Anger Management Counselling – Australia wide
Don’t want to hurt the ones you love?
INDIVIDUAL TAILOR MADE PROGRAMS with our REGISTERED PSYCHOLOGISTS -
Approx 6 sessions
(Certificates of Attendance are available for workplace or court ordered purposes)
Anger Management Counselling is available at 55 Hart Centre locations in Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Townsville. see below for details
Do our Anger Test to check what your Anger levels are and if you need Anger Management counselling.
Why the Inner Aggro?
How many times have you had this experience?
You are talking with your partner, something innocent is said, and you “snap”, that is, you become uncontrollably angry? Your partner is hurt by your angry reaction and you feel embarrassed that you couldn’t control yourself. But you are not willing to swallow your ego and say sorry. You just can’t admit that you reacted badly.
Have you ever been driving along the road and somebody cut you off? You find the blood rush to your head and you lose it. You find yourself cursing and screaming at a complete stranger.
Anger is the natural emotion we all experience as our response to a perceived threat, frustration, or assault to our sense of self.
This natural and healthy anger is sometimes called Primary anger as it has a problem solving purpose, that is, it motivates and energises us to fix the problem we are experiencing.
However, there are 3 other forms of anger, all of which create problems in our lives. When we have problems with anger, these are the types of anger that are causing it.
The first of these is Secondary anger which is a response or defense against a softer primary emotion like feeling hurt, sad or vulnerable. This very often happens for men, who are commonly taught that to be socially acceptable as a man, it is ok to be angry but not ok to feel or express hurt or vulnerable feelings.
The next problematic anger is Instrumental anger which involves using anger to strategically influence others. People will often use this if they realise that they can get their way or gain control by raging.
The third problem anger is Maladaptive anger, and this involves those old familiar angry feelings that occur repeatedly, that do not change, and which have come from past trauma, wounds from your unmet childhood needs and/or unfinished business with significant others from your past.
If you feel that anger is creating a problem in your life, or your partner or those around you are complaining about, or are scared of your anger, you can be almost certain that it is because you are unwittingly using anger in any or all of these 3 problematic ways.
When you are doing so, you will find that it does NOT help to “let it rip, and express your anger“. On these occasions, it only makes things worse, creating damage to your relationships.
It is very important to understand what is healthy anger, which is healthy to acknowledge and express, and which is unhealthy anger, which is important to bypass, contain, and/or explore further.
There is always something more that feeds the anger than is what is observed on the surface. Angry people may appear strong, willful or certain, but beneath the surface is pain. Angry people are hurt people who have come to believe that they can resolve their own pain by inflicting pain on others.
Here’s some tips on how you can manage your anger.
Here’s an outline of a simple three-step approach to managing your emotions. We call this the 3As:
Admit: acknowledge you have a problem with anger or that you are angry more than normal;
Accept: accept the nature of anger as this prepares you for a battle plan for addressing your reactions;
Address: devise and implement strategies to manage anger.
Let’s go through each A in the list by relating them to anger and anger management.
1. Admit Your Anger
Do you know why you are reluctant to admit that you are angry? The main driving force behind this psychological trait is the way society feels about anger. Who likes to see anger? Who thinks anger is a good emotion? Is it seen as bad? Do we educate people to disguise or suppress anger? Is there a consensus that people should stop being angry, grow up and behave?
Anger is not a positive emotion, as perceived by the people around us. So if you are struggling with anger, you are struggling with the pull between letting out your anger and being reprimanded for showing your anger. You basically have a dilemma on your hands.
Now, the nature of anger is negative, as perceived by people around us, and so we subconsciously re-evaluate our anger into different emotional or energy forms. These energy forms are the many faces of anger. Here’s a list:
- Overly assertive
These emotional states are related to anger and show that we have a tendency to re-evaluate the energy form of anger into something that is more socially acceptable. For example, it is better to say you are irritated with someone than to say you are angry. It is also better to say you are annoyed.
Sometimes we find with anger management problems is that the individual does not fully admit that (s)he reacts with anger or a related emotion.
Psychologists have discussed this issue for a long time and there is an agreement that when people self-report emotions, they tend to under-report the negative states and over-inflate the positive states.
Your ego also plays a part in you not fully admitting you are angry. If your partner says, “Your angry!”, with that reprimanding or disapproving tone, is your reaction to deny you are angry? Sometimes we even find ourselves getting angry that somebody is accusing us of being angry. This is how you know that your ego is getting in the way of you understanding and releasing the inner aggro.
Here’s a small game for you to play. Rate how angry you are generally on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is furious and angry all the time. Now ask three significant people in your life (e.g. partner, children, parents) to rate your personality on the same scale. Are there any differences? If so, you are under-estimating how much anger you are feeling and showing, which means you have an ego-related problem in this area.
So, the first step towards emotional enlightenment is to admit that you are angry and embrace it. In fact, expand your talents by telling yourself that you are angrier than what you probably aware of. That way you can move to the second A of accepting your angry reactions in their entirety.
2. Accept Your Anger
Once you admit that you are angry, and you take on board what others are telling you, your next step is to accept the character of anger in its entirety.
So what is the nature of anger?
To begin with, we must understand the character of anger as a number of traits or habits.
The first trait or habit is the “I’m right” or self-righteous attitude that comes with being angry. Have you ever got angry and thought you were wrong? Of course, you haven’t. You always think you are right when you are angry. You might also think there is an injustice or wrong doing. Either way, there is an element of self-righteousness that comes with being angry. If we are able to reverse this trait of anger, we will go a long way towards calming our mind towards pacification and harmony.
