It’s common to think that therapy is the best course of treatment for anger management problems. It certainly is one of the first courses of action we pursue when it comes to light, especially through legal problems. But does therapy actually help someone who suffers from anger management issues?

Goals of Anger Management Programs

There are a set of specific goals that most anger management programs will work on with a client when they enter a program. They are:

Learning to Recognize Triggers

  • Getting in touch with what makes you angry
  • Understanding the mechanisms that cause you to be angry

Teaching You to Respond to Triggers

  • Learning coping strategies for dealing with triggers
  • Exploring healthy responses to triggers

Identify Trends in Illogical Thinking

  • Recognize when thoughts are not rational
  • Change how you think and react to certain stimulation

Learn How to Relax and Stay Calm

  • Be peaceful when you feel anger escalating
  • Learn to be assertive, rather than aggressive

Master Problem Solving Techniques

  • Build confidence and ease frustration
  • Understand that irritation doesn’t have to mean full blown rage

Learning How to Know When You’re Angry

For the person with anger management issues, they often don’t recognize the signs that anger is building within them. So, learning to recognize the physical and emotional signs of anger goes a long way in learning how to feel empowered without feeling aggressive anger.

Anger Rating Tool

Therapists like to use a tool to help patientsrate their angerto understand it better. Learning to assign a number to your anger – on a scale of 1 to 10 – can help you to identify when you are escalating, and what you need to do to decrease your anger.

Keeping an Anger Journal

This can be an important piece of the puzzle when learning to understand and control your anger. The process of journaling can give you insight into all facets of the emotions you may be experiencing.

Having an Anger Plan

This is where it all comes together. Figuring stuff out, and understanding why the anger happens is all well and good, but what’s the plan for coping with the anger?Here, the therapist teaches the person techniques for dealing with situations that are known to trigger an angry response.

Does This Therapy Help People Who Struggle with Anger Issues?

Anger management programs work on the assumption that knowledge is power. Once we understand and examine the mechanics around the anger problem and formulate a coping strategy based on what we’ve learned, then we can learn to control our anger and not the other way around.

With an effective plan, properly executed, amazing results are achieved. Like anything else, however, you will get out of it what you put into it. People that are uncooperative, unaccepting, and unwilling to look at ways to change will probably not make the same progress as someone who is ready to take the steps they need to make a real change in their lives. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with anger management issues, our domestic violence attorneys suggest that you try to get them into a program before they feel the real consequences of an anger problem that’s being ignored.

For more information, speak to our domestic violence lawyers.

By: Kimberly Pelesz

Family law and criminal defense attorney Kimberly A. Pelesz received a B.S. degree magna cum laude and an M.P.A. degree summa cum laude from Binghamton University. She earned her J.D. from Pace University School of Law in White Plains, where she was selected for Phi Alpha Delta. Her charitable activities include work with My Sisters’ Place in White Plains and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Humane Education Taskforce.

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