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Anger Management: Effective Strategies for Your Out of Control Client
On the last track we discussed three interpersonal costs of anger. These included raising defenses, losing a sense of well-being, and isolation.
On this track, we will discuss Four Implications of Choosing Anger. These include that there is nothing inherently right or legitimate about anger, anger is an expression of stress, displacement, and anger is a choice.
Four Implications of Choosing Anger
Implication #1 - There is Nothing Inherently Right or Legitimate About Anger
At the same time, her son Gabe, age 16, was watching television. Flora asked Gabe, "Is your homework done yet?" and Gabe replied, "Not yet, Mom." Flora insisted that Gabe do his homework, and the conversation escalated into an argument. Flora shouted, "You’re lazy, you let your work go to the end, and then it’s slipshod crap!"
Gabe retaliated, "You can’t stand it when I relax! I guess you want everybody to be as crazy and screwed up as you are!" I explained to Flora, "Triggering statements, like these, are false or distorted versions of reality. Therefore, the emotional storm that erupted did not respond to the real issue." I then stated to Flora, "Expressing pain is very important, but anger is destructive. Likewise, it is not the anger that needs to come out, but the pain beneath. It is hard to find something legitimate about anger."
Do you have a client who believes he or she deserves to be angry? Would your Flora benefit from this information about questioning the inherent right of expressing anger?
I asked Flora, "What are some ways you could have reduced your stress with Gabe?" Some stress-reduction strategies she came up with were that she could have eaten dinner at a restaurant to escape the house or she could have asked Gabe to do some homework at the time and some later. Do you have a client who builds up stress until he or she has an angry outburst?
Implication #3 - Displacement
Flora responded to Gabe angrily out of her stress about fixing dinner. Flora’s stress was not really about Gabe watching television and not doing his homework, but about dinner. Flora might have asked herself, "Did I express my pain in a way that might lead to a solution?" Do you have a client who does not direct his or her anger at the source but at a less threatening target?
Implication #4 - Anger is a Choice
Cognitive Behavior Therapy Technique: Write in an Anger Journal
On this track, we have discussed Four Implications of Choosing Anger. These include that there is nothing inherently right or legitimate about anger, anger is an expression of stress, forget displacement and anger is a choice.
On the next track, we will discuss Four Areas of Understanding That Assist in Helping Your Client to Take Personal Responsibility for Anger. These four areas include understanding how to state your needs, understanding that others know their needs, understanding inevitable collision of needs and understanding strategies for satisfaction.
Disgust and Anger Relate to Different Aggressive
- Molho, C., Tybur, J. M., Guler, E., Balliet, D., and Hofmann, W. (2017). Disgust and Anger Relate to Different Aggressive Responses to Moral Violations. Psychological Science, 28(5). p. 609-619. doi: 10.11770956797617692000
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