Many of us struggle with anger on a daily basis. While anger can be a healthy and emplowering emotion, anger can also be unhealthy or disempowering when it is
a)a regular or constant occurence
b)when it is disproportionate to the situation
c)when it is "unleashed" or uncontrolled
d)when it is misdirected (either to the wrong person or always redirected back at ourselves
e) when it gets in the way of the relationships with our loved ones
Many of us aren't even aware we are struggling with anger. We may feel regularly frustrated or irritated, we may be "barking" at our partners or kids, we may be coping with feelings with alcohol, drugs, food and sex (which co-incidently cause more anger). We may be turning it on ourselves as often occurs with depression, anxiety, stomach problems, heart problems, headaches, tension and other physical and mental health issues. We rob our lives of joy and love when we constantly perpetuate anger.
In my practice, I help clients understand how hurts from the past create a pattern of torment in the future. I try to help people recognize the signs of anger in their own body and connect angry feelings and thoughts to past experiences. I assist people in working through angry feelings in a safe, compassionate environment. I also use strategies borrowed from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to help clients develop strategies for soothing, distracting from and managing strong angry feelings and thoughts in the present. While we may feel that we inherit anger from our pasts, we often have a choice to walk free from debilitating anger in our futures.