Online Anger Management
Anger Management via Skype and Online Therapy
“Anger is corrosive like acid. We must neutralize this acid, and mindfulness is the best antidote for doing just this. We have to change the underlying patterns of reactive thinking that feeds the anger.” – The Path of Mindfulness Meditation, by Dr Peter Strong.
Anger is a particularly powerful and often destructive emotion and we should make every effort possible to not only control our anger, but resolve the underlying cause of our anger. This Online Anger Management Service provides professional Anger Therapy and Counseling to help you break free from the recurring patterns of anger and rage and patterns of interpersonal conflict.
If we don’t learn to manage our anger, then our anger will destroy our marriage, our career, our health and our happiness as well as causing immense suffering for other people. All anger is based on patterns of habitual conditioned reactivity that get triggered over and over again. These habits can be passed on to our children, perpetuating the patterns of emotional abuse, sometime over many generations. It is our duty to try to prevent this from happening by resolving the underlying cause of our anger.
Mindfulness Therapy, now available online, teaches you specific skills for managing the habitual patterns of negative reactive thinking that sustains anger and stress as well as helping you change the underlying unresolved emotions that feeds your anger.
It takes lots of hard work to undo the habits of a lifetime that began in childhood as we witnessed the arguing and emotional abuse between our parents and the emotional abuse inflicted on us, but no activity can be more worthwhile than learning how to break free of this habitual reactivity. To make our path more likely to succeed it is important to understand the two key areas that must be mastered.
Learning to Recognize Anger Reactions
This means training ourselves to become expert at recognizing reactivity as it arises during the day. Mindfulness Therapy teaches us to become experts at seeing our reactions the moment they arise – and before they catch alight and create a forest fire. It is always what we don’t see that has most power over us; so we turn that around through mindfulness training. This principle applies equally to the management of anger and for effective stress management in general. The better able we are to see emotional reactions before they take hold the better.
Healing the Underlying Core Emotions
Every reaction arises when a “raw nerve” is triggered – an inner emotion of hurt and fear. These core emotions must be healed or the anger will keep coming back. Mindfulness Therapy teaches us how to work with our core emotions and heal them.
The Structure of Anger
The emotion of anger consists of a complex of thought reactions organized around certain core beliefs. These beliefs are in turn infused with emotional feeling energy that gives the beliefs both meaning and power. The feeling energy is like the gasoline that fuels a car; it is responsible for translating the belief into action. In Mindfulness Therapy, we recognize that this underlying emotional energy is the key that must be changed and regulated. Change the emotional fuel and the beliefs and thought reactions lose their strength and power, which allows them to change and reform into more functional beliefs and thoughts. This is why we place such importance on the underlying feelings in Mindfulness Therapy; even more so than on the belief or content of the negative thoughts. One can spend many hours of therapy trying to change the thoughts and beliefs through education and counterarguments, but if the emotional charge remains in place then the dysfunctional beliefs and negative thinking will soon return.
“Anger is the Outward Expression of Fear.”
At the core of anger, you will almost always find another emotion and set of beliefs that is almost the exact opposite, energetically. This inner core emotion is Fear – an intense sense of vulnerability, fragility, sadness and terror. This is often described as the “inner child” – often quite appropriate, because of course, these core emotions of intense wounding become established during childhood, usually from some form of emotional abuse or abandonment or put downs by an emotionally (and often physically) abusive parent. The child is bombarded with emotional trauma, often over many years, and of course, the child is unable to process this emotional trauma, because it does not have the wealth of life experience of an adult. Unable to process and resolve the emotional wound, it becomes repressed and hidden by layers and layers of avoidance, denial and patterns of secondary reactivity such as guilt and shame. It becomes walled off and abandoned itself, just like the real child, but continues to generate suffering in the form of intense feelings of helplessness and vulnerability. To cope with this inner vulnerability the child learns to project aggressive anger outwards in the form of anger. In a very real sense, he unconsciously uses anger to prevent himself or herself from falling into the black hole of despair and helplessness.
Changing the Core Anger Beliefs
There are several classic types of core beliefs that create a breeding ground for anger to ferment and take form. The first group consists of all the Expectations that we cling to with compulsive attachment. He should be this way. She should be kinder to me. I expect my coffee to be served hot, not tepid. Why won’t my father show me that he loves me? I want to be able to talk to my mother as an adult, instead of being made to feel like a child. The list of expectations can be very long and many people live their whole life in the grip of these expectations, measuring everything according to whether their expectations are met or not. This is a very stressful and futile way to live because the world will seldom conform to our expectations and demands. What we get instead is conflict and disappointment, and a deep feeling of disconnection and distrust of our world and with people. Expectations, when compulsive in nature, fuelled by intense emotional energy create a prison that prevents us from interacting in a free and spontaneous way; a form of living death.
Closely related to the “should’s and should not’s” are the, “If only’s…” and, “Why can’t you/it be different?” Like expectations, these beliefs are based on fantasy thinking, idealistic thinking that is not in touch with the reality of the way things are. Compulsive identification with idealism creates immense inner conflict that can result in outer conflict as anger.
The next group of beliefs are those to do with Causality. The …because… statements. I am angry because he said this, or because she did that. I am angry because I was treated unfairly or I was cheated. I am angry because I was abused as a child.
There is a certain logic to these causal statements, and they seem perfectly reasonable. However, the truth is something quite different, because there is absolutely no law that says I must feel this way because of that event. There is no law that says I must feel upset because she said an unkind word, or that I feel angry because he puts me down. The event is, at the end of the day, an objective phenomenon, but how I react is not – reactions are subjective and will be different for us at different times, and different people can and do have totally different ways of reacting to the same objective events.
In Buddhist psychology, this belief in causal connections is considered a form of delusion, and one of the core causes of emotional suffering. One of the essential and most important starting points for anyone who wants to change their habitual patterns of anger is to fully and completely understand this principle until it becomes second nature.
“There is No Because…”
If you remain attached to this causality belief, even a little then you will never be able to break free from your reactive patterns of anger, because you will always see them as being dependent on external events – on what he did or said, or on what happened to me. To believe this makes law of causality makes you a victim of life and leaves you dis-empowered and vulnerable to suffering.
Another group of core beliefs are those that are based around a sense of Violation. This can produce immense bursts of anger at the sense of being wronged, being manipulated, deliberately abused either physically, sexually or emotionally. We can feel violated when the other person puts us down or simply ignores us. The withholding of love and attention is a form of passive aggression and an expression of anger through stony silence. We feel violated when someone tries to manipulate or control us; taking a position of authority, and making us feel insignificant. There are many forms of emotional abuse, too numerous to list, but all too familiar to most of us. In almost every case the aggressive actions of abuse arise out of unresolved inner fear.
Whatever the core belief, the emotion of anger is always centered around fear: The historical fear left through childhood trauma, the fear of not getting one’s ideals or expectations met, the fear of external causes repeating.
Resistance is Not the Way to Change Anger
The key to changing any of these beliefs and thought patterns is NOT to do battle with them; not to try to impose an opposite set of beliefs. This simply creates more internal conflict and potentially more anger. In Mindfulness-based Anger Therapy and Anger Counseling, we focus instead on modifying and resolving the underlying emotional energy that causes the beliefs and thoughts to have such power and effect. This requires an attitude of acceptance and openness, not further aggression and resistance. We need to heal the underlying hurt and fear that powers our anger reactions and this cannot be done through further aggression, but it can be done by learning how to care for our inner suffering as we would care for a friend in need.
The Three R’s of Mindfulness Therapy for Online Anger Management
Mindfulness Therapy involves three basic phases that may happen one after the other as you are working with your anger emotions or as separate trainings and sessions focusing on each in turn.
Recognition; Relationship; Resolution
The first, Recognition, describes the essential process of awakening to the impulse to react with anger as and when it arises during the day or in a session. What you don’t see controls you, and conversely, when you become aware of what is happening you regain power and choice. It may be fragile at first but is something you can build on. Basically, the more aware you become, the more freedom you will have from the compulsion to react. Mindfulness training helps you develop this ability to recognize reactivity as it is arising, with great precision and effect. This is basically the application of mindfulness as an antidote to the powerful force of ignorance and unawareness. Knowledge is power, and the more you see, the more power you will have over your anger.
