Anger is a problem that very often brings children, adolescents, and men into therapy. Women can have anger problems too, but young men are the group that most often suffers from anger problems. The failure to adequately deal with anger is probably at the root of a majority of couple problems as well. Anger issues are more common in men than in women, but anyone can have problems with an out of control temper. In our fast paced living, this problem is growing. Road rage may be just the tip of the iceberg. Anger management is an issue that I like to change to bring happiness! The good news is that if there is something that you are doing that is responsible for a problem, then it is something that can be changed, since we can only change ourselves, try as we might to make others change, it cannot be done! When we get angry at something it can feel as if this person or situation out there in the world is making us angry. With some reflection however, we can begin to understand that it is, strictly speaking, not the situation itself that is making us angry but more specifically, how we perceive and interpret a situation that makes us angry. We can prove this to ourselves by imagining a highly spiritual person, like Jesus or the Dalai Lama, who would not get angry in our situation. We don't have to be exactly like them, however, that is a bit unrealistic! They remind us of what we can all be capable. We may not be aware that we are saying anything to ourselves, since anger can flash very quickly, and we may not be aware right away that there are new ways of perceiving a situation. That is where the right counseling with the right therapist can come in.
Changing what we say to ourselves, we start to see and react to others differently. Knowing and being motivated to change does not produce the change, but planning a different set of thoughts with a person who tends to make us angry is one tool that begins to produce positive results. Working in therapy to find the triggers of anger issues, and practicing new thoughts and behaviors with others we care about, are key strategies of effective anger management counseling. An experienced therapist who uses cognitve/behavioral methods, has the knowledge to help you make these unconscious automatic thoughts and reactions more conscious so that these thoughts can be disputed and feelings can begin to change. As long as we still get angry in a situation we are still vulnerable to anger management problems. Dr Cousins can help you change you thoughts, feelings and behavior so that it is not simply a band-aid but it is a better life with less anger and more happiness! The hardest part is often taking that first step and picking up the phone to get help. Call Dr. Cousins or email him if you would like help with this problem.