CBT Therapy For Anger
What is Anger and CBT for Anger?
Anger is a natural emotion. It is nature’s way of telling us that something in our lives has gone wrong. Anger occurs as a defensive response to a perceived attack or threat to our well-being. In addition to psychological changes, like any emotion, anger is accompanied by physiological changes. When you get angry your adrenaline flows, your heart rate increases, and your blood pressure escalate. In primitive society, this emotion served to protect us. However, in most instances today we are not fighting off a threat or running away from one and so anger is a more redundant emotion than helpful.
It’s time to get help when:
- Your anger or repercussions of angry episodes are impacting negatively on your relationships or work – or even get you into trouble with the police
- You feel like you can’t control your anger
- You feel like you’re feeling or being aggressive, intense and angry most of the time
CBT Therapy and anger
In CBT, the therapist and client work together to identify and change negative thinking and behaviour patterns that may contribute to emotional distress. The focus in CBT therapy is to alter and change these thoughts or self-talk which express one’s beliefs and perceptions. Cognitive approaches focus on replacing one thought, belief, or form of self-talk with another. CBT Therapy also focuses on teaching the client more balanced ways of thinking about and coping with life events and relationships. There are a number of specific CBT interventions used for the treatment of anger.
There are several specific CBT interventions used for the treatment of anger which will enable you to:
- Be aware of and slow down your negative automatic thoughts
- Rewrite the script in your head by identifying thoughts which cause emotional reactions and replacing them with thoughts which do not
- Assess and achieve goals – and deal with setbacks – without getting angry
- Remove yourself from potentially explosive situations
- Brainstorm solutions to problems and evaluate success and learnings
- Build on social skills to ensure behaviour and response are always appropriate
- Be assertive and not aggressive
- Negotiate and resolve conflict