Anger Isn't A Four-Letter Word: Tips For Growing Through The Emotion In Therapy

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Society often sends the message that it is not alright to feel anger. Men and women alike are shamed for feeling anger, yet it is as natural and normal as any of the many emotions that come and go for any human being. Counseling can help you dig deep to deal with underlying issues that can cause you to want to behave in a destructive way when you feel anger, and that can free you up to simply allow the emotion in so that it can also leave.

Tip #1: Be Honest about Your Anger and Your Reactions

Oftentimes people feel compelled to make their therapist believe that they are a good person. When someone goes out of their way to try to prove their goodness to a therapist, that can get in the way of revealing all the facets of their personality to the counselor. The truth is that the counselor probably already realizes that you are a good person and is used to the many colors of human emotion.

It's okay to express your honest anger in therapy. To help you better deal with your anger and other related emotions, you need to let your counselor know how you respond to anger. Identifying behavioral patterns you want to change can lead you on the path to overcoming the issues that hold you down.

Tip #2: Prioritize the Development of Coping Mechanisms

A counselor can help you differentiate your response to anger from the feeling itself. The feeling of anger itself is not usually what creates the true problems in your life, but the aggression it inspires can cause harm. Your therapist can also help you work to develop coping mechanism when anger swells up within you at inappropriate times.

Talk to your therapist about what is and isn't working for you. You cannot always express your anger if it comes up at work, but you can work with your therapist on healthier coping mechanisms than denying the anger or acting in an aggressive way because of it. Your counselor can work with you to establish a variety of healthier coping mechanisms so that you control your anger, not the other way around.

Finally, keep in mind that feeling anger is not something that you can control, but you do need to take responsibilities for the choices that you make when that feeling comes over you. Working with a therapist can help you take control of anger and any issues that it brings up within you, so that you are empowered to handle the emotion as it comes and goes, and you can also act in your best interests before, during, and after you experience this normal human emotion. Contact a professional like Barbara Saban, LCSW to learn more.