All of our therapists are offering online counselling at this time!

White Chair

Anger Management Counselling

Keeping your temper in check can be challenging. We’re here for you.

Everybody loses their cool now and then, but when anger issues get out of control, it can be very destructive. 

 

Uncontrolled anger can lead to aggression, outbursts, and even physical altercations.  The aftermath of these outbursts often results in a lot of pain for you and those around you. 

 

Anger management counselling can help you learn how to take control of your anger before it escalates. Anger doesn’t have to be a part of your everyday life. If you or someone you love has issues controlling their anger, book a consultation with one of our mental health specialists who can help you better manage and overcome this condition. 

 

What is Anger?

Anger can range from mild annoyance to intense rage and fury. It is usually directed at someone, or something that you felt has wronged you. In some people, feelings of anger can escalate very suddenly and feel nearly impossible to control. 

 

Mild anger can be helpful, but when anger is extreme, it can lead to irrational thoughts and behaviours. 

 

Common scenarios where people might feel angry include:

  • Traffic (i.e., being cut-off, stuck behind a slow driver)

  • Grief or loss

  • Parenting a child who is being difficult

  • Seeing someone cut in line

  • Criticism or injustice (i.e., being teased or bullied)

  • Threats to safety

  • Negative interactions at work

  • Playing or watching sports and games

  • Disagreements with others

  • Feeling rejected

  • Drug-related

Intermittent explosive disorder

For some people, anger may be severe enough to diagnose intermittent explosive disorder. This disorder often begins with extreme behavioural outbursts in childhood or adolescence and can continue into adulthood.

Symptoms of Intermittent explosive disorder occur at least twice weekly and may include:

  • Sudden aggressive outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation

  • Verbal aggression, arguments, tantrums

  • Physical outbursts, fights, damaging property

  • Causing physical injury to other people or animals during an outburst

  • Outbursts are impulsive and anger-based (not premeditated)

  • Significant emotional distress and disruption from tantrums

People who have outbursts of anger often experience intense symptoms such as:

  • Feeling flush or warm

  • Sweating 

  • Shaking or trembling

  • Difficulty thinking clearly

  • Tightness in chest

  • Clenched jaw or grinding teeth

  • Extreme emotional discomfort

Will Anger Go Away if I Don’t Seek Help?

People with anger issues often don’t seek help until their anger has gotten them into trouble. Anger is a complicated emotion, and many times it is tightly connected to emotional pain and fear. Anger is also protective because becoming angry at others for your pain can protect you from dealing with those complicated feelings. Anger issues may reduce with age but rarely go away. If you have difficulties controlling your temper or find yourself feeling angry more often than is comfortable, therapy can help you manage these feelings in a healthy way.

Is Anger Unhealthy?

Mild anger can be a healthy response. When anger is frequent and difficult to control, it can be very unhealthy. Angry outbursts cause a release of stress hormones in our bodies. Elevated stress hormones can increase our risk of heart disease, stroke, digestion problems, and even impairs our immune system. Anger can also cause damage to interpersonal relationships and may lead to issues like depression, substance abuse, or self-injury.

What Causes Anger Issues?

Anger issues may form long before you are even aware they are becoming a way of coping. There is no single cause of anger management problems, but several risk factors may contribute to their development:

 

  • Family history: You are at a higher risk of anger problems if you have a family member with anger issues or certain mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. Families that are chaotic, disruptive and poor emotional communicators may also contribute to anger issues. 

 

  • Exposure to Trauma: Trauma experienced in childhood, such as physical or sexual abuse, can increase your likelihood of anger problems. You may also develop issues controlling your anger after experiencing major life changes, stress, or trauma later in life. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is commonly associated with anger control issues. 

 

  • Biochemical Factors: Anger can often feel like a force inside of you. Some people may be more prone to anger due to dysfunction in areas of the brain associated with emotional regulation. There is evidence of chemical dysregulation among those who have difficulties controlling their tempers. For certain people, high levels of testosterone may also heighten aggressive emotions. 

 

  • Medical Conditions: Conditions such as stroke, brain injury, epilepsy, diabetes, dementia, hormonal disorders, or chronic pain may trigger or increase feelings of anger. 

 

  • Environmental Factors: Characteristics of your environment may increase your risk of anger problems or make symptoms worse. Some environmental risks include difficult relationships, financial problems, poor support system, high traffic, instability, and daily stress. 

 

  • Medications: Certain pharmaceutical and recreational drugs may increase anger in some people:

    • Alcohol

    • Stimulants (i.e., ephedrine, cocaine)

    • Benzodiazepines  (i.e., Xanax, Valium, and Ativan)

    • Anabolic steroids

    • Statins (i.e., Lipitor, Altoprev)

    • Oxycodone (Oxycontin) or fentanyl (Abstral)

    • Corticosteroids such as prednisone (Deltasone) 

 

Anger management issues are complicated by the fact that they are often learned and reinforced. Fortunately, this also makes them very treatable through therapeutic intervention.

How are Anger Problems Treated?

Anger issues can be treated with anger management counselling, medications, or both. There are also lifestyle changes that can be made to support your recovery.

Anger Management Counselling & Therapy 

Therapy is one of the most effective treatments for building long-lasting strategies to help you cope with anger. Therapy is not a temporary fix for anger issues. You will work with your therapist to learn effective coping mechanisms and tools you can use long after your sessions have ended. 

 

The goal of anger management isn’t to make anger disappear. It is a normal emotion, and it is important to be able to experience it. Instead, your therapist will help you learn what triggers your anger to explode and help you learn ways to deal with your intense emotional experience in a healthier way. You will learn relaxation techniques and strategies to avoid engaging in behaviours or ways of thinking that intensify your anger. 

 

Therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are beneficial for the treatment of anger issues. CBT is also helpful for anxiety and depression, which commonly accompanies anger issues. Many of the ways we interpret events and deal with our problems can be unhelpful or even harmful to our well-being. In CBT, your therapist teaches you how to use rational thoughts and logic to combat negative thoughts and behaviour patterns.

 

Through sessions, you will also learn effective problem-solving, effective communication, and tips for changing your environment. 

 

Sometimes the irritability and outbursts are directly related to the intense emotional pain caused by trauma. For people who have experienced trauma, it is crucial to tackle the root cause of your pain. Our team of therapists specializes in helping people who have endured traumatic events understand how trauma affects them and learn useful tools for healing.  

 

Seeking help for your anger issues will improve your health, relationships, and overall well-being. Reach out today to book a session with one of our therapists and let a trained professional help you navigate your symptoms and find ways to improve your life. 

Anger Management Counselling in Vaughan, Woodbridge & Greater Toronto Area

We are the largest counselling service provider in the Vaughan and Woodbridge area with over 15 years of experience. Our team of therapists specializes in helping clients identify the roots of their struggles and learn effective tools for overcoming them. We offer cutting edge counselling and coaching to individuals, families, and couples.