How To Manage Anger During Therapy
Therapy is a highly emotional moment of your life. You are expected to bear yourself to someone that you only know in a professional environment, revealing old traumas and insecurities that have led you to where you are today. Of course, in this intense situation, emotions will run wild; that’s why it’s normal to feel feelings of anger bubbling up inside. Just in the way some people may cry when expressing themselves, others can feel angry tendencies, especially if you have struggled to give a voice to your emotions before or have never truly been able to open up to someone.
However, it is important to note that there’s a difference between anger and violence. If you feel as though you are feeling so angry that feelings of violence are also being evoked, it is essential to read this post and learn how you need to channel your angry emotions to continue to get the most out of therapy. This week I will be explaining how you can learn to channel your anger into more productive energy so that you may get the best out of your therapy experience.
So why do we get angry?
When recounting our experiences and emotions, we often categorise our feelings into two piles: pleasant and unpleasant. When we are experiencing a pleasant emotion, we have no issues continuing to talk and reflect on creating a happier environment. However, when we are experiencing an unpleasant emotion, we try to avoid the experience and often do this by changing our behaviours. For some people, that means feeling angry.
Anger is usually categorised as an unpleasant emotion, hence why people try their best to ignore it and avoid it. However, in therapy, anger can be an excellent emotion that can be used as a tool to understand your emotions. In therapy, we categorise emotions into primary and secondary. Anger is classified as a secondary emotion, often in response to a primary feeling. The idea behind this is that often our primary emotions are so intense that we cannot handle feeling it entirely, often turning to our secondary emotions (such as anger) as a means of hiding how we truly feel.
Why does your therapist want you to feel anger?
Anger is an emotion, and if it is an emotion that comes as a result of how you really feel, it means we are one step closer to understanding what is affecting you emotionally. In the past, you may have used anger to distract yourself from what is really hurting you and thus can lead to negative lifestyle patterns such as substance abuse and violence. Experiencing the emotion of anger in a controlled, safe environment means that you will be unable to run from how you truly feel to allow you to receive the help you need.
How can you channel your anger during therapy sessions?
There are many methods for controlling your anger, allowing you to use these feelings positively to identify the root of the cause. Popular ways to achieve this are:
- Take deep breaths to refocus your frustration.
- Recite a comforting mantra to distract your brain from your angry thoughts.
- Use visualisation to take yourself away from your current situation; hold an image of a relaxing place or a memory that you hold dear in your mind.
- Come up with an effective calming strategy with your therapist.
- Express your frustrations and emotions; talking about your feelings however they make you feel will help your therapy progression.
- Recognise what triggers your anger and frustration.
Following the above strategies is a great way to manage your anger effectively. Once we learn to come to terms with our anger, it can help us understand the deep-root issue at heart. Remember to think of your anger as a response to something you might be feeling deeper down.
How can you use therapy as a method for overcoming and managing anger?
If you have not already started therapy, but relate to how anger can be used as a coping mechanism, then perhaps today is the day to book in for a session. I promise it seems much more daunting than it is, but understanding what is causing your anger and recognising you need additional support to manage anger is the first step to beating your emotions.
If you would like to book in for your therapy appointment, please head over to my website at Liddy Carver. I offer in-person and over the phone appointments to suit all of your needs. So what’s stopping you? This new year, learn to manage your anger with my help.