The second trait or habit is “One-upmanship”. What I mean by this is that when you’re angry, you must out do the attacker, aggressor or assertor. So, if someone challenges you when you are angry, or counter attacks, you will intensify your anger response. You intensify your response to dominate.
It is like the movie “Crocodile Dundee” movie where Dundee is faced with a gang in New York and one member pulls a knife on him. He smiles and says “that’s not a knife … this is a knife!” as he pulls out a larger knife that would stop anyone in their tracks. My point is that sometimes you pull a bigger knife of anger on your opponent to “up the anti” and assert yourself. It is a domination tactic.
Unfortunately, this is why people get into fights. One person tries to get angrier than the other, and this escalates into a physical confrontation.
3. Address Your Anger
Now that you are educated on the traits of anger, it is time address your habit. See your anger as a habit of your mind, and from there you will be able to change the way you have conditioned yourself to respond and react to circumstances.
The First principle of addressing anger is to understand that it is energy like any emotion. All emotion wants to feel free. Emotions are like animals. If you trap them, they will want to escape. That’s why a lion can turn on its keeper after a few years and attack. The animals doesn’t want to be trapped and will bite the hand that feeds it!
So, the principle is that energy wants to be free and your anger doesn’t like to be trapped either. You have a problem though. You are taught to suppress and internalize your negative emotions, which traps them, and then you must release them. We must develop strategies to release the pressure within.
To begin with, we must get into the right mindset or frame of mind to release our emotions. You have already been pre-framed by society not to express or show anger. This pre-frame needs to be altered.
You need to get yourself into the mindset that anger is not bad and it wants to be free. You might be worried that I am telling you to lose control, but I am not writing that. I am just telling you to think of anger as valuable energy that wants to be expressed and released.
Don’t feel bad about angry. If you feel bad about your angry reactions, you are setting yourself up into a vicious cycle. You get angry, you feel bad, you suppress your anger, and eventually it comes out uncontrollably. The key for feeling emotionally free is not to feel bad or reprimand yourself for your reactions. These are habits that need to be broken.
The Second principle of addressing anger is to consider that all emotions are expressed or displayed in certain ways. Most of the time, we inherit certain responses. For example, we express anger as a disapproving facial expression, sharp and loud voice intonation, or controlling behaviours.
The key is to practice expressing anger differently.
Try this exercise. Stand in front of the mirror and start pulling facial expressions of anger. Speak to the mirror in anger. This way you can hear and see yourself being angry and you increase your awareness over its nature and characteristics.
Now I want you to change your facial expressions by exaggerating your responses. Talk in an angry tone but lower your voice. Smile and speak in an angry tone. That is, mix up the way you express anger. This will free you up in regards to how anger can be expressed.
If you are struggling with anger in social situations, I want you to use the Delay strategy to alter your expressiveness. I want you to remember DELAY and when you feel angry, STOP … take a deep breath … and then respond by lowering your tone of voice. You can still express your anger, but if you delay your anger, you can change your facial expression or voice intonation so you don’t come across as intimidating.
The Third principle is to identify uncontrollable situations. This means identifying what triggers you off. More about this in a moment. But it’s very important to remember that you should just walk away if you are losing control. Clients say that walking away is the most powerful strategy to dealing with conflict situations. Walk away and take 5-30 minutes to cool down, then come back and talk the problem through again when you are not so emotional.
Triggers are cues that you can see, hear or feel that make you lose control emotionally. What we found with our clients is that there are several strong mental triggers that set people off:
1. Put downs: if someone says you are weak, useless, pathetic, or less of a person;
2. You’re wrong: if someone accuses you of being wrong; and
3. Rudeness: if someone is rude towards you or uses a rude tone of voice.
To address your anger, you must write down every time you get an angry reaction and identify the part of your mind that is being triggered. What belief is being challenged? What belief are your defending or fighting for?
The Final principle is to find alternative behaviours to outlet your anger. This includes any practice that exercises your body and mind. You might like to consider taking on some of these practices: meditation, yoga, sport, calligraphy, painting, illustration and instrument. Any of these activities will divert your energy into a positive, constructive activity that will help you release anger.
How do I know if I need Anger Management counselling?
Don’t want to be a walking time bomb?
If you can honestly answer “Yes” to ANY of these questions, you will find Anger management counselling will make the crucial difference to your relationships, and your life in general:
1. My partner finds it difficult to be around me, or is scared of me, or is complaining about my anger.
2. I am experiencing problems at work as a result of my anger.
3. Because of my anger, I have a reduced ability to handle difficult situations.
4. I have been in trouble with the law because of my anger getting out of hand.
5. I have physical health symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating and sleep disturbances.
6. I am experiencing emotional distress, for example worrying, dwelling on problems,or shame.
7. There has been times when my anger has blocked me from achieving important life goals.
8. I would probably be more successful in my life if I has better control over my anger.
If you have answered “YES” to more than one of these, then make it your top priority to get help as soon as possible.
Your partner, family, friends, and just as importantly, YOU, will see a dramatic difference in your quality of life and relationships within only a few weeks.
Our Psychologists who specialise in Anger management in each city:
Our Individually tailored Anger management counselling sessions are 50 mins
These usually run for approximately 6 sessions.
Cost: $150 for 50 mins session ($170 for after hours sessions)
Private Health Insurance and Medicare Rebates apply. Please ask us for more details.
Phone 1300 830 552 to enquire about locations closest to you or to make an appointment.
anger management brisbane
anger management adelaide
anger management perth
anger management gold coast
anger management sunshine coast
anger management newcastle
anger management townsville
anger management gosford
Anger management counselling Sydney
Anger management counselling Melbourne
Anger management counselling Brisbane
Anger management counselling Perth
Anger management counselling Adelaide
Anger management counselling Gold Coast