One person with a notebook and pen, sitting down in conversation with another person who is listening. Therapy can be a helpful tool in anger management.

The Best Therapy for Anger Management

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Blowing up at your kids. Losing your temper with your spouse. Yelling at a complete stranger on the highway. Anger is a common emotion that everyone experiences — but if you’ve found yourself frequently reacting with uncontrolled anger, you may want to consider seeking support. 

Uncontrolled anger may not only negatively affect your personal and professional relationships, but also your health and well-being. Read on to learn more about the importance of seeking support for anger and how therapy can help. 

Why it’s important to seek help for uncontrolled anger 

In the short-term, anger may seem like a helpful emotion to get someone to understand what you need them to do (or stop doing). For example, you may raise your voice or yell at your child if it gets them to stop fighting with their sibling. Or, you may express anger toward your spouse when you feel they’ve hurt you in some way so they won’t do it again. 

It’s normal to express anger every once in a while. It becomes a problem when it is an emotion that you feel you can’t control. While there’s no official definition for uncontrolled anger, it may involve dwelling on something that made you upset, being quick to lose your temper, thinking about seeking revenge, or even exhibiting aggressive or violent behavior. 

Unmanageable anger can harm your relationships, well-being, and overall health. Anger problems often occur alongside other mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance use disorders. Moreover, frequent anger can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease. The good news is you’re not alone — therapy can play a big role in helping you manage anger and other mental health concerns. 

What is the best therapy for anger management and how does it help?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to anger management therapy. However, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is widely considered to be the most effective therapy for anger management. CBT is a type of talk therapy that helps you identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and replace them with positive and healthy ones. In CBT, you’ll work with your therapist to learn coping mechanisms and how to handle and express anger in a healthy way.

In addition to helping you develop coping mechanisms, going to therapy for anger management offers you a safe space to express your emotions and thoughts without judgment. Your therapist will help you identify the underlying cause of your anger and will work with you to help you build skills to manage your anger effectively. According to the American Psychological Association, studies have shown that 75% of people who receive anger management therapy see improvement. 

What happens in therapy for anger management?

So, what’s it actually like to go to therapy for anger management? Everyone’s experience is different, but here’s what you can typically expect: 

1. Your therapist will get to know you better 

In your first few sessions with your therapist, they’ll ask you questions about your background and why you’ve decided to begin therapy. This is when you can share your concerns around anger and any other mental health or emotional concerns you may have. You can ask your therapist questions, too, to learn more about their background, specialities, and treatment approach to make sure they’re a good fit for you. 

2. You’ll work with your therapist to set goals, identify triggers, and examine thoughts and behaviors 

One of the first things you’ll do in therapy is set goals for what you want to achieve. For anger management therapy, this may mean better managing your anger or rebuilding relationships that were broken due to anger. At the end of the day, your goals are whatever you want them to be. Once your goals are set, you’ll work with your therapist to develop a plan to achieve them. This may look like:

  • Identifying the root cause of your anger and the triggers that set it off
  • Exploring situations where you reacted angrily and identifying if the reaction was helpful and warranted for the particular circumstance
  • Develop coping mechanisms that you can use to better manage your anger
  • Learning new ways to communicate effectively with others and how to express your emotions in a healthy way

3. You’ll continue to build skills outside of therapy sessions 

Much of the work you’ll do to reach your therapy goals will be done in between therapy sessions. Your therapist may give you homework assignments to complete outside of therapy to help you put what you learned in therapy into practice. Or, they may simply ask you to use tools you learned in therapy, such as coping mechanisms, to help you continue to build on the skills you need to manage your anger. 

If at any point you feel that you aren’t making progress, talk to your therapist. You may experience setbacks throughout your therapy journey, and that’s ok. What’s important is that you talk about setbacks with your therapist so they can help you get back on track. 

It’s always okay to look for another therapist if you feel like your current therapist isn’t the right fit. They won’t be offended. When it comes to seeing success in therapy, having a strong relationship with your therapist is key. Your therapist knows this and wants this for you, too, and may even be able to connect you with someone new. 

How to find a therapist for anger management

Finding a therapist for anger management can feel like a daunting task. However, there are several resources you can use. If you prefer, you can first talk to your primary care doctor about your anger management concerns. They can then help connect you with a licensed professional  trained in helping people with anger. 

Or, you can seek out a licensed therapist directly. That’s where SonderMind can help. Let us know a little more about yourself and what you’re looking for in a therapist, and we’ll connect you with a licensed mental health professional who specializes in anger management. 

Remember, you don’t have to try to manage anger on your own, and there’s no shame in getting help. Therapy for anger management has been proven to work, and it’s a brave first step toward better managing your emotions and feeling better overall. 

Last Updated:
First Published:
June 14, 2023

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