Anger Management Melbourne

Your Journey to a Fulfilling Life

Problematic anger is characterised by heightened reactivity, rage, persistent frustrations, increased aggression, and intolerance of set-backs. Heightened anger can often impact our functioning and relationships. If you want anger management in Melbourne then read through to learn more.


Anger Management Melbourne

Problematic anger is characterised by heightened reactivity, rage, persistent frustrations, increased aggression, and intolerance of set-backs. Heightened anger can often impact our functioning and relationships. If you want anger management in Melbourne then read through to learn more.

Anger Management Melbourne

Feeling angry is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences. For example, if someone cuts in front of us in a queue we might feel some annoyance. Our anger often signals that an emotional need is not being met. Similarly, anger often arises when we perceive a situation to be bad or unfair, if we are blocked from achieving our goals, and when we perceive there to be a threat. Anger is a powerful emotion that propels us forward and in to action. The level of our anger can range from from irritation and frustration, to annoyance, fury, and rage. Problematic anger occurs when the frequency and intensity of our reactions is increased.

With adaptive anger we experience a trigger, pause and reflect, discuss, and respond effectively. However, problematic anger can occur when we constantly explode, ruminate and dwell on resentments and frustrations, use anger to camouflage other emotions such as shame or hurt, direct excessive anger towards ourselves, hold on to grudges, or feel overly entitled to or justified in our anger and aggression.

Anger is often directed outwards (externalization) towards other people or systems or organizations. However, it is can often be directed towards ourselves (internalization) in the form of criticism or self-hatred. Anger becomes a problem when it occurs excessively, in response to minor events, and when it leads to aggression (actions) that impacts relationships, gets us in to fights, or in trouble with the law.

Intense or long-lasting anger is draining, and can affect our concentration, the quality of our relationships and our sense of well-being. Thus, it is important to understand anger and learn how to manage it. While anger is a way to get what we want, in the longer term it can have a corrosive effect on our relationships.

What Causes and Maintains Anger

There are a range of psychological factors that can cause and maintain anger and aggression. Anger often provides an immediate sense of power and control over a situation. It can also be a relatively safe emotion to feel. For example, we might learn growing up that anger is the only emotion that gets expressed while all other emotions get blocked or dismissed. Conversely, with internalized anger problems we might learn that anger is not allowed to be expressed. 

Furthermore, over time our anger patterns become learned habits and get reinforced by the responses we receive. Holding strict or rigid rules, assumptions, expectation, and beliefs about how the world or others should be can also play in to anger. When something doesn’t go according to plan anger often arises. This coupled with low-frustration tolerance means the threshold towards anger and aggression is easily crossed. Developmentally, we learn emotional scripts from parents. Having a stressed, angry, or aggressive parent can serve as an unhealthy model for how to handle difficult situations.

Common Symptoms of Anger and Aggression

Anger symptoms can manifest as physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural patterns. Often these symptoms are intertwined and contribute to each other. If you notice any of these symptoms or have been experiencing difficulty with anger it may be worth seeking anger management and counselling. 

  1. Excessive anger, rage, fury
  2. persistent patterns of irritation and frustration
  3. Underlying emotions of fear, shame, sadness, or hurt.
  4. Increased adrenalin, Feeling pumped up, increased heart rate. 
  5. black and white thinking or all or nothing thinking (e.g. this is all good or bad)
  6. Cognitive narrowing and filtering. Tendency to fixate on the problem or offence.  
  7. Perceive the world and others to be against you. 
  8. With repressed anger there might be somatic complaints such as headaches and stomach aches (that are not caused by a medical condition). 
  9. Shouting and swearing 
  10. Ongoing relational conflict
  11. Talking over others
  12. Physical altercations and fighting
  13. Breaking property
  14. Road rage
  15. Increased risk taking and impulsivity

Anger Management Melbourne

At Core Life Psychology, I treat anger issues with evidence-based psychological therapies. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is often the first treatment of choice. As part of this process I help clients to identify potential factors that might be contributing to and maintaining their anger. From here we implement a plan to help manage and work through anger symptoms. Usually the first step is to learn some emotional regulation skills such as slowing, deep-breathing, muscle relaxation, or meditation and self-reflection. By doing this, we are teaching the body to calm and shift in to a more reflective state. 

Furthermore, anger management aims to recognise the core features of a person’s anger (what it looks like, how often it occurs, how long it lasts, and what strategies we learnt growing up). By unpacking anger we can begin to explore scripts, rules, and beliefs we have that are linked to anger (e.g. I always need to be in control or in charge, I am not allowed to be defeated, you need to attack first and ask questions later). Over time the aim is to unpack and let go of unnecessary anger and aggression. 

Next anger treatment might explore ways to express and communicate anger more effectively. For example, this might involve communicating the primary vulnerability or need with a partner. In addition, we might use problem-solving as a way to explore alternative methods to cope with a situation.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

Challenge the thoughts and belief systems that are holding you back. Cultivate a mindset and way of exploring your thoughts that can lead to improved mood, energy, and relationships.

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy

Bypass and loosen old defences, find ways out of experience such as hopelessness and shame, and tap in to pathways that facilitate healing, transformation, clarity, and security.

Attachment Styles

Are you operating from a secure stance or an insecure stance. Attachment patterns can help to inform us what we do in relationships, why we do it, and how to build greater security, connection, and yes autonomy.

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