Anger can manifest in a number of ways, from controlled aggression to blind rage, anger can be disruptive and troubling for you and those around you. Early on in your journey toward addressing your anger issues, you may be wondering: what is the best kind of therapy for my anger issues?
The Best Kind of Therapy for Anger Issues
This is a tricky question, as there are multiple ways mental health professionals may take on an anger issue. Here we’ll discuss a few options and look deeper into whether these therapies may be best for your particular anger issues.
Group therapy for anger management has proven effective for millions of people. Anger can be an isolating feeling, but engaging in group therapy can help establish a sense of community with others. Recognizing that you are not alone in your anger management process is immensely helpful. Group discussions can sometimes give you a perspective that individual counseling may not offer. As you learn about others in your group, you may discover that their coping methods may work well for you as well. Being able to share what triggers your anger, and hear about the experiences of others can help bolster your confidence. Communicating with others who have a good understanding of anger can help you practice communication with loved ones and others. Communication and confidence are both immensely important in taking on anger management issues. Even the process of hearing others describe their anger may help and make your own anger feel less abstract. Sometimes having a word for how you feel can be challenging, and learning it can unlock self-discovery. Ultimately, while group therapy for anger management can work for many people, your specific needs are what matters most. Trying group therapy and deciding it’s not right for you is perfectly fine, and it’s a great first step in taking on your anger issues.
As we further our understanding of anger, one therapeutic method—cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—stands out. So what is cognitive behavioral therapy? CBT is a type of individual counseling that focuses on identifying and changing thought patterns that may trigger anger. Determining what may “set you off” can better enable you to avoid these triggers in the future. One common tactic of a therapist during a session of cognitive behavioral therapy is called stress inoculation. Stress inoculation is a sort of role playing exercise in which a therapist puts the patient in theoretical scenarios where stress, in this case, anger, may be high. These situations can help a person become more in tune with what is causing their anger, how it feels and how they’re reacting to it, and whether it’s productive or harmful. CBT is very effective for treating anger issues if you can stick with it. Be prepared for sometimes uncomfortable but ultimately fruitful sessions exploring what anger does to you specifically. Cognitive behavioral therapy isn’t all confronting your triggers head-on, though. Another focus of CBT is developing methods to relax and internally de-escalate problematic behaviors. Methods for centering and calming oneself in the face of triggers include breathing exercises, as well as other more generally calming life changes like practicing yoga.
So what is the best kind of therapy for your specific anger issues? The reality is that there’s no simple answer. Your issues are unique to you, and treating them properly is not a one-size-fits-all solution. While cognitive behavioral therapy in an individual counseling setting has proven very effective for anger management, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. Depending on your anger issues and personality, other methods, like group counseling, may better suit your needs.
Not sure how you want to approach your anger? Do you have questions about pursuing a specific type of therapy for anger issues? Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with the skilled providers at SOL Mental Health today.