Anger describes an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. Anger is a normal, even healthy emotion—but it's important to deal with it in a positive and healthy way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships.
Having a better understanding of individual emotions and anger allows people to better acknowledge and cope with these feelings. We all tend to get into patterns of behavior, some healthy and some not, so being able to better understand these patterns and replace unhealthy patterns can lead to improved mental wellness.
There are several misconceptions about anger, primarily that anger is wrong or bad. Most of the time, anger is manifested in the form of swearing, aggression, or verbal attacks which often has detrimental and hurtful results. Anger is often a default emotion that gives people the illusion of being in control in situations where they feel like they have lost control. In reality, anger is the loss of control and causes people to do and say things they don’t mean to try and take some power back. When we look at anger as being the result of other unresolved emotions, it is easier to find empathy for the behavior.
Another misconception is that you shouldn’t talk about your anger or express the emotions that have led up to the feelings of anger. Talking about emotions, especially tough ones, help people express what they are feeling in a more effective way that will be less likely to end in words or behavior that have the potential to damage a relationship. Therapy helps people put words to their difficult and intense feelings so they can make sense of them and communicate them to others.
We believe anger is a legitimate emotion that can be helpful and hindering, depending on how and when it’s expressed. Our approach is to help patients understand how they currently manifest their feelings of anger and how anger impacts their life and relationships. Our overall therapy approach is to help patients identify their feelings of anger, situations that trigger their anger, underlying emotions surrounding their anger, and ways they can work through their emotions in a way that doesn’t negatively impact their own well-being and that of the people around them.