The Relationship Expert
Licensed Psychologist in Pismo Beach & Los Osos
I help clients who struggle to manage their anger. They are tired of fighting with the ones they care about. They often have stories of regret and shame over their behavior when they were angry. They may even notice their loved ones acting towards them as if they are a ticking time bomb that could explode without notice.
Perhaps you’ve been given the advice that goes like this; “When you get angry, don’t explode. Take a deep breath and count to ten.” The problem is, when your temper’s up, that advice is like putting out a fiery explosion with a squirt gun: too little, too late.
Please don’t misunderstand. I believe the right breathing exercises can significantly impact your mood. But if you wait until the fire is burning out of control, you’re likely to get burned. It’s not about how strong you are in the moment, but the work you invest before the moment that makes the difference.
Anger Management Before the Moment
Here’s an illustration. Joe Montana, of the San Francisco 49ers, was one of the most skilled quarterbacks in the NFL. His passes, plays, and calm-under-pressure demeanor were legendary. But how would he have performed if he didn’t pick up a football until the big game? He would have failed.
The reason is obvious. As clever and strong as he naturally was, those things would have counted for little if he hadn’t built a daily discipline. He poured his mind and body into total preparation. That way, when the game started, he didn’t have to say, “Let’s see. How should I throw a spiral?” He just did it.
The same is true for you. No matter how strong your will power is or how smart you are, if you haven’t had practice managing your anger, you are setting yourself up for failure. There are steps you can take to prepare yourself. With practice, you can become more observant. You’ll begin to take a step back, and as you do, you’ll give yourself space between you and your reactions.
What You’ll Gain from Anger Management
You are not “bad” because you feel angry. Feeling anger is as natural and healthy as feeling happiness. It’s what you do in response to feelings that makes or breaks a situation.
We will work together to focus on anger management techniques that work best for you, helping you to develop new habits. When a situation arises that is beyond your control, you can still control how you respond. Recall the bomb analogy above. You will get to know your triggers so you can see them for what they are. You’ll also be equipped with ways to diffuse your anger before you do something you regret. And when the situation arises where you have every right to be angry, we’ll come up with healthier and more productive ways for you to express your anger.
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“Dr. Lisa was by far the easiest person I have ever spoken with. She makes you feel extremely comfortable, and she doesn’t pressure or judge you in any way!…Dr. Lisa, thank you for being there…” Read more…