Anger management is the process of learning to recognize the signs of one's own encroaching anger and mastering techniques to deal with it safely and effectively. While anger is a normal, healthy emotion, in many people it becomes excessive and out of control, resulting in damaged relationships, employment difficulties, and even physical violence. Uncontrolled anger not only causes disharmony and pain, it is a frequent cause of criminal behavior. In recent years, there has been increasing recognition of how widespread issues with anger are and how greatly they affect the world around us. This has resulted in the development of various anger management techniques designed to channel anger in constructive ways.
Some individuals are well aware that they have problems with anger. More frequently, others around them recognize the severity of the problem. People with anger issues may have trouble holding anger in when they are in situations where expressing it is inappropriate, and may experience emotional symptoms like depression or physical symptoms like headaches as a result of their unresolved anger. Outward manifestations of unmanaged anger include:
There are several steps involved in anger management training. Such treatment may take place in a variety of individual or group settings. Sometimes the individual seeks help independently. Often such treatment is recommended as part of marital or parenting counseling or is mandated by an employer. Enrollment in anger management classes may also be mandated by the courts, particularly in cases of physical abuse or assault and battery. The process of anger management involves:
Anger management can provide a number of long-term benefits:
Typically, anger management sessions are scheduled weekly and are ongoing, at least for several months to a year. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Anger management may involve both individual and group therapy and may include prescription medication such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers.