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Carl Benedict offers online counseling on his web site Serenity Online Therapy.
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Anger Management: Making Anger an Ally

Anger is a complex emotion that can be difficult to understand or manage. It can erupt like a volcano, hurting ourselves or others, or lurk beneath our awareness like an undetected cancer. Anger can seemingly explode out of nowhere, or slowly build on the horizon like an approaching storm.  Anger can be invisible to ourselves while quite obvious to others around us. One thing, however, is for certain: The way we choose to handle our anger will profoundly affect our relationships and our lives.

Anger is commonly perceived as a negative emotion, but after years of leading anger management groups, I  have come to appreciate anger as a most helpful and vital emotion. Why? Because our anger has much to teach us - if we learn to listen to it. First, however, we must understand the dynamics of anger.

Anger management is about transforming anger from an enemy into an ally.Why do we become angry? Well, two things must happen to produce anger: First, we must experience some sort of pain, and secondly, we must blame someone or something for our pain. Without BOTH pain and blame, we will not feel angry. Thus, PAIN + BLAME = ANGER.

Pain without blame results in feeling hurt but not victimized; therefore, we will not feel angry. Blame without pain means we believe someone (or something) was unjust or unfair, but because we are not hurting, we will not feel angry. The key point, though, is that our anger is always connected to our pain.

Anger management, which I prefer to call Anger Ownership, is about learning to make anger work for us instead of against us. We do this by always remembering that when we are angry, we are also hurting; and if we can follow our anger back to our hurt - instead of getting stuck repressing or acting out our anger - we can get in touch with our pain.

By using our anger as a road map to our pain, we can begin to discover exactly what we need to do to take care of ourselves - emotionally, physically, spiritually, and in relationships. We begin to uncover our unhealed emotional wounds from the past and our current self-care deficits in areas such as assertiveness, stress management, and spirituality.

In short, anger management is about learning to use anger as our own personal road map to our hurt so we can deal directly with our pain, which is ultimately how we heal, grow, and mature. If you are ready to learn anger management and how to make your anger work for you instead of against you, then click on the sunset picture below.

Below is Carl's 5-minute YouTube video of this article describing how to make anger your ally.

To view all of Carl's YouTube videos on anger, click here.

Click on the following link to view Carl's YouTube video Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety, Depression, and Anger (5:28)

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Copyright 2005-2017 Serenity Online Therapy
All Text and many photos by Carl Benedict

"Our very life depends on everything's recurring till we answer from within."  Robert Frost