Tips for Anger Management

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March Madness? “Madness” refers to a frenzied state but also can refer to anger.

About 15-20 years ago Anger Management groups were numerous. Now, however, dealing with anger on an individual basis works better. Maybe that’s due to the fact that anger is always a surface emotion; underneath are deeper emotions and thought patterns which one on one counseling can help to understand and unmask and change.

Strategies for Anger Management identifies four basic styles of being angry.  All four ways of expressing anger are usually available to an individual, but there is ordinarily a preferred style – or two.  Generally these are described as: 1.Passive   2. Aggressive  3. Passive-Aggressive  4. Assertive (Kerry Moles. Wellness Productions and Publishing, LLC: Plainview, NY. 2003). Which is your style?

To find out which one is your  preferred style and to learn the strength of the other three styles, you can take an Anger Styles Inventory at The Counseling Connection here at Sullivan. Then you can explore which behaviors you want to use in  different kinds of situations.

You could also discover in personal counseling what is more at the root of  what you tend to feel angry about. Does our anger come out as hatefulness, paranoid or suspicious ideas, addictive tendencies or an  inclination to be sneaky? Perhaps your anger shows up as sudden, shameful, habitual, morality based, or avoidant (Potter, Ron  and Potter Pat, Letting Go of Anger. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. 1995). This source, though dated, shows an in-depth understanding of anger in relation to style and motivation; it continues to have relevance.

Any month, any moment may bring madness/anger. Not limited to March. As individual as the individual. By exploring your personal anger, you might find, as psychologist Harriet Lerner says, an emotional ally that you can understand and re-direct to accomplish positive things in your life and relationships.


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