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What Are Anger Interventions?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 12 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Anger interventions are designed to provide patients with tools they can use to control anger and express it safely. Patients with anger problems may attend psychotherapy, workshops, and training to develop a set of skills they can use to address their anger. These tools can include activities like relaxation exercises and mood monitoring to allow patients to focus on their mental state, along with specific tips to follow during episodes of anger. The goal of interventions is to help patients feel more emotionally balanced and better able to communicate productively when they are upset.

People may experience anger problems in association with mental illnesses, cognitive disabilities, or psychological pressures. Anger can potentially become a serious problem, as patients may endanger themselves or others in outbursts of violent behavior. In some cases patients are referred for anger interventions in response to a specific incident. Other patients may self-refer, seeking assistance from a mental health professional because they have concerns about their anger issues.

Numerous approaches to anger interventions are available, such as cognitive behavioral therapy provided by a psychotherapist. Part of therapy includes exploring the roots of angry behavior to determine if it is possible to address underlying problems to achieve emotional balance. Patients also learn about mood monitoring tools they can use to track mental state. Relaxation exercises can be important for anger interventions because they provide a way for patients to cool off when they are upset.

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Specific protocols to follow when people are angry are another aspect of anger interventions. Patients may be asked to move through a series of steps when they feel upset to defuse anger and help them address the problem. These can include communicating with people to help them understand why the patient is upset and work on a productive solution to the situation. A child who gets upset about sharing toys, for example, might have a script to use when talking to other children and adults.

Using anger interventions can help people control their anger without suppressing it in a way that might make it more explosive. They can include ways to release it, like exercising or working on art, as well as ways to express it safely and appropriately. Some patients may also benefit from mood stabilizing medications to limit severe mood swings that might contribute to the development of episodes of intense anger. These medications can be used as part of a therapy program to help the patient achieve emotional stability.

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