SUSAN SOSA, M.A., MFT Licensed California Marriage & Family Therapist License #39341.
Individual, Couple & Adolescent Psychotherapy. Offices in Sherman Oaks & Beverly Hills, CA .    Email:  Phone: 818.919.4061

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Anger Management

Anger is a natural emotion that every human experiences. Mild forms of human anger may include displeasure, irritation or dislike. When we react to frustration, criticism or a threat, we may become angry - and usually this is a healthy response. Anger may be a secondary response to feeling sad, lonely or frightened. When anger becomes a full-blown rage our judgment and thinking can become impaired and we are more likely to do and say unreasonable and irrational things.

Anger is not just a mental state of mind. It triggers an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Anger has survival benefits, and forms part of our fight or flight brain response to a perceived threat or harm. When a human or animal decides to take action to stop or confront a threat, anger usually becomes the predominant feeling and takes over our behavior, cognition and physiology.

What is anger management?

Anger management is a procedure of acquiring the skills to recognize signs that you are becoming angry, and taking action to deal with the situation in a positive way. In no way does anger management mean holding the anger in or trying to keep from feeling anger. Anger is a normal human emotion, a healthy one when it is expressed appropriately.

Anger management teaches you to recognize frustrations early on and settle them in a way that allows you to express your needs, while remaining calm and in control. Coping with anger is an acquired skill which involves unlearning some of the bad behaviors that result from frustration.

Anger management helps you identify what triggers your emotions, and how to respond so that things work in your favor, instead of against you.

We all feel angry sometimes and may say or do things we regret. This is a normal part of life, and may not necessarily mean you need anger management help. If your anger is having a detrimental effect on relationships, is making you unhappy, or is leading to violent or dangerous behavior, you probably need help.

Anger management classes and/or anger management counseling has the following aims:
  • Help you identify your anger triggers - things that make you angry.
  • Help you respond in a non-aggressive way to these triggers before you
    lose your temper.
  • Learn how to acquire and utilize specific skills for handling your anger triggers.
  • Learn to effectively identify moments when your thought processes are not
    leading to logical and rational conclusions, and to correct your thinking.
  • Learn how to bring yourself back to a state of calm and peace when you feel
    the anger
  • Learn how to express your feelings and needs assertively in situations that
    make you feel angry or frustrated. Doing so in a non-aggressive way.
    Assertiveness has nothing to do with aggressiveness. Assertiveness
    includes respect for yourself, and respect for others.
  • Learning how to redirect your energies and resources into problem solving
    rather than fury in situations which may trigger anger and frustration.