Anger Management. It can almost be considered a “buzz word” lately. When people experience what feels like extreme or out of control anger, they start to wonder about classes that might be available to help them manage it. Some folks that have anger-driven behaviors that get out of hand or violent to the point that the authorities are involved might be court-ordered to complete anger management classes. It is a phrase that has become so common in the current culture that there was even a comedic movie made with this title. So, does anger management really work?
I take a bit of a different approach to the whole idea of anger. I don’t see anger as something to be managed nearly as much as something to be understood. Why do people have anger? Most would characterize it as an unpleasant emotion, and they want to promptly get rid of it. Indeed, anger is not meant to be a permanent state of mind. Anger is an indicator.
Much like the pain of a broken bone lets you know how far along it is in the healing process, anger lets you know that there is something inside you that needs your attention. It could indicate a boundary violation or a place that you have been poked in an ancient wound. When people have a violent anger flash, or live in a constant state of rage, they are getting a message from their feelings that something needs to be addressed. When it is ignored, the rage builds.
While many programs seek to control the unwanted behavior only, I want more for my clients than just symptom management. I want healing for them. I want to help them heal the wound underneath that is causing their feelings to register overwhelming or repeated, consistent anger. I want to help them find the self-respect that will allow them to have meaningful, strong boundaries. You can’t stop people completely from infringing on your boundaries, but you can show them the exit promptly when they trespass in delicate regions of your heart. This allows anger to subside quickly and naturally. There is no need to manage the symptom because it goes away on it’s own when we can learn to stop it from being triggered repeatedly, and then to release it properly and safely.
There is nothing inherently wrong with the feeling of anger. It is a natural feeling that gives us information about the world around us. It does not have to be something that is feared or avoided. Over-reactivity and chronic feelings of anger can be corrected with proper insight and healing of the core issue rather than simple symptom management. If you need help on your journey to peace in your heart, let’s get started.
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Healing Hearts provides counseling services to the surrounding communities of Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, Westfield, Noblesville, and Geist. E-Counseling is available for residents of Indiana. Call or text today to set up your appointment. 317-218-3038
© 2015 Nancy Eisenman, MSW, LSW