Treating Anger Disorders: Anger Management Treatment Program Options
Uncontrolled anger can affect your relationships, your job and your health. Rage can take over your life and result in depression, violence and suicidal feelings. Your kids, neighbors and coworkers can also be at risk from uncontrolled outbursts and erratic behavior. If you are suffering from anger issues, it is vital that you get the support you need to develop effective management strategies.
Several options are available, including both inpatient and outpatient treatment with mental health counselors. Executive treatment programs and luxury facilities are also available to serve a wider variety of patients. Modern treatments are targeted and effective, often offering results in as little as six to eight weeks.
What Causes Anger-Related Problems?
Anger itself is not a problem. The trouble arises when your anger becomes uncontrollable, and you lose control of your behavior. This loss of reason and rationality can result in all sorts of problems, including erratic behavior, violence, abuse, addictions and trouble with the law.
Often, people with anger issues try to suppress their feelings, believing them to be inappropriate. This can lead to wild emotional outbursts and health problems.
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Is There a Cure for Anger?
Anger is not something you can get rid of. It is a normal, healthy emotion shared by all people everywhere. When it gets out of hand, though, anger can become destructive and lead to all sorts of personal problems.
While you can’t cure anger, you can manage the intensity and effect it has upon you. Effective therapeutic strategies exist for managing anger and can help you become less reactive. You can even learn to develop more patience in the face of people and situations you cannot control.
Therapies for Anger Management Issues
Many therapeutic strategies are available to help you deal with anger issues. Some of these include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Improvements in communication skills
- Focus on problem-solving
- Avoidance of problematic situations
- Humor and self-deprecation
While it’s possible to improve your anger response on your own, a qualified practitioner can help you move more quickly to successful management.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment for Anger Disorders
One of the most common types of psychotherapy is cognitive behavioral therapy. The purpose of the treatment is to help an angry person recognize the self-defeating negative thoughts that lie behind anger flare-ups. Patients work with a mental health professional to learn how to manage stressful life circumstances more successfully.
The cognitive behavioral approach has many benefits. Patients learn to:
- Cope better with difficult life situations
- Positively resolve conflicts in relationships
- Deal with grief more effectively
- Mentally handle emotional stress caused by illness, abuse or physical trauma
- Overcome chronic pain, fatigue and other physical symptoms
Cognitive therapies are structured and may offer quicker results than other approaches. Better yet, the results are lasting, with patients showing significantly decreased relapse rates.
This sort of treatment tends to focus on specific problems and personal triggers. You’ll learn how to deal with your particular issues using conscious, goal-centered strategies.
The specific steps in cognitive behavioral therapy include:
- Identification of situations or circumstances in your life that lead to trouble
- Awareness of your thoughts and emotions surrounding anger triggers
- Acknowledgement of inaccurate, negative thought patterns
- Relearning of healthier, positive thought patterns
Very few risks are associated with cognitive behavioral therapy, and the benefits are plentiful. You will likely explore painful feelings and emotions, but you will do it in a safe, guided manner.
Cognitive therapy is considered a short-term approach and generally lasts about 10 to 20 sessions depending upon your specific disorder, the severity of your symptoms, the amount of time you’ve been dealing with anger symptoms, your rate of progress, your current stress levels, and the amount of support you receive from friends and family.
Heart Coherence Training
Another promising technique is heart coherence training. By learning specific techniques to consciously monitor and alter their own heart rhythms, patients can reduce levels of stress hormones while increasing the mood-enhancing hormone dehydroepiandrosterone. Heart coherence training also helps stabilize the autonomic nervous system, resulting in a reduction of anger’s physical effects upon the immune system. The end result can be fewer feelings of tension, irritation, stress and anger.
/>Many people try to suppress their anger. The attempt is doomed to fail and may even lead to painful physical consequences.
Suppression of anger does not make the emotional upset go away. Instead, a person may become depressed or anxious as the feelings of unexpressed rage are turned against the self. Attempts to suppress anger may lead to impatience and hostility that simmers dangerously below the surface, just waiting for a spark to erupt into boiling rage.
It is important to understand and release anger without trying to deny its existence.
