Do You Need Anger Counseling?

Is It Good to ‘Let It All Hang Out’?

Psychologists now say that this is a dangerous myth. Some people use this theory as a license to hurt others. Research has found that ‘letting it rip’ with anger actually escalates anger and aggression and does nothing to help you (or the person you’re angry with) resolve the situation.

It’s best to find out what it is that triggers your anger, and then develop strategies to keep those triggers from toppling you over the edge.

Do You Need Counseling?

If you feel that your anger is really out of control, if it is having an impact on your relationships and on important parts of your life, you might consider counseling to learn how to handle it better. A psychologist or other licensed mental health professional can work with you in developing a range of techniques for changing your thinking and your behaviors.

When you talk to a prospective therapist, tell her or him that you have problems with anger that you want to work on, and ask about his or her approach to anger management. Make sure this isn’t only a course of action designed to help you ‘get in touch with your feelings and express them’ That may be precisely your problem.

With counseling, psychologists say, a highly angry person can move closer to a middle range of anger in about 8 to 10 weeks, depending on the circumstances and the counseling techniques used.

Reprinted from the American Psychological Association. Thanks to Charles Spielberger, Ph.D., of the University of South Florida in Tampa; and to Jerry Deffenbacher, Ph.D., of Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado, a psychologist who specializes in anger management.