According to the American Psychological Association, anger “is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong.” Other definitions characterize anger as “a feeling of tension and hostility, usually caused by anxiety aroused by a perceived threat to one’s self, possessions, rights, or values.” In essence, it is a state of irritation in response to an external factor.
Whichever definition you adhere to, in the world of psychology, anger is actually considered a secondary emotion. It is an individual’s reaction to the primary emotion they are experiencing. For example, anger is often the emotion followed after intense feelings of fear, humiliation, sadness, and rejection.
Impact of Anger
Everyone feels angry at some time or another – it is a healthy response to specific stimuli in life and helps in protecting individuals when needed. However, some people suffer from a more intense experience related to anger and they often experience unpredictable outbursts paired with powerful emotions. Sometimes, this can even lead to violent behaviors.
Anger also has a negative short-term and long-term impact on an individual’s health. Some of the health problems associated with anger include: headaches, digestive problems including abdominal pain, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, skin problems including eczemas, heart attack, and stroke.
Anger Therapy: Receiving Therapy Online
For those who are impacted in their daily lives by their anger, anger therapy may be beneficial. Unfortunately, many people are avoidant of seeking help due to the stigma associated with anger management issues. Fortunately for those who have been avoiding treatment, there is a simple alternative to the traditional forms of anger management counseling. Online therapy is providing a new avenue for those who are struggling with anger issues but also want to keep their treatment confidential and personal.
Online therapy, according to Talkspace (an online therapy platform) is “the delivery of mental health counseling via the Internet. People also know it as e-therapy, distance therapy, Internet therapy, and web therapy. Therapists and online therapy networks use a variety of mediums such as apps for texting, video chatting, video messaging, voice messaging and audio messaging.”
Individuals who obtain services for anger therapy via an online platform such as Talkspace may benefit from improved relationships and career performance as well as improved overall health. A recent article posted by Ladan Nikravan Hayes outlined: What anger therapy is, how it is helpful, the benefits to the individual, and skills individuals can implement at home to reduce intense feelings of anger.
What is Anger Therapy?
According to Hayes, “anger therapy is a psycho-therapeutic program for anger control and prevention…the most popular is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a brief treatment that has proven to be the most highly effective anger management therapy.” While receiving CBT sessions, clients will learn: mindfulness training, restructuring of dysfunctional thoughts, healthy distress tolerance training, emotional regulation, empathy training, and skill building to translate anger into assertiveness.
Why is Anger Therapy Helpful?
As mentioned previously, anger is a secondary emotion. Participating in anger therapy can not only help individuals cope with their intense feelings of anger and better communicate their feelings, but can also assist clients in identifying and understanding the primary emotions related to their outbursts of anger.
What are the Benefits of Anger Therapy?
Simply put, anger therapy can lead to a better life. Anger therapy improves an individual’s ability to communicate, helps people understand empathy, reduces judgment and promotes positive thinking, and most importantly, can assist in improving one’s relationships. Additionally, anger management can reduce the onset of health concerns related to persistent anger.
Skills to Reduce Anger
While working with a professional for anger therapy, clients will learn three specific steps that they can implement at home to reduce their feelings of anger. According to Talkspace, clients will learn to:
- Relax: “Practice taking controlled, slow breath that you picture coming up from your belly rather than your chest.”
- Stop: “Listen before reacting. Take time to think carefully about how you want to reply. It’s OK if you need to step away to cool down first.”
- Use Logic: “While anger can quickly skew judgment and logic, do your best to stay focused. Remind yourself that the world is not out to get you – this is the irrational anger talking. Remember to do this each time you start feeling heated, and you’ll start realizing you’re getting a more balanced perspective.”
These skills outlined above seem simple – however, for those who suffer from anger issues, they are familiar with the difficulty of managing the emotion once it is presented. That is why working with a mental health professional can be beneficial.
Getting help does not have to be so much work though – and it does not need to include sitting down with a therapist once a week for therapy sessions. Instead, platforms such as Talkspace are providing a simple and helpful route for people such as yourself to get the help you need.
One of the most beneficial aspects of online therapy reported by clients is in their ability to text their therapists. Instead of holding onto their emotions, they can text their therapists when they feel anger coming on. The client will not necessarily get a response immediately, but it will allow them to communicate their issues right away. This platform allows for therapists and clients to work together to reduce the impact that anger has on the client’s lives and to find the primary emotions that trigger anger responses.
Read other Talkspace reviews from real users, like this one from Business.com