Emotion Regulation and Anger Issues

Are you emotionally overwhelmed? Regretting things said or done? Unable to keep your emotions in check? Reacting uncontrollably to situations?

If you regularly experience intense anger, distress, feelings of being ‘out of control’ and ‘overwhelmed’, then you may have developed ineffective habits of controlling and regulating your emotions.

When Anger Becomes a Problem

Some people react more strongly and uncontrollably to stressful situations than others.

Emotion regulation difficulties are often described as extreme anger or being ‘out of control’. When this happens, you can have overpowering physical symptoms and the ‘flight or fight system’ (our body’s evolutionary biological response when exposed to threat or danger) can be activated.

This can become a problem, affecting your relationships and other areas of your life.

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Life Experiences & Anger

Some people have a biological vulnerability to develop problems with anger and emotional regulation. Many individuals with anger issues have experienced stressful life events such as:

  • Growing up in a home where there are few boundaries and rules in place.
  • Witnessing a lot of fighting and conflict in the home growing up
  • Bullying
  • Loss of a loved one

Red Flags for Anger

• Difficulties controlling emotions
• Emotionally shutting down
• Feeling emotionally numb
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Heightened sensitivity
• Impulse control problems
• Intense mood swings
• Lashing out in relationships.

Managing and Changing Emotion Regulation Issues: Anger Management Counselling

While these issues can seem overwhelming, we can support you in learning how to effectively manage and change the way you feel and cope in different situations.

To give you an idea of how we can help, let’s consider an example of an 18-year-old boy who is struggling with friendship issues and having emotional outbursts at home. After understanding why these issues have developed, ne approach to the situation could be to teach the following strategies:

Thought strategy

Working to identify ‘hot thoughts’ which amplify anger reactions, then teaching the individual to develop more helpful thinking patterns.

Emotion strategy

Working to develop a set of quick emergency calming tools that can be called upon when experiencing strong emotion. This could involve use of objects, relaxation, meditation or physical exercise.

Behaviour strategy

Working together to identify early anger warning signs and triggers for aggressive outbursts. Teaching the skills to withdraw from situations before levels of anger become uncontrollable. Working to select and implement assertive forms of communication within relationships.

Relational strategy

Assisting loved ones to develop effective ways of responding to emotional outbursts and enhance their relationship.

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Your Questions Answered

Many people who come to the clinic have never seen a psychologist before, and don’t know what to expect. We’ve answered some of commonly asked questions to help you feel more at ease:

Are you ready to take a step forward?