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Why Anger Management Therapy is More Than Managing Anger

June 7th, 2011 · anger, anger management, anger management therapy

anger management

Anger management is an incredibly popular buzzword.  There is even a Hollywood comedy entitled Anger Management , but anger, and its close cousin, rages, are often far from funny.  However painful and difficult coming to terms with anger can be, though, it’s an important encounter with the undiscovered self.

Confronting our anger involves an encounter with what Jung called the shadow, that part of ourselves that we can’t or don’t want to acknowledge.  As I learnt in my own case, coming to terms with our angry side can demand a lot.

  • Managing Anger Symptoms is Good, but Doesn’t Address the Root Problem

Techniques and practices that control expression of angry feelings can be important to avoid damaging outcomes.  But really dealing with their root causes, such as deep levels of constraint and repression, or deep resentments over fundamental wounds in our lives — this involves much more.  Without that kind of deep level encounter with the roots of anger, many people will never be able to really come to terms with it, or to really understand it.

  • Getting Angry is a Very Individual Thing

The roots of anger can really only be understood if you truly know the individual who has it. When a person is consumed with a certain type of anger, it is rooted firmly in that individual’s self and his or her story as a person.  It is only as the person opens up that story to themselves and to others that the real nature of the pain and sorrow underlying the anger, becomes apparent.

  • Anger Often Gets Turned Inward — Even While It’s Blasting Outward

When its expression is thwarted, angry energy needs to go somewhere.  If it cannot be expressed outwardly, the individual will direct it in upon him- or herself.  Recognizing this, and finding ways to move beyond ruthless self-put-down or self-attack, is often key to healing.  This is compassion for our own being; not a technique.

  • Anger Contains Vital Energy, If Only We Can Get to It

This is a fundamental truth of depth psychology.  A part of us that really wants to be fully alive is often locked within our anger.  If we can discover how to connect with and release that energy, we can find a very important and precious part of our lives.  This is the promise of a depth psychotherapeutic approach to anger.

How have you experienced anger in your life, and how have you come to terms with it?  I would welcome your comments.

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst

Link to Brian’s Main Website

1-905-337-3946

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© 2011 Brian Collinson
2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga )

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