Anger Management

If you are seeking an answer to the question “how to control anger”, you are probably asking the wrong question. The term anger management, as a goal to be achieved, is an unsatisfactory term because  it is a goal that implies that, at the end of it, there is still going to be anger that needs to be “managed”. Most people who read anger management books, or take anger management courses or engage in anger management programs know that they have a problem because they know rationally that their anger is unjustified anger: their angry reaction is disproportional to what the situation calls for.

A better question to ask oneself might be, “how can I change so that my reaction to situations are reasonable, sensible, rational and results in resolution of conflicts?” Answering this question necessarily involves working with both the conscious and unconscious. Psychotherapy has always recognised that the unconscious mind is powerful and controls words that just “fly out of the mouth” and actions that are more accurately described as reactions. This is why working just on a cognitive level (reading books, attending courses, or engaging in cognitively focused therapies) generally does not help very much, because it is not only conscious functioning that is involved. At the other end of the scale, just working on the unconscious, such as using hypnotic suggestions that the person will now speak and act calmly, also may have limited effectiveness. This is because the unconscious mind stores repressed angry emotions of the past until those emotions present for resolution.

Inner Change Therapy is based on experiential psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis (mostly open-eye hypnosis) and works deeply into these emotions without lengthy recounting of experiences that takes up costly therapy time, through implicit knowledge that presents relevant past experiences that are reprocessed experientially, involving all five senses, but only those experiences that are relevant to current desired change. It is a style of therapy that is brief (usually 1-3 sessions) but deep, dynamic and powerful. I have used this style of therapy for 14 years, refining it along the way.

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