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What is "Anger Management"?

People who have anger problems often go from zero to sixty on the anger scale in the blink of an eye.  The problem is that anger has a "point of no return", when you truly DO lose control over your outbursts.  And once you get to that point, the stress-related neurotransmitters in your brain shut down your 'thinking brain' so that you literally can't think straight.

Anger management involves learning to notice the early "warning signals", the tiny physical and mental changes that signal that your anger is brewing, before you become enraged and the anger is to hard to control.  You learn self-calming techniques like taking "time outs" and deep breathing.  And you learn to change your thought processes from anger-inflaming to anger-defusing thoughts.  Finally, you develop constructive alternative strategies for dealing with the things that make you angry.  As you see your life and relationships improve, the techniques you have learned are reinforced.

Margaret Nichols, PhDTherapy in Highland ParkNew jersey Therapist

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“I didn’t want to go to therapy, I thought I was right and everyone else was wrong. My therapist helped me see how much I was risking my career and hurting people I loved—and then he helped me control the anger.”

- Lenny, job-referred for anger management

Anger

If you are a "rageaholic", you may be unable to control or even to recognize your angry feelings; it may take little to trigger your anger, and each anger outburst  probably appears justified to you.   Your anger may subside as quickly as it appears, and you can be left feeling baffled as to why others seem so upset with you.  However, if you have an anger problem you can harm your family, your relationships, your career and your health - anger is directly correlated with Coronary Heart Disease.  Road-rage, verbal attacks on co-workers or loved ones, even domestic violence are some common examples of anger management problems.
 
If you have a problem with excessive anger, you may come to treatment mostly because someone else - your boss, your spouse, the legal system - wants you there.  If this is the case, the first step in treatment is to help you to see yourself as others see you and come to terms with the effects your anger has on others.  Next, in treatment, we will teach you to identify triggers that set off your anger, and to substitute helpful responses for angry ones.  We believe that anger is usually a secondary emotion; often what underlies anger is hurt or fear and, in general, expressing these emotions is more productive than expressing rage.  We will teach you to identify and deal with these feelings - anger, pain or fear - in safe and non-destructive ways that can radically transform your relationships and overall quality of life.
 
Read Domestic Violence written by Judy Kabus.
 
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