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Old 10-25-2018, 04:01 PM #1
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Default In therapy for anger

I have a lot of anger and my therapist agrees, but I donít know what to do about it in therapy. For example my therapist will ask me what I am angry about. A lot of times I am just angry without a reason. My therapist will ask me to step away from the anger and see what it is trying to tell me. That is about all I have gotten from our discussions on anger. Has anyone else had better success? What kind of work did the therapist do that you found helpful.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:11 PM #2
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Default Re: In therapy for anger

Have you tried CBT? I didn't personally have a lot of success with it, but there is a lot of emphasis on thoughts and feelings and something else, is it actions? There's a lot of exercises that you can do in CBT that might be helpful.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:16 PM #3
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Default Re: In therapy for anger

I have not worked on anger much but when it comes up my T talks about how anger is often a response to feeling hurt in some way. So maybe it would be worth thinking about whether your anger is also a sign that you are hurting or feeling vulnerable, and if so, why is that?
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:25 PM #4
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Default Re: In therapy for anger

Im just starting to explorer the anger in me. I have a very hard time responding i keep it all inside or i lash out at the most inapporate times. Hugs
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Old 10-26-2018, 02:28 AM #5
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Default Re: In therapy for anger

I've had some discussions on a warmline about how therapists seem not able to deal with anger issues well. He's found somebody willing to explore it with him and try out new things.

I'm older, been through a lot of therapists, never found anybody. As far as I'm concerned, they don't get it, I seem unable to explain it to them and I've given up trying.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:31 AM #6
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Default Re: In therapy for anger

In my experience of working with anger in therapy, I'm not completely sure how I've done it and I know there's no real endpoint because it's ongoing.

If you have trauma in your background, anger is a natural component of that (perhaps tracing back to the original fight or flight response). It's normal to feel angry at someone who has abused you.

I also work in a field where my clients (I'm not a T) have been terribly traumatized by (usually) families, sometimes (strangers or acquaintances), and almost always (social service systems, including religious, mental health and healthcare more broadly, services like public aid, and legal systems. Hearing their stories pisses me off a lot, and public interest work even in the absence of direct client work is also very aggravating, as some to many professionals screw things up or deliberately try to block clients from assistance that they need.

I also found that I was angry in the middle of grieving some recent losses, and sometimes the people in my life irritate or annoy or anger me. So anger is kind of a big thing for me and, like you, the idea is to express it and work with it so you don't lash out at people and so it doesn't run your life. But I think anger is just very, very normal, and there's no magic to resolving it.

What I've gradually found is that learning healthier ways to express and deal with it made me a much happier person. Denying it or should-ing myself that I must not be angry was a real failure. Lashing out at people or being unkind or condescending or otherwise negative towards someone is what I try to minimize, so just becoming aware that I feel anger (for a long time I think I didn't). Knowing what the anger is about is only part of the issue for me, although sometimes when exploring why I'm angry I can see it's connection to something in the past where I think that this person is tripping my anger wire because s/he reminds me of a person or an event from long ago. Being able to examine my thinking about the present thing pissing me off sometimes helps me move beyond it, because I can see how it's different than the past. Most people are not trying to hurt me even though I'm angry at something said or done, and trying to unpack that has been helpful to me.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:36 PM #7
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Default Re: In therapy for anger

My therapist would have been able to help you figure out the source of your anger. Sometimes anger is the real emotion. Sometimes it is a defense against feeling the real emotions. So you have to figure out what it is for you.

The type of therapy my therapist did is called ISTDP (intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy). It is far superior to CBT in dealing with feelings.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:55 PM #8
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Default Re: In therapy for anger

I have worked with anger in the transference. Not that it was planned so (i.e. we did not set out to work with anger) but in psychoanalysis this is just what typically happens. I became incredibly angry to my T and I tortured him with my anger and rage for about two years because for some reason it seemed to me that he is incompetent, stupid and whatever.
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