170 -The Many Facets of Anger (And Interventions)
Counselor Toolbox

 
 
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The Many Facets of Anger
Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director: AllCEUs Counseling CEUs and Specialty Certificates
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox, Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery

Click here to go directly to purchase the Counseling CEU course for $6

Objectives
~ Explore the function of anger
~ Identify the types of threats that may prompt anger
~ Identify different types of anger to include
~ Run of the mill anger
~ Irritation
~ Resentment
~ Envy/Jealousy
~ Guilt/Regret
Function of Anger
~ Anger is part of the fight or flight reaction which is your brain’s natural response to a perceived threat
~ Anger pushes away or helps you dominate a threat

Types of Threats
~ Threats can be to your…
~ Person (physical harm)
~ Property (Damage or take my stuff)
~ Self-esteem or self-concept
~ Hurt your feelings
~ Make you question your goodness as a person
~ Make you concerned that other people will think poorly of you
~ Origin
~ Things others do or don’t do
~ Internal critic/old tapes/others from the past
~ Conscience (guilt and regret)
Types of Threats
~ Themes
~ Rejection/Isolation
~ Loss of Control/The Unknown
~ Death/Loss
~ Failure
~ Real vs. Perceived Threats
~ Real threats actually exist
~ Perceived threats are based on
~ Cognitive distortions
~ Prior experiences
~ Emotional reasoning
~ Incomplete information
Activity
~ How do you handle threats to your:
~ Person/property?
~ Self-Esteem?
~ How can you handle threats from:
~ Others
~ Your internal critic (Past Others)
~ Your conscience (self anger, guilt and regret)
Anger/Irritation
~ Anger is a generic term that describes the fight reaction in response to a threat
~ You feel like you can conquer the threat OR
~ You do not see any options for escape (think cat in a corner)
~ Anger happens on a continuum ranging from mild irritation to rage
~ The level of anger experienced is usually in proportion to
~ The immediate threat
~ The cumulative effect of multiple threats
~ Many times when people feel angry, underneath they also have a sense of helplessness or disempowerment.
What Triggers Your Anger
~ Threats
~ Rejection/Isolation
~ Loss of Control/The Unknown
~ Death/Loss
~ Failure
What to Do About Anger
~ Identify the threat
~ Explore the automatic beliefs triggering the anger
~ Why is this making you angry? (It makes me angry when…. I hate it when…)
~ How is this similar to other (unresolved) situations in your past?
~ Are there alternate explanations for the situation?
What to Do About Anger
~ Identify the threat cont…
~ What threat theme is it related to?
~ Rejection: Is it really about you?
~ Failure:
~ Are you globalizing?
~ What can you learn?
~ Loss of Control/The Unknown:
~ What parts of this were and were not in your control?
~ What actions are worth your energy
~ Death/Loss
~ How does this impact how you see the world?
~ How does it impact how you see yourself?
Activity
Resentment
~ Resentment is anger directed at others for things they either did and shouldn’t have or didn’t do and should have.
~ What is the impact of holding on to resentments?
~ Emotionally
~ Mentally
~ Physically
~ Socially
~ Spiritually (Hope, faith, courage/willingness, discipline, integrity)
~ Many times underlying resentment are hurt feelings. (Example: You invited Jane to the party and not me.)

What Do You Resent
~ Make a chart with 4 columns, one for each threat
~ Rejection/Isolation
~ Loss of Control/The Unknown
~ Death/Loss
~ Failure
~ Take 30 minutes and identify as many resentments as you can and place them in the appropriate column (only one)
~ Review the finished list and mark off all resentments of things over which you have no control.
~ Now, cross off any that have no effect on your ability to live a rich and meaningful life
~ Explore how you can accept these things and let go of the anger
~ Of the ones left, brainstorm ways of addressing that resentment

Envy/Jealousy
~ Envy and jealousy can be thought of as anger at someone else for having something you want.
~ What is the impact of holding on to envy?
~ Emotionally
~ Mentally
~ Physically
~ Socially
~ Spiritually (Hope, faith, courage/willingness, discipline, integrity)
Envy/Jealousy
~ Many times underlying envy and jealousy are:
~ Low self-esteem
~ People don’t like me because I am not as pretty as her.
~ Lack of gratitude awareness
~ Focusing primarily on all the things you don’t have
~ Lack of clarity about personal goals
~ I wish I were a CEO like her (but that would mean sacrificing other things more important to me)
~ Erroneous conclusions
~ If I were rich I would be happy.

Activity: What Do You Envy?
~ Identify each of the people and things you envy.
~ In what way does each of those things represent:
~ Acceptance and Inclusion –the “in” crowd
~ Control and Power
~ Success
~ Someone having something you lost
Notice how each of these is the opposite of a threat theme
~ Why might people envy you?

 

Activity: What Do You Envy?
~ Why might people envy you?
~ In what way does each of those things represent:
~ Acceptance and Inclusion
~ Control and Power
~ Success
~ Someone having something you lost
~ What does it mean if people don’t envy you?
~ Rejection
~ Loss of power/control
~ Failure
Activity: What Do You Envy?
~ Identify three people you respect and/or love but don’t envy
~ Is it possible to respect/love someone and not want to be like them or have what they have?
Guilt/Regret
~ Guilt and regret are anger directed at yourself for things you either did and shouldn’t have or didn’t do and should have.
~ Anger represents your minds way of identifying a threat and getting you to do something.
~ In what way is holding on to guilt and regret
~ An effective response to the threat
~ Preventing you from effectively responding to the threat

Activity: Guilt/Regret
~ Take 30 minutes and identify as many regrets as you can
~ Review the finished list and mark off all guilt & regret of things over which you have no control. (Ex. Guilt because the house was destroyed in a fire)
~ Now, cross off any that have no effect on your ability to live a rich and meaningful life. (Ex. Not taking parents advice…)
~ Explore how you can accept these things and let go of the anger at yourself
~ Of the ones left, brainstorm ways of addressing those resentments. Consider addressing one each day.

Forgiveness
~ Forgiveness is a power move.
~ Forgiveness allows you to choose to stop giving your power to something or someone else. To stop “letting it make you angry.”
~ Forgiveness doesn’t mean it was okay.
~ Forgiveness means accepting reality as it is and choosing to learn from the experience and use your energy for things that are more meaningful.
Summary
~ Anger exists on a continuum
~ It is a response to a real or perceived threat designed to get you to do something
~ The intensity of the response often represents the level of threat
~ Many times threats are perceived based on prior learning experiences that trigger memories or critical self-talk
~ By knowing what is important and meaningful in your life you can more effectively identify what things actually present a threat and respond more effectively.