Residential Anger Management Treatment Centers
If your anger problems are seriously affecting your day-to-day life, a residential or inpatient anger management treatment center may be indicated. The access to dedicated treatment staff and controlled conditions may be necessary if you find yourself:
- In trouble with the law as a result of anger issues
- Experiencing constant, uncontrollable arguments with your family members or coworkers
- Lashing out physically at your children or other adults
- Threatening violence to other people or their property
- Losing control of yourself when you get angry
- Believing that everything will be fine if you just hold in your anger
Remember that the purpose of anger management treatment is to give you the tools necessary to express your emotions in healthier and safer ways. A professional can help you get your anger and reactive behavior under control.
The Benefits of Residential Anger Treatments
Residential anger treatments help patients learn to gain control over their anger and frustrations. Your therapist can help you to recognize dangerous situations and to become more conscious of the warning signs of impending rage. Additionally, intense residential treatments can help you learn to avoid anger suppression, which can lead to hypertension, depression, heart troubles and anxiety.
Most importantly, you can develop these strategies while removing yourself from the triggers and risks of the outside world.
Luxury Anger Management Facilities
Inpatient treatment doesn’t have to mean sterile, inhuman conditions. Many luxury facilities exist and are dedicated to inpatient anger management therapy. Comfortable and serene accommodations have a positive effect on mental health and mood, so it’s wise to consider treatment facilities carefully.
If you want to learn more about what to look for in a treatment facility, contact us at .
Executive Anger Management Programs
Executive anger management programs are available for physicians, executives, lawyers and other professionals who may benefit from one-on-one treatment in a discrete and private setting.
Effective anger management strategies not only improve individual interactions with employees, patients and customers but also help to provide a basis for sound organizational policies. A professional who is able to positively deal with stress and anxiety is in a better position to work with and instruct others.
Managers and executives can expect to learn how to:
- Find positive resolutions to stressful people, interactions and situations
- Repair damaged relationships and restore trust
- Communicate directly
- Control emotional reactiveness
- Empathize with coworkers and clients
- Resolve conflicts in a healthy way
Contact us today at for more information about executive anger management programs and treatments.
Outpatient Anger Rehab and Treatment Programs
Sometimes, the commitment of a residential program is not possible. If your anger issues are not physically dangerous, and if you are unable to break completely free from your everyday life, an outpatient anger management program may be right for you.
Outpatient programs offer intense individual counseling, typically for six to eight weeks, and help prepare patients for more limited follow-up care moving forward. You will have to deal with external people and situations during your treatment, so supportive friends and family members can make a big difference.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications
Because anger is a psychological issue, it is possible to treat symptoms with medication. While the goal of treatment programs will be to eventually make the patient self-sufficient, particular medicines can be helpful in the treatment phase.
Antidepressants such as Prozac, Celexa and Zoloft are commonly prescribed for anger issues. These drugs do not specifically target anger within the body, but they do have a calming effect that can support control of rage and negative emotion. Epilepsy medicines are sometimes indicated, particularly when a patient’s seizures result in anger reactions.
You should speak with your doctor about whether or not prescription medicines can help you with your anger issues. Pay particular attention to potential side effects and any risks of addiction. The purpose of medications is to complement your healing, not to complicate it.
A number of over-the-counter medications and supplements can also be used to improve mood and support anger management therapy. These include:
- Primal Calm (formerly Proloftin)
Benadryl is an anti-allergy medication that also helps to reduce anxiety. Valerian and Primal Calm are herbal extracts that purportedly promote lowered stress levels and calm feelings. Passionflower and chamomile are usually consumed in either tea or tablet form to support mood and reduce anxiety.
How to Find the Best Anger Disorder Treatment Facility
If you are ready to take control of your anger issues, you need to find help treating anger management problem. Look for facilities that offer comprehensive assessment, treatment and follow-up programs. Speak to the health professionals directly, and ask questions about their qualifications, methods and expected results. Express any concerns you have, and make sure you fully understand all of the program costs. In many cases, your health insurance will cover at least part of the treatment expenses.
As with any therapy, you’ll receive the most benefits if you:
- Treat your therapist as your partner
- Share your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly
- Stay consistent with your treatment plan
- Remember that results take time and determination
- Do whatever homework your therapist gives you between sessions
- Communicate well and often with your therapist, particularly if you are having difficulties
Whether you are in need of residential or inpatient care, considering outpatient therapy or seeking executive or luxury facilities, we can help you. Call to discuss your specific needs today.