Anger Management Therapy

Counselling for Anger Issues in Vancouver

Understanding Anger

When we think of anger, most of us immediately think bad. We put anger in the same box as violence, aggression, hatred, meanness, and other negative traits and behaviours. But the truth is: anger is just another colour in the rainbow of emotions.

Like our other emotions, anger serves many purposes and can be very powerful at the right time and place. In fact, it is both adaptive and necessary for our survival. It is a form of expression for negative feelings and a source of motivation to solve problems.

Indeed, anger is an adaptive emotion until it becomes excessive and destructive. Whether it be social norms, the law, or in our best interests, we can’t explode every time we feel offended or insulted. Such outbursts can impair relationships, create problems at work, and cause damage in many areas of our lives.

However, suppressing anger too often isn’t healthy either. If you never allow yourself to express your anger, it can turn inwards and lead to physical problems such as hypertension or chronic pain, and mental health issues such as depression.

Anger is just another healthy emotion until it becomes excessive and destructive

Signs of Unhealthy Anger

Here are some common signs to look for:

  • Feeling constantly angry
  • Blaming others whenever something goes wrong
  • Passive aggressive behaviour (punishing others indirectly)
  • Becoming particularly angry or violent when consuming alcohol
  • Difficulty expressing emotions in a calm and healthy way
  • Losing relationships due to outbursts or excessive anger
  • Depression and self-harm
  • Regularly feeling shame or regret
  • Aggressive or explosive behaviour like using threats or violence
  • Muscle tightness and chronic pain

Counselling Therapy for Anger Issues

When most people think of anger counselling, they think of anger management groups, a structured and step-by-step process that teaches people how to recognize stressors and remain calm when dealing with triggers. Restructuring destructive thoughts that make the anger (and the outcome) worse is another key feature of anger management programs. While this can be helpful for many, it is not the right approach for everyone.

In contrast, anger counselling is a one-on-one therapeutic process that prioritizes emotional healing and processing in addition to coping skills. Relaxation techniques, healthy communication, and problem-solving are some of the essential skills you gain during counselling. You also develop an awareness of unhealthy thought patterns so that you can replace them with healthy and constructive ones.

Aside from learning strategies, you and your therapist will also dedicate time to explore and process emotions and painful experiences that lay below your anger. Often anger is just the tip of the iceberg, and below it there is shame, grief, anxiety, and trauma that has not been addressed. Through clarity and understanding, you will learn to regulate your anger and develop a healthier relationship with your emotions.

If you’re finding that anger is interfering with your ability to live a healthy, fulfilling and meaningful life, it may be time to seek professional support.

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