Everybody gets angry sometimes, and this anger can be a good thing, helping a person to reach their goals. However, in some cases, it becomes dysfunctional and actually gets in the way of a person's best interests. A pattern of aggressive behavior, anger that's out of proportion to the circumstances or that is destructive, could indicate a need for anger management counseling. Although not all anger management programs are the same, there are a few things that tend to be common in these programs.
Determining the Cause
The first step in learning to manage anger is often to figure out the things that make a person angry. These causes could include feelings of injustice, frustration, being teased or humiliated or losing privileges or property. Understanding what causes them to become angry can help people figure out an appropriate reaction and limit the out of control reactions that sometimes send people to counseling. Understanding what triggers anger can also help a person limit exposure to these triggers, although it isn't usually possible to totally avoid situations that can lead to anger.
This type of counseling typically involves helping people come up with better ways to respond to situations that in the past may have sent them into unreasonable bouts of anger. The sessions may involve time learning problem-solving techniques to use in the future as well as relaxation techniques to help them stay calm when in a situation that causes increased feelings of anger.
Developing a Plan
Once a person has learned techniques to help them control anger, it's possible to develop a plan on what to do in the future to minimize unreasonable anger. This may involve keeping a journal to note when a person became angry, what the circumstances were and what methods they tried to control the anger. This can help people figure out the best methods for them to use in any given situation. It could also mean leaving situations that are making a person angry so they can go someplace to calm down, stopping and counting to ten to slow down and get more time to think clearly before bursting out in anger or changing the subject when a topic that tends to make the person angry is brought up.
Type of Counseling
Anger management counseling can be done on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting, or could be an online course. It could involve just one session or be offered on a continuing basis, depending on the preferences and needs of the person undergoing treatment.