Setting boundaries Appropriately: Anger Management

Anger in the Workplace:
Setting boundaries Appropriately: Anger Management

There are a variety of motivations that drive aggressive behavior. Some people act aggressively because they have an anger problem. They periodically become overwhelmed and act out violently. Their aggression is emotionally driven. They are not necessarily such aggressively behaving people when they are feeling calmer. However, they may also be angry much of the time. When anger issues dominate the aggressive presentation, the best prescription is typically some variation on the theme of anger management.

Anger Management interventions typically involves the teaching of a coordinated set of behavior, thought and mood change techniques designed to make it less likely that aggressive people will continue to act out in aggressive ways. These techniques include:
- self-monitoring
- cognitive restructuring
- relapse prevention
- assertiveness training
- self-soothing

Chronically angry people are typically not aware of how chronically angry they are, so the first order of business is to get them self-monitoring their anger levels, and watch for signs and symptoms of anger such as clenched teeth and fists, angry thoughts, and upset feelings. Teaching angry people to pay close attention to their anger helps them to realize that they don't just explode into anger from a calm baseline, but rather are generally pretty much already upset before they explode.

Relapse prevention techniques are taught to help angry people identify the 'triggers" that set off their anger (the people, places and things that get them going in violent directions), and then avoid those triggers.

Cognitive restructuring techniques are taught to help angry people better examine and critique the core beliefs and automatic thoughts underlying their angry feelings. Generally angry people are self-righteous people; they are angry for a reason; they have been wronged, and have a right to retribution and an entitlement to special treatment because of how they have been wronged. Though there may be basis for some of these beliefs, many of them will prove to be distorted or over generalized or otherwise just wrong when they are closely examined. When the belief driving the emotion is modified, the emotion tends to go away.

Assertiveness training concepts are provided to angry people so as to help them understand that:

1) they do not have a right to trample upon other's personal boundaries, and
2) that acting assertively rather than aggressively will often get them more of what they want from other people, because in so doing, they will respect those other people who will then be more motivated to help them.

Self soothing exercises are taught for obvious reasons; to help angry people reduce their upset angry emotions, both in acute cases and generally in terms of background levels.

We should note that change programs like anger management don't work unless people are motivated to engage them. It typically takes some serious social consequence (like being locked into a jail cell) to jolt angry aggressive people into being motivated to alter their behavior. It is somewhat unlikely, but not impossible, that you (or someone you live with) will be willing to work an anger management program with a therapist or in a self-help modality without some negative consequences being present that participation will help avoid.

Anger management is a complex topic that cannot be adequately dealt with here in this allotted space. For more information, we encourage you to visit our Anger Management topic center.

Source: Eileen Hogan link

Anger Management Therapy and Anger Management Techniques Inventory The following inventory can help you in the recognition process as you seek to determine whether your anger is reaching a destructive level in your life.

Anger Management Quiz Anger Management Therapy Starts here: Which of the following apply to you?

I become impatient easily when things do not go according to my plans. I tend to have critical thoughts toward others who don't agree with my opinions. When I am displeased with someone I may shut down any communication with them or withdraw entirely. I get annoyed easily when friends and family do not appear sensitive to my needs. I feel frustrated when I see someone else having an "easier" time than me.

Whenever I am responsible for planning an important event, I am preoccupied
with how I must manage it. When talking about a controversial topic, the tone of my voice is likely to become louder and more assertive. I can accept a person who admits his or her mistakes, but I get irritated easily at those who refuse to admit their weaknesses. I do not easily forget when someone "does me wrong." When someone confronts me with a misinformed opinion, I am thinking of my comeback even while they're speaking.

I find myself becoming aggressive even while playing a game for fun. I struggle emotionally with the things in life that "aren't fair." Although I realize that it may not be right, I sometimes blame others for my problems.

More often than not I use sarcasm as a way of expressing humor. I may act kindly toward others on the outside, yet feel bitter and frustrated on the inside. I often second guess another and interrupt before they've had a chance to finish what they were saying. If you checked 4-8 boxes, your anger is probably more constant than you would like. If you checked 9 or more boxes, there is a strong possibility that you have struggled with periods of anger or rage, whether you are aware of it or not.
-"The Anger Workbook" Dr. Les Carter & Dr. Frank Minirth.

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