The second phase of mindfulness is Relationship. This is where we learn to “sit” with our inner pain, to sit with our anger with openness of mind, with compassion and even friendliness. Actually, cultivating friendliness toward our anger is by far the most important transformational activity that we can cultivate through mindfulness. Not at the superficial level of thoughts and ideals, but at the very direct level of caring in the moment. When you are caring for a child in pain there is no place for thinking, just being completely present so that you can intuitively sense through your innate intelligence and compassion what needs to be done and how you can help. This can only arise out of no-thinking mind, that inner silence of pure listening and pure awareness that we cultivate through mindfulness. This is what we bring to our anger, our fear, our guilt or any other emotions that are part of the anger complex, and this quality of presence and basic friendliness is what creates the right conditions in which anger can heal itself and resolve and diminish.
The third phase of our mindfulness relationship with our anger is Resolution. This is where the anger, which is tight and contracted, hot and tense will begin to unfold and soften, becoming more malleable and fluid. It will naturally begin to change and resolve itself if allowed the freedom to change. The problem is that we do not give our emotions this space in which to change because we get caught up in reacting, either just becoming the anger or fighting the anger.
In this same space that we create around our anger through mindfulness, we are free to interact with the anger and bring compassion to it, just as we would be with a friend. We can see what we can bring to the emotion that allows it to release its grip, to soften, to become more fluid; we can become a healing partner to our pain instead of an adversary.
Mindfulness Therapy, which is now available online, teaches many valuable life skills for handling emotions of all kinds, but learning to work skilfully with anger is perhaps the most important activity that we can engage in and the greatest contribution that we can make for building a good relationship with our partner, family and community.
I would like to Start Online Anger Management
You will find the mindfulness approach very effective for giving you real tools for managing anger and for resolving the underlying emotions (usually fear or hurt); in my experience there is nothing better.
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There are three components of successful anger management:
1. Becoming aware of the anger impulses and thoughts as soon as possible to stop their proliferation.
2. Understand thoroughly that YOU ARE THE AUTHOR OF YOUR ANGER and that anger is not due to external conditions.
3. Heal and transform the Core Emotions of fear and helplessness that feeds the anger reactions.
Welcome! My name is Peter Strong and I am a professional psychotherapist, teacher and coach. I offer Online Therapy via Skype, and my speciality is Mindfulness Therapy, which is a very effective and powerful technique for working with difficult emotions, including anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, addictions and anger.
I offer Online Anger Management through Skype. During these online anger management sessions I will teach you how to work with the compulsive parts of your anger, the reactive thinking that tends to cause you to react and become angry in situations.
There are many approaches to working with anger. On of the most important starting points is learning to recognize the Anger Habit; actually recognizing those thoughts and impulses to react as soon as they arise. The faster you see them the more chance you have to stop them catching alight and causing a forest fire. So, that is one very important part of the online anger management sessions that I offer.
The second part of the mindfulness teaching and mindfulness philosophy in general is to really begin to understand that you are the author of your anger. Your anger is not dependent on external circumstances. Our habit is to say, “I am angry because…he did this, she did that, or this happened or that happened.” And, we try to justify our anger, and that is very dangerous. Why? Because, that makes us completely dependent on external conditions, which we have little control over, so that makes us a prisoner of the anger habit. So, part of the mindfulness training is learning to break out of the Anger Habit and recognizing that you are the author of your anger. There is no law that says you have to be angry because he did this, she did that or this happened or that happened.
The third part of successful anger management is to recognize that the anger itself is just a symptom, just the smoke. Beneath the anger you will find Core Emotions. These usually revolve around some quality of fear, vulnerability, a sense of helplessness, a sense of need. So, we have to find that vulnerability, that inner core emotion, what ever it might be, because that is what is what is fueling the outer anger reactions. And the theory is is as you heal the core emotion you take that fuel away from the anger reactions and then the anger begins to diminish and fall away and become redundant. So, that is extremely important for the complete and successful management of anger.
Peter Strong, PhD is a Professional Psychotherapist and specialist in Mindfulness Therapy. He offers an Online Counseling Service via Skype for Anxiety, Depression & Emotional Stress.
Email Inquiries Welcome.
You can learn more about Mindfulness Therapy by reading his book, ‘The Path of Mindfulness Meditation‘ (Amazon.com).