This is one of the most common questions when dealing with anger and issues related to anger expression. At A1 Counselling, we seek to answer this question for our clients and to help them understand that their issue is not with anger, per say. It is with unhealthy anger expression. Often times, our therapists will begin a session by asking this simple question:
We have found that our clients are not always able to answer these questions so easily. It is such a simple questions; however, the complex nature of anger often makes it difficult to define. Anger can be described many different ways, for example:
These are some of the explanations that we have heard over the years, and this may be similar to how you would describe anger in your life. We believe that these statements describe uncontrollable anger; however, they do not define anger.
It is the emotional response that our minds have after various forms of unmet expectations occur in our life. When we are wronged, we can feel angry. When we are disrespected, we can feel angry. When our children are bullied, we can feel angry. When our rights are violated, we can feel angry. The idea here is that anger is not a bad thing. Instead, it is a natural and normal experience that we all have from time to time. Anger is not the problem.
Our Anger Expression is often the problem.
Anger is commonly expressed through unhealthy outbursts; however, we can help you to learn how to express your anger better, more effectively, and in a way that truly accomplishes your goal when you have been driven to anger. Those individuals who are able to express their anger in a healthy manner have developed techniques and coping skills to deal with anger in their lives. This happens through disciplined practice with anger expression. Repetition deepens impression with healthy anger expression.
With our clients, we help to dissect their anger episodes to understand the patterns, distinguish the triggers, and fully grasp the extent of their unhealthy anger expression. The way we express our anger is often a result of how we were taught to express anger. For example, if our parents were very loud when they became angry, we may tend to act more aggressive when we become angry. Contrarily, if our parents always walked away from anger provoking situations, we may find ourselves being more passive in terms of anger expression.
Our goal for you is to be neither aggressive nor passive. Instead, we seek for our clients to express their anger in a respectful and assertive manner. If you would like to learn more about anger and how to properly express your anger through assertive techniques, join a class or individual session at A1 Counselling.