Anger management treatment
People seeking treatment for anger management are often those who experience physical expressions of anger beyond the usual frustrations and irritability that can be felt, at times, by all of us.
Responding to these feelings of anger can sometimes lead to aggressive and violent behaviour. Many people seeking anger management treatment are facing a form of life crisis, which has been caused by the impact of their angry outbursts, either at home or in wider society.
If you are having trouble with controlling your anger and you believe it may be harming other people physically or emotionally, then Priory’s nationwide network of hospitals and wellbeing centres can offer specialist support and a coordinated personal treatment programme to help you manage the physical and emotional symptoms of anger problems.
What is an anger management problem?
While we all experience feelings of anger or frustration from time-to-time as a natural human response to situations such as extreme disagreement of another person’s opinion, a personal attack on our character, or feelings of being deceived or treated unfairly, anger becomes a problem which may require treatment and support if it harms you or other people around you.
Detrimental problems associated with anger needn’t only relate to physical acts of aggression, as inward negative thoughts of anger and non-violent or passive aggressive acts associated with anger can affect your overall physical and mental health. Your relationships at home and at work can be affected by both verbal and physical expressions of anger, with how you generally behave when you are angry dependent on your ability to observe and ultimately control increased feelings of anger and frustration when they arise.
Unhelpful or destructive behaviours and expressions of anger to look out for if you believe you or someone you know is experiencing anger management problems may include:
Verbal and physical aggression or violence
This may include shouting, swearing or being verbally abusive and threatening towards people around you, while physically lashing out either by throwing objects or being physically violent to another person are examples of outward aggression.
Anger from within
More subtle types of negative harm related to anger include directing your anger and frustration inwardly, whereby you may have intense thoughts of hating yourself, which can lead to isolation from friends and family and even risk of self-harming or suicide.
Non-violent or passive aggression
While this may not seem as extreme as the aforementioned types of unhelpful angry behaviour, passive aggressive displays of anger can have consequences for your relationships, where ignoring people or refusing to speak to them or deliberately carrying out tasks at home or at work poorly can have negative consequences affecting both yourself and the people around you.
Outward and physical expressions of anger can be severely damaging and alarming for those around you, particularly when children are involved. The immediate emotional or physical issues arising from such circumstances can lead to short and long-term consequences, including getting in trouble with the police or losing your job, while the long-term mental and physical effects arising in others involved in such conflict can be significant.
Even if you have never expressed signs of outward aggression, or even been prone to raising your voice, you may still recognise some of the lesser known unhelpful behaviours and feel the need to address them in order to reduce their impact on your daily life and overall wellbeing.
Anger management treatment at Priory
Feelings of anger can be related to many different underlying difficulties. For this reason, your case requires careful evaluation and assessment. Underlying mental health difficulties need to be identified and treated, whilst interpersonal difficulties may need to be addressed and alcohol or substance misuse will need to be tackled.
Priory has been helping to treat people with anger issues for over 25 years. We know that everyone's situation is different, which is why we ensure that everyone has a unique treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
The type and length of anger management treatment is dependent on your individual circumstances and the severity your anger issues. Some patients are treated as outpatients, where you would attend Priory for hourly sessions, perhaps once a week, with your consultant, psychologist or therapist. You may also require a more structured treatment approach, which can include taking part in anger management classes as part of our daycare programme.
Many individuals can have underlying difficulties including severe low self-esteem, as well as problems with mistrust and past abuse issues.
There are various treatment types that can help you to manage your anger, such as:
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT is a talking therapy which identifies links between your thoughts, mood and behaviour. The unhelpful thought patterns associated with anger leading to negative actions and emotions are worked through to help you become more aware of these thought patterns and how you can adjust them towards a significant improvement in overall mood.
Counselling for your anger
Another talking therapy which involves a highly trained therapist listening to your personal experiences with anger, before helping you find ways of dealing with the difficult emotions that lead to anger issues. This type of therapy usually takes place in either a one-to-one or group therapy sessions, the latter of which can help you gain valuable insights into how other people deal with their anger problems.
Anger management classes
Helping you focus on your expressions of frustration, anger and rage, anger management classes allow you to understand the causes and triggers of your anger problems, learning effective coping techniques for situations where anger may be a problem, with specific scenarios covered ranging from anger at work to rage in public and anger within a relationship.
A coordinated treatment programme will involve full participation of the individual in a safe and supportive environment. Treatment consists of promoting appropriate coping behaviours, as well as developing skills in interpersonal communication including appreciating other people's points of view and managing communication appropriately.
At Priory, we understand that a ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work in anger management treatment, as each situation requires careful, personalised evaluation.
This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Leon Rozewicz (MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCGP, MRCPsych) in May 2018, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in May 2020. To view all Priory anger management specialists, please click here.