The term anger management commonly refers to a system of psychological therapeutic techniques and exercises by which someone with excessive or uncontrollable anger and aggression can control or reduce the triggers, degrees, and effects of an angered emotional state. Some popular anger management techniques include relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, problem solving, and improving communication strategies. In some countries, courses in anger management may be mandated by their legal system.
According to St. John’s University's psychology professor Ray DiGiuseppe "Because anger has been viewed as a secondary emotion by most clinical theories, no anger disorders are included in the present version of DSM-IV-TR, and this is unlikely to change in DSM-V." Despite this, anger experts like Eva L. Feindler speak of "anger-related disorders". DiGiuseppe writes that after reviewing "the existing outcome studies on anger treatments, we concluded that while some successful interventions for anger had been developed, these interventions were generally less successful than psychotherapeutic interventions for anxiety and depression. Also, the majority of the research focused on a narrow range of cognitive-behavioral therapies.
With regard to interpersonal anger, Dr. Eva L. Feindler recommends that people try, in the heat of an angry moment, to see if they can understand where the alleged perpetrator is coming from. Empathy is very difficult when one is angry, but it can make all the difference in the world. Taking the other person's point of view can be excruciating when in the throes of anger, but with practice it can become second nature. Of course, once the angry person is in conditions of considering the opposite position, then anger based on righteous indignation tends to disappear.
Sometimes the term "anger management" refers to an educational process during which students learn very basic anger issues. For example, people rarely distinguish between the emotion of anger and the behavior they exhibit when angry. Most often people believe that when overcome by anger they are out of control. In fact, they are most often very much in control of their behavior while not in control of the emotion. It is often difficult to accept this as fact as it is much easier to excuse one's misbehavior when the behavior was committed while one was out of control. Anger management classes attempt to remind students of their personal responsibility while providing strategies to assist in avoiding having the emotion of anger in the first place. Basic self cares (adequate sleep, exercise, and avoidance of drugs and alcohol) together with stress reduction actually seem to help reduce the number and scale of anger episodes.
Famous quotes containing the words anger and/or management:
“Anger becomes limiting, restricting. You cant see through it. While anger is there, look at that, too. But after a while, you have to look at something else.”
—Thylias Moss, African American poet. As quoted in the Wall Street Journal (May 12, 1994)
“The management of fertility is one of the most important functions of adulthood.”
—Germaine Greer (b. 1939)