From road rage to child abuse, anger is a serious problem in American society and it touches everyone. For those who suffer from anger, their lives become burdened with regret. These individuals resolve – many times – to not yell, to listen more, blame less, or to simply keep the “lid on.” For most people, anger covers a history of pain. While anger may feel like a helpful venting, it ultimately fails its own purpose, making situations worse.

Some Facts on Anger:

» Of the people who suffered the most damage in childhood, most were harmed by repeated exposure to anger.

» The majority of chronically angry people observed, were taught, and were victimized by poorly controlled anger as children.

» People who struggle with anger also experience difficulty at work and in their personal
relationships. They are more likely to feel lonely, disappointed by life, and chronically frustrated.

» The greatest predictor of satisfaction in marriage is how people manage their conflicts and anger.

Treatment begins with one core fact: Anger is a learned response, and it can be unlearned with commitment and effort. Typically, skill building exercises are given weekly to practice alternatives to anger. Homework is used to help organize thoughts and track practice. Learning is broken into small steps so that nothing seems overwhelming. These intervention steps have been supported by numerous studies and include all or some of the following:

» Developing emergency anger safety plans

» Understanding the costs of anger

» Learning and practicing relationship skills

» Identifying and navigating triggering thoughts, people, and situations

» Recognizing your anger distortions and learning to replace them with more adaptive coping thoughts

» Improving your communication abilities

» Learning to be kind, patient and forgiving with yourself

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