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Anger Management – How to Live Well: A 2015 Research-Based, Easy to Read Guide to Understanding and Managing Anger more Effectively and Flexibly [28 pages, 10894 words, 63 references]
By Mark Taylor, Registered Psychologist
Did you know that anger is a normal human emotion and can serve useful purposes when controlled or directed productively? However, did you also know, that when anger gets out of control and becomes the habitual, or “go to” (also known as an “anger trap”), response to everyday events, it can very quickly become a problem. A big problem. Such anger – when out of control, or directed towards others in non-productive ways – can not only impact one’s health, but also destroy relationships and have wide-ranging negative effects on others.
Hello. My name is Mark Taylor – I am a registered psychologist working in private practice. I work with many clients who see me for anger-related difficulties. I am very interested in the area, professionally, and thought it time I wrote a guide that is easy to read, evidence-based, and above all else helpful for parents, adolescents, adults, veterans, education workers and practitioners in the field of psychology and social work.
If you understand and recognise that you have an anger problem (or that someone you know or love does), the goal is to manage the anger more effectively and flexibly so that it does not impact on your own life or those of others while also achieving outcomes in areas you wish to achieve outcomes.
As a psychologist in private practice, I offer psycho-education and skills about how to understand anger and aggression, thereby allowing people to be more effective in their life so as to further aid personal wellbeing. In this Guide, I provide strategies to manage thoughts and feelings which may be contributing to your expression of anger, and I outline strategies for you consider so as to prevent aggressive behaviours, and minimise their impact on your life, and on those you love and work with. I hope you find this Guide useful because anger management – when practiced – increases positive emotions, promotes personal resiliency and leads to a rich, fulfilling life well-lived.
Table of Contents
1) Understanding anger and aggression
2) Identifying personal triggers for angry feelings and aggressive behaviours
3) Learn strategies to reduce physiological arousal
4) Understanding how thoughts, values and beliefs, including a person’s socio-cultural environment, can influence anger and aggressive behaviours
5) Strategies and skills to prevent aggressive behaviours
6) Understand the impact of anger on relationships and skills to express needs assertively and deal with conflict constructively
7) Skills to communicate more effectively and reduce the risk of anger fuelled interactions.
Anyone can become angry. That is easy. To be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, & in the right way… That is not easy. Aristotle
Cognitive behaviour therapy is a focused approach that is based on the concept that cognitions influence feelings and behaviours, and that subsequent behaviours and emotions can influence cognitions. The therapist helps individuals identify unhelpful thoughts, emotions and behaviours. CBT has two aspects: behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy. Behaviour therapy is based on the theory that behaviour is learned and therefore can be changed. Examples of behavioural techniques include exposure, activity scheduling, relaxation, and behaviour modification. Cognitive therapy is based on the theory that distressing emotions and maladaptive behaviours are the results of faulty patterns of thinking. Therefore, therapeutic interventions, such as cognitive restructuring and self-instructional training are aimed at replacing such dysfunctional thoughts with more helpful cognitions, which leads to an alleviation of problem thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Skills training, for example, stress management, social skills training, parent training, and anger management) is another important component of CBT.