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Stuctured anger management treatment is offered by our psychotherapists, and this usually involves:
- a time-limited, evidence-based CBT approach to psychotherapy
- weekly sessions which last 45 minutes
CBT can help a person deal with their current symptoms and immediate emotional distress. It is grounded in the Ancient Stoic school of philosophy. For the Stoics, a key principle is that people are disturbed “not by things but by the views they take of them” (Epictetus).
This approach can be helpful for anger management treatment, since a person may experience more anger than they would like because of the ways in which they interpret external events.
CBT anger mangement treatment does not emphasize a detailed exploration of past experiences which may help to give a thorough picture of one’s anger. However there are other treatments that can be pursued following CBT that do allow for this exploration, including psychodynamic therapy.
The CBT model emphasizes connections between thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. More information about the CBT model can be found here.
The opening phase of the treatment is the assessment phase, and it involves
- considering the specific ways in which you experience anger
- identifying some of the patterns that you may have noticed over time relating to your anger
- identifying any other emotional difficulties that you may experience, such as anxiety or depression
This phase also includes an introduction to the CBT model for anger management treatment.
The remainder of the treatment involves:
- ongoing careful analysis of automatic thought patterns
- exploration of ways in which they may trigger you or contribute to anger
- challenging of these thoughts through Socratic dialogue
The aim is for you ultimately to learn to challenge their own thinking through self-questioning. This phase may also involve examining some of your more deeply held beliefs which lead you to have the automatic thoughts you do. Relevant behavioral changes and experiments can also be part of this phase.
The cognitive model of anger emphasizes the fact that anger is often linked with the perception that rules and expectations have been violated. People may become angry because they think that they have been:
- treated unfairly
- hurt unnecessarily
- prevented from obtaining something they were expecting
CBT for anger can help you to learn how to critically examine the evidence for your thoughts to assess whether they are realistic, and to challenge them when needed.
A person may also benefit from understanding behavioural signs that they are becoming angry. Such signs can include:
- muscle tension
- clenched jaw
- chest pressure
- clenched fists
- saying things that are not true
Other aspects of the treatment of anger include behavioral interventions such as:
- imagery exposure
- pursuing relaxation strategies
- considering patterns of communication and assertiveness in relationships
Clients may request individualized letters outlining their participation in an evidence-based (cognitive behavioural) anger management treatment. Fees for the preparation of such letters are based on the standard billing rate.
To schedule a consultation, please leave us a confidential voice message (647) 230-5416 or send us an email.
- D. Greenberger and C. Padesky, Mind Over Mood
- A. Beck, Prisoners of Hate: The Cognitive Basis of Anger, Hostility, and Violence