Anger management

I have been having issues controlling my anger for ages. When anything triggers my anger, usually when it relates to my kids and my parents, I resorted to psychological abuse, I felt anxious and depressed to the extent that it affected my daily performance and relationships. I did some reading to learn how to manage, but to no avail. I think I need professional help. Any course or program I could join to manage my anger?

Well done for asking this question, as anger can be a hard thing to talk about and it sounds like it’s been getting serious for you. It sounds like you’ve already tried to address this issue, which is fantastic, but sometimes reading isn’t enough on its own.

There are a number of anger management programs in Melbourne. Some cater specifically to men or to women, some are for those that struggle with anger in relationships, and some are more general. Given that I’m not sure what applies to you or what you’ve already tried, the first step may be to see a GP to discuss your anger in more detail so you can get a referral for individual psychological treatment. You may also want to see a counsellor at Counselling and Psychological Services so we can discuss groups and treatment options that are best suited to you.

In the meantime, here are some things to try while you are in the process of getting some help.

– It sounds like the feeling of anger is very hard for you to tolerate. Mindfulness is a helpful tool for becoming more aware and accepting of your emotions so you can cope with them better.
– Improving your Assertiveness can be helpful as difficulty with being assertive with others often leads to issues building up so they cause more anger, as well as unhelpful responses to anger which may include passive aggressive behaviour or even psychological abuse. Check out our website for information on upcoming workshops ‘Assertive Communication’ and ‘Manage your Mood’.
– Improving your skills in Stress Management and Self-Care helps prevent anger from occurring, and these skills are also useful in managing the anger response.
– Telephone and online counselling makes it easier to talk to someone while you are experiencing this anger reaction so you can get help in the moment. Try calling Lifeline, Mensline, or Parentline.

Finally, try to practice some Self-Compassion. Making a decision to change your behaviour and get help is a great first step, but it can be difficult, so the ability to be kind to yourself when things are stressful is an important part of any change.

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