Cognitive Therapy for Anger is becoming an increasingly common reason for referrals in my clinical psychology practice. Anger problems effect our physical and mental health, emotional well being, relationships and virtually all areas of our life.A recent study reported in the journal Hypertension supports earlier work that anger can increase the risk for heart attack. Chronic anger actually narrows the arteries in the neck and boosts the risk for cardiac disease. People who are antagonistic, distrustful, skeptical, cynical, manipulative, self-centered, arrogant and quick to express anger would fall into this category.
Cognitive Therapy for Anger provides an approach to help recognize, understand and change the underlying thought patterns and attitudes that give rise to these behaviors and the emotion of anger. Many cognitive and behavioral methods to manage anger are described in ANGER MANAGEMENT by Dr. Robet Heller. My compact, pocket-sized book provides many tips, suggestions and methods for changing the way you think, feel and act. For example, “Think before you act.” Understand the situation and consider other reasons and possibilities as your assumptions may be wrong or incomplete. I can remember some time ago, feeling very angry and annoyed when I repeatedly asked someone on the adjacent tennis court to return a ball. Rather than my incorrect assumption that he was being rude and ignoring me, it turned out that he was deaf and his hearing aid was turned off!
Cognitive Therapy for Anger helps clients recognize how their own inflexible ways of thinking contribute to their own anger and how, by modifying their thoughts, they can reduce their own level of anger.
The focus on cognitive therapy for anger is less on changing the situation or the other person and more about changing our reactions to and interpretation of things.
By learning to control our anger, we create better physical and emotional health for ourselves as well as those we come in contact with.