Time after time I meet people who ask me if I can give them assistance with “their relationship.” When I begin to dig a little deeper, I hear things like “well, I just get upset when he/she does this” or, "it's his/her fault because they just know how to 'push my buttons.'" The really strange thing is… when I start to ask them what there reactions are, they are usually very tame, sanitized versions of what truly is occurring in the home. These instances drive home the point that to have any degree of effectiveness in an Anger Management program, there has to be an admission by the individual that a problem does indeed exist. Without the realization that a true problem exists, the results will always be the same, regardless of what anger management approach is used. Without acknowledgment of the problem, they just keep on being an angry person (only now with a head full of “pointless theories” that soon end up being used as defenses (“… Oh yes…I am familiar with the ------ approach, didn’t help me a bit!...”). All too often, the main motivator to seek anger management is that a loved one is threatening to leave the relationship, a court order, or an employer requesting that a worker seek assistance, or something similar which drives the anger candidate to seek assistance from “anger management.” But, usually it is a reluctant effort focused on appeasing the other individual(s), convincing them that steps ARE being taken to remedy the anger situation.
To truly be effective in resolving anger issues, one MUST come to the realization themselves and acknowledge that a problem does indeed exist. There has to be a fundamental understanding that the responses the individual is having are inherently improper, threatening and unacceptable. This realization can come at any point, but definitely needs to be there prior to commencing successful anger management. How does one come to such a realization? I think more than anything, this comes from some deep soul searching. It takes seeking the council of loved ones and trusted close friends and asking the hard pointed questions. It takes listening to those around us when they tell us our responses are scaring them, and that they fear that our actions may someday result in harm to them or even us. It takes reflection on considering how many past relationships have been irreparably harmed due to anger incidents.
Once an individual considers and believes these points, they will find that it IS POSSIBLE to turn their life around. They can see that life can take on a different light. They can begin to see that one doesn’t have to respond in a constant angry state or keep on having to make amends and repair damages from raging, hurtful outbursts. By a person acknowledging their problem, and then utilizing powerful anger management techniques, a person can "mange their anger" and enjoy the rich vibrant relationships they truly want deep down and ultimately live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Until Next Time, Remember ...
Don't Let Your Anger Manage You!
Rick Bauer, C.A.R.T.
Certified Anger Resolution Therapist