Many people find it difficult to resolve their anger.
People often seek anger management as a last resort. This often occurs when someone has been hurt or the recipient of anger say “I’ve have had enough” or “things have to change otherwise it is over.”
This means that the expression of anger has been allowed to develop to a level which cannot be tolerated. Maybe someone has got hurt or felt very scared and now has awoken to the risk.
It is often at this point that the one expressing the anger takes stock and realises that they have to do something about it. They need some anger management techniques to learn how to take control of their anger.
This is when people come to therapy knowing that they have to change the way they behave when they are angry. At this point often people want some advice and “be told” how to control their anger.
This is understandable when you realise how anger works.
People who have difficulty controlling their anger do so because, in many ways, they believe their anger is caused by external influences.
People often say “they made me angry” or blame other people for how they feel. Because of this belief that external events cause their anger it makes perfect sense that they would believe that an external influence could now take control of their anger i.e an anger management technique.
Focusing on the external stimuli believing this has caused us to be angry is the contaminated thinking at the root of our anger.
Many anger management techniques tend to reinforce this idea because they offer techniques which on the surface appear to instil control.
These various techniques attempt to move us away from the intensity of our anger. These approaches can be very useful in the initial stages as we gain some control. However it is not the anger management technique that brings the control it is the decision we make to change our relationship to our anger which makes the difference.
No technique is more powerful than our anger!
The main value of any technique is that we start to develop some space between our anger and our behaviour. So we start to be able to feel anger without acting on it. This is vital in the process of change and once we have gained some control of our anger, through increasing our tolerance without acting, we can start to develop awareness and understanding over the true nature of our anger and how it arises within us.
We have taken the most vital step. Creating separation between what we feel and how we act.
Once the internal tolerance towards feeling anger has been established fundamental change can take place. However resolution of anger is not about self-control. If we think of anger as the result of a contaminated view then understanding and changing the way we process our experience is where true resolution is found.
What is really needed is a process of developing awareness and gaining understanding of where anger really comes from. When we can then start to address the root of our anger as we recognise how reacting to the present stimulation clouds and confuses our perception.
We can then begin process anger differently. This goes way beyond anger management techniques as it helps us change our relationship with the present as the passed issues dissolve.