angry man yelling with arms over ears

Do I Need Trauma-Informed Anger Management Therapy?

Unchecked anger can negatively affect your quality of life as well as your relationship to others. The pain associated with anger that can rise to the surface at any moment is real. An angry outburst is often followed by shame and embarrassment. For many people it feels like an impossible thing to control, while others only recognize the problem when confronted about it. Sometimes it seems that the more you try to control angry outbursts, the more often the outbursts occur. When your anger starts interfering with your relationships, work, or overall well-being, it might be time to consider anger management therapy.

What Is Anger? 

Anger is an emotional response to something or someone that is viewed as unfair, and possibly deliberate. It can feel overwhelming and discouraging, especially when coupled with a sense of shame and embarrassment. 

While anger can be positive (such as helping you to gather strength to a real threat or motivate you to express feelings that you have held back), the negative impact of unchecked anger can evolve into physical aggression toward others, destruction of property, and damaged relationships. 

Everyone gets angry from time to time, but if you or others have noticed a recurring pattern of behavior that interferes with your ability to function or get along with others, you may benefit from anger management therapy. 

What Does Anger Feel Like in Your Body?

Anger can manifest in various physical sensations, and it’s different for everyone. Here are some examples: 

  • Knots in your stomach
  • Clenching your hands or jaw
  • Feeling clammy or flushed
  • Breathing faster
  • Headaches 
  • Pacing or needing to walk around
  • “Seeing red” 
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Pounding heart
  • Tensing your shoulders

Signs You May Need Anger Management Therapy

Other people may notice you have an anger problem if anger seems to be your only emotional response to situations – perhaps because other emotions are difficult to express. You may have an anger problem if it is difficult to get along with people who hold viewpoints different from you, or if compromise is hard for you. Here are some other common signs you may need therapy for anger management: 

  • You become more angry when you are under pressure and feel tired. 
  • People seem surprised or confused when you express anger.
  • You go from “1” to “10” before you even realize it.
  • You experience a “black out” and don’t remember all that you said or did.
  • Your intensity of anger does not match the circumstances (e.g., when driving)
  • Your family and friends tell you there is a problem.
  • You or a loved one notice a pattern of anger.
  • You try to stop your angry outbursts, but can’t.
  • You are destructive (destroy things or others’ property) when you are angry.
  • You can’t stop thinking about how you’ve been wronged (others call this holding a grudge).
  • Relationships that are important to you are in jeopardy.

What Can You Learn In Anger Management Therapy?

You can gain many skills and coping mechanisms through therapy, including:

  • Breathing techniques to increase your oxygen levels, which helps to increase calm.
  • Learning new behaviors to replace with former angry behaviors.
  • Catching your anger earlier because it’s easier to calm down from a less intense level.
  • Learn how to express your displeasure and anger in healthy and more productive ways.
  • Identify negative thought patterns that contribute to your outbursts.
  • Learn how to solve problems without experiencing anger.
  • Learn to express other emotions that have been hidden by anger in the past.
  • Learn how to fight fair.

What Is Trauma-Informed Anger Management Therapy?

Trauma-informed anger management therapy recognizes that angry outbursts may seem like a response to something in the present, but more often are associated with something that happened in the past. Trauma-informed anger management therapy takes a unique approach to treating angry outbursts by looking at the root of the angry outbursts and making connections that were previously unrecognized, including early childhood experiences that laid the foundation for the current outbursts. 

A trauma-informed approach also recognizes the following:

  • Anger is often a surface emotion that is hiding suffering and hurt.
  • We are rarely ever angry for the reasons we think. 
  • We are often angry when we didn’t get what we needed as a child. 
  • We often become angry when we see a trait in others we can’t stand in ourselves. 
  • Underneath many current angers are old disappointments, traumas, and triggers. 
  • Sometimes we get angry because we were hurt as a child. 
  • We get angry when a current event brings up an old unresolved situation from the past. 
  • We often feel strong emotion when a situation has a similar content, words or energy that we have felt before. 

How Can Anger Management Therapy Help Me?

Trauma-Informed Anger Management Therapy can improve the quality of your life by improving your relationships with your family, your work, and your community. It can help you provide a healthy model for your children for handling difficult emotions and situations. It may help you get that promotion at work. It can help you foster new relationships that are based on mutually positive interactions with your friends and neighbors. 

Get Trauma-Informed Anger Management Therapy in the Birmingham, AL Area

Facing your challenges with managing your anger and identifying the underlying life events that are feeding your anger is easily accomplished with one of our therapists at Birmingham Anxiety & Trauma Therapy. We are located in Vestavia Hills, AL and serve the surrounding areas. Please contact us today if you’d like to learn more about therapy for anger management.

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