.

How do you treat anger management?

To treat your anger issues, first, find out what infuriates you: there may be concrete things, of an immediate nature, things you remember, something that justifies your anger. Analyze yourself: how do you behave when you get angry? Be aware of what happens to you when you get angry.

How can I instantly reduce anger?

To instantly reduce anger, if you feel tense and do not want to express your feelings and moods aggressively, you can express them through sports activities, extra hours of sleep, etc.

What are the three types of anger?

The three types of anger are Passive Aggression, Open Aggression, and Assertive Anger. All three types manifest differently and have a different impact. 

Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: What is the best therapy for anger management? We also explained what is anger; what causes uncontrolled anger; what society thinks about anger and how to learn self-control.

Anger is one of the basic emotions that we all have, it is normal that we get angry when things do not go as we want, or sometimes, because we get frustrated with some injustice, and we can even scream or attack other people.

The best therapy for anger management is considered to be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  By going to CBT, the person is trained to control their negative thoughts, which reduces attacks of anger, jealousy, and emotional discomfort, this through a technique called Cognitive Restructuring, which aims to change those negative ideas by more realistic and positive ones.

If you have questions or comments, please let us know!

Further reading

Rage: A Step-by-step Guide to Overcoming Explosive Anger, by Ronald T. Potter-Efron MSW PhD 

Overcoming Anger and Irritability: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques (Overcoming Books), by Dr William Davies

Anger Management Workbook for Men, by Nathan R Hydes PhD 

Anger Management: Understanding. Healing. Freedom, by Mr John Crawford 

Anger Management For Dummies (UK Edition), by W. Doyle Gentry 

References

Beckinstitute.org – Seven Steps for Anger

Unk.com – A 7-step process to free clients from anger

Abct.org – Anger

Psychologytools.com  – Anger Management CBT Worksheets

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