Anger is a normal human emotion and can even be useful at times if channeled in a helpful way. However, when it becomes strong, frequent and lasts for a long time it can have a major impact upon relationships, studies, work and our general wellbeing. In these cases, expert Anger Management counselling, therapy or CBT, delivered by a trained psychologist, counsellor or therapist might be what you need to help you manage such a powerful emotion in a way which is not harmful. In this page you’ll find helpful information about anger issues and help to find a counsellor or therapist to to start making a lasting positive change.
What is Anger?
Anger is one of the many emotions we are equipped with since birth. Being angry is not always “bad”: our anger can be a signal that we feel hurt, and can emerge out of frustration, sadness or desperation. It can be helpful in motivating us to change and help us defend ourselves in dangerous situations. But it can also become a debilitating problem.
What are the Symptoms of an Anger Management Problem?
1- Physical Symptoms of Anger
- Increase in blood pressure
- Increase in heart rate
- Breathing quickens
These are experienced as a result of a stress response activated in the body when we feel angry
2- Behaviour Symptoms of Anger
- Road rage
- Raising your voice
- Hitting out (and other aggressive behaviour, which may include domestic violence)
- Aggressive body posture (standing tall, clenched fists)
- Moving towards the source of anger
These are often targeted in Anger Management Counselling, Therapy and CBT
3- Emotional & Cognitive Symptoms an Anger Issue
- Feeling and easily irritable and guilty
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Finding it difficult to focus or concentrate
- Finding it difficult to manage your thoughts
- Having thoughts of hurting yourself or others
- Feeling anxious or depressed
Following an angry episode we may feel guilty for our actions, we may feel low and consequently withdraw from others. Alternatively some people blame others for their anger and so may not have strong feelings of guilt.
What Causes Anger Management Issues?
Anger and Angry outbursts can be triggered by a variety of situations:
- When we feel threatened, when we are not being treated fairly, or when we feel disrespected and let down.
Some people can react more strongly compared to others in such scenarios. They can even be quick to come to (sometimes erroneous) conclusions about another person’s behaviour towards them. This is because those who react more strongly may have had difficult early experiences (e.g. been treated unfairly, criticised frequently, been let down) and such scenarios trigger upsetting memories. The person may not even be aware that upsetting memories have been triggered.
- Sometimes other difficult emotions underlie anger, like sadness and feeling hurt, anxiety and fear.
Some people may be experiencing high stress levels, anxiety and/or low mood and struggle to manage these emotions and what results is an expression of anger. At times people can feel angry towards themselves but instead they direct this anger towards another person.
- Alcohol and drug use can be another contributory factor to anger episodes.
Can Counselling, Therapy & CBT Help with Anger Issues?
The short answer is yes: psychological, talking therapies are effective in treating Anger Management problems. Several studies have demonstrated that whatever the type of therapy or counselling, there is a strong effect on the reduction of symptoms. In particular, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Anger problems has shown a 76% success rate in reducing anger scores .
How many Anger Management counselling, therapy or CBT sessions do I need?
For some initial results to be seen when working with angry feelings, in terms of reduction in physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms, an average of at least 8 sessions is recommended. That is as little as two months of therapy on a weekly basis.
What does Therapy for Anger Management Difficulties Involve?
At Therapy Central, when working with anger, in counselling, therapy or CBT, our therapists can help you to explore what might be contributing to your anger and start by addressing this. We can help you to identify the triggers to your anger so that you can take action to manage your anger in a constructive manner before it escalates. It is possible to see some quick results.
Although it may feel that your anger is completely uncontrollable, our anger therapists, psychologists and counsellors can introduce you to coping strategies to use when your anger builds to help you feel more in control. Your anger therapist may draw upon Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has been shown to be a helpful therapy approach to address anger. CBT for anger management will involve exploring with you what thinking patterns and actions keep your anger going and help you to make positive changes to these.
The diagram below is an example of a CBT vicious cycle for anger that we can support individuals to breakdown and reverse. With therapy for anger management you will feel more able to control your anger and bring more balance to your emotions and choice to your behaviour.
Anger Management Techniques and Tips to get you started
While you consider whether you need help through anger management therapy, we thought we would give you some tips to help yourself, or a loved-one, to deal with your anger issues and try to control your anger:
- Stop and reflect
Ask yourself: what has triggered my feelings of anger? What am I responding to? To what degree are my past experiences contributing to my current feelings? Can I separate these out from the current situation? Are my thoughts in proportion to the situation? What will the consequences be if I express my anger? What is the best thing for me to do right now? As a result your emotions will become less intense and you’ll be more in control of your actions.
- Deep breathing & relaxing
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly, make your breath out longer than you breath in. Perhaps count as you breath in and out to distract your attention somewhat away from the source of anger.
- Remove yourself from the situation
Move away from the context, leave the room or go outside and come back and address the situation once things are more settled and you feel the emotions are less intense.
- Get some fresh air
- Go for a walk or do some other form of exercise to use up the adrenaline released in your body
- Listen to music that you find helpful
- Scream into a pillow/punch a pillow (in a way which won’t hurt you!)
- Put your face in cold water
Anger Management Counselling, Therapy & CBT in Central London
If you are looking for anger management therapy in Central London, at Therapy Central we can help you learn the strategies you need to start controlling your anger, understand its causes. As a result, you’ll be enabled to make the crucial changes to bring balance and fulfilment back into your life.
It’s not easy to recognise that you might have an anger management issue, but remember that you are not choosing to be angry, and thus it’s largely not your fault to feel the way you do. You are not alone.
Start Controlling Anger in London today
Get professional help with Anger Management issues in London today. Contact us for a free 15 min consultation with an Anger Therapist to see if our help would fit your needs. You can also get in touch via email at email@example.com or call us at (+44) 020 348 82797.
Our comfortable and confidential therapy rooms are conveniently located 3 min walk from Oxford Circus station, in Central London (see map below). Change starts with Talking!
Further Helpful Resources For Managing Anger:
NHS Controlling Anger PDF
Anger Coping Strategies PDF
 Saini, M. (2009). A meta-analysis of the psychological treatment of anger: Developing guidelines for evidence-based practice. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 37(4), 473-488.
Dr Raffaello Antonino, Counselling Psychologist
Dr Amy Smith, Counselling Psychologist