How Counseling Helps With Anger

Anger is a normal human emotion.

 

Just like any other emotion, it gives us information. It tells us something needs to be different either externally or internally.

 

It is possible to feel angry and make a choice to honor our feelings and advocate for ourselves while being respectful toward others. 

 

Sometimes, the feeling of anger gets mixed up with behaviors we don’t feel good about. We may believe that we lash out because we’re angry, but really our feelings and our behavior are separate.

 

 So how can counseling help?

 

Counseling teaches us how to create space between our feelings and our behavior. We start by asking questions:

 

  • When do you find yourself feeling angry?

  • What do you do when you’re angry?

  • How do you feel when someone you care about is angry with you?

  • How did your family of origin handle anger?

  • How do you want to handle your anger?

 

We also begin to explore boundaries. Anger often originates when a boundary is tripped. We explore what boundaries look like for you:

 

  • What do you want from your relationships that you’re not getting?

  • What are you giving to your relationships and does it feel like too much?

  • How comfortable are you with asking for what you need/want in your relationships?

  • Do you try to anticipate what others might need from you?

  • Do you feel like you can’t get what you need from others no matter how hard you try?

 

As we answer these questions we begin to get a sense of where the anger comes from and what boundaries might be set differently to catch frustration, disappointment and sadness before they become full blown anger.

 

Anger management is about learning to set our lives up in such a way that we set healthy boundaries, advocate for ourselves and incorporate new tools for dealing with anger. This ultimately makes us feel better about ourselves and brings us closer to the people we love.

IMG504-1-1Bio: Tara Laxson, LPC, NCC is the owner of Oak Cliff Counseling in Dallas, Texas.

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