Linda Gary, MFT
(818) 917-7600
Linda Gary, MFT Marriage and Family Therapist Learn about my approach to therapy I specialize in a variety of problems Contact me today

Anger is not a psychiatric disorder. In fact, having angry feelings is a normal part of daily living. The key is to be able to recognize when you have angry feelings and express them appropriately. If you are unable to express yourself without losing control, you need to seek help. On the other hand, if you deny all feelings of anger to avoid uncomfortable confrontations, you can benefit from anger management therapy as well.

When anger accelerates to rage, impulse control is lost. A grudge can swiftly turn into a vendetta and rage is acted out and is often passed on to the next generation. The extremely angry individual scans the world for signs of mistreatment and unfairness and is far more likely to find such examples than a less angry person.

Anger is usually a cover (often without awareness) for fear, embarrassment, pain, shame, and/or a feeling of being misunderstood. It can also be part of the makeup of other serious conditions such as depression, an anxiety disorder, or substance abuse. Intense anger causes high blood pressure, heart disease, and damage to the neural pathways in the brain. It can shut down feelings of joy and reward. To reverse this process, I teach breathing and relaxation exercises as well as meditative experiences to quiet the mind and allow the body to free itself from its hostile stance.

Expressing feelings of anger and frustration do not eradicate those feelings and may actually serve to intensify them. Sometimes angry clients are not yet ready to see their anger as a problem. I focus on creating a safe enough environment in the therapy room for clients to bring up whatever they need to talk about, especially their ambivalent feelings about anger. It is very important to listen carefully and respectfully clarifying what is said to make sure I understand. This may be the first time that some angry clients have felt listened to and respected without interruption.

As feelings of safety increase, the clients' softer emotions surface, and they begin to discover language that more accurately expresses the complexity of their feelings. Painful losses are now exposed and grieved appropriately in the presence of another human being who is empathic and can be trusted.

As time moves along, clients become adept at recognizing the triggers that have traditionally set off angry reactions. Now they can utilize their developing relaxation, meditative, and communication skills. Hopefully and most importantly, they have absorbed an empathic response that they can feel and express for themselves and others.


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