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What is Anger Management?


Anger Management Treatment Centers in Toronto, ON

Anger lives within each and every one of us. Whether it’s been manifesting for years or it shows up randomly, we all have experienced and shown it. Achieving the goal of abstinence from alcohol, substance abuse and addictive behaviour, confronting our fears about anger is important. Anger management teaches individuals how to regulate emotions, how to put anger energy for a productive purpose, and how to not be harmful to others. At Addiction Rehab, Anger Management Toronto is a part of the program treatment. We re-teach individuals how to control anger, stress and outbursts. Anger is part of the destructive cycle of addiction, especially in areas of cravings, consequences, remorse, guilt, shame, and mental obsessions.

anger management treatment

Anger Management Treatment in Toronto

As stated before, we have anger management exercises, anger management class, and anger management therapy. Below is a slight description and examples of what an individual will expect in our weekly programming.

Week One Anger Management Programming

Hostility can be recognized as one of those unhealthy expressions of anger. Hostility is defined as a “form of behaviour that is charged with anger.” When an individual uses hostility in a situation, there are concerns of acting and behaving inappropriate and unproductively, which can cause consequences. The next step is to build onto the skills and strategies that prevent us or make us think about acting hostile towards people, places and things. We do this by providing proper self-reflection it our own anger habits, behaviours and expression.

Week Two Anger Management Programming

Anger can live in many different areas of the body. Anger is accompanied by physiological changes. It’s important for individuals seeking Addiction Recovery and Treatment, to understand and explore how anger feels on the body. When an individual can accurately define and identify where anger starts and manifests – than they can recognize the physical warning signs that come with anger and use the appropriate coping and learned skills.

Week Three Anger Management Programming

There are many different types of Anger Styles and Expression. For example: Avoidance anger style means an individual will actively try to hide or minimize the anger they are feeling. Sneaky anger means an individual will use anger in a subtle which is intended to frustrate others. In addition, they may deliberately not do what is asked of them, sabotage plans and become passive-aggressive. Paranoid anger is when individuals feel as if others are angry with them or others have anger, without really recognizing their own anger. Sudden anger is when an individual is quick to showcase anger like making a scene, having no filter or may get verbally violent. Shame-based anger is when an individual is sensitive to criticism from others, struggles with low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness or feelings of not being good enough. Deliberate anger is a means of controlling others and situations – using anger as a tool of power. Addictive anger is the need to be angry, without care of the consequences – getting a thrill of getting angry, willingly seek out fights. Habitual anger tends to find themselves angry often and usually over things that others may not be bothered by – more willing to pick fights and/or start arguments. Moral anger is fighting for a cause – anger to restore justice. Hate is unresolved anger, resentment, and hard to let go.

Week Four Anger Management Programming

When we’re angry we experience a change in our thought patterns, communication and interaction style. It’s important to remember that feeling this way isn’t inherently good or bad. Rather, keep in mind that how you express the emotion determines whether the outcome will be good or bad. These consequences can include increased strain in relationships, increase health problems, legal issues, finances, etc. All these consequences can be categorized as tangible or intangible.

The brain is an extraordinary organ responsible for many different bodily functions. In anger management therapy, an effort is made to understand what parts of the brain are responsible for the functions relating to emotions and the ability to control our behaviour. By understanding this link, we are able to make sense of anger management strategies and learn how to utilize them when necessary. Structurally speaking, the emotional brain is located in the Limbic System which is composed of the hypothalamus, amygdala, olfactory bulbs, and hippocampus. The emotional brain is what allows us to experience our emotions, empathize with others, and recognize the value for the intangible aspects of our lives. When we feel the emotion of anger, the experience is a result of the emotional brain at work. Primarily, when angry, the emotional brain: Increased heart rate, Sweating, make judgements before information and more. The emotional brain plays a role in situations where we’ve acted hostile towards others in the past and that there’s a need to understand the emotional brain to prevent future, hostile behavior. The thinking brain is located in the frontal lobes of the brain. This area is responsible for functions relating to all areas of thought. More specifically: Consciousness, Decision making, planning, the anticipation of consequences and rewards, thinking, forming new ideas, reasoning, understanding cause and effect, etc. The thinking brain plays a role in anger management because of its ability to curb the emotional response caused by the emotional brain.

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Week Five Anger Management Programming

Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a theoretical framework, we are able to receive a better understanding of what needs exists and how we may feel angry when these needs are challenged. Physiological needs: food, water, warmth and rest. Safety needs: security and safety. Belongings and Love needs: intimate relationships and friendship. Esteem needs: prestige and feeling of accomplishment. Self-actualization: achieving one’s full potential, and creativity.

Week Six Anger Management Programming

The amygdala is a brain structure located in the limbic system. It plays a role in controlling anger and fear. This function allows your brain to store memories that contain an emotional component to it.

Fight or Flight: is another method the body uses to protect from a perceived threat by preparing an individual to either contront and issue or flee. This creates a physiological reaction potential such as: increased heart rate, rapid breathing, tensions in the muscles, sweating and shaking. It’s important to be aware of the triggers, cravings, and memories that could initiate fight or flight when speaking of anger management.

Week Seven Anger Management Programming

For so long, active addiction has kept individuals in a box of shame and guilt – feeling as if they cannot reach the top to be free. Shame and Guilt may be difficult to experience and even more, a difficult topic to speak about. Anger and Addiction is usually built on these two emotions – which is why it’s important to identify where, when, and how they show themselves. In addition, it’s important to be open and honest with yourself about how these emotions have been showcasing into anger and how it has been enabling Addiction.

Week Eight Anger Management Programming

Guilt can showcase as an anger style. But guilt does not have to manifest into anger and hostility. Ways to cope with feelings of guilt include: Reflect on your guilt, accept guilt as an opportunity for personal growth, approach your guilt head on, practice self-forgiveness, make amends with who you’ve wronged, practice forgiving others, manage shame, and find meaningful closure.

Week Nine Anger Management Programming

Fair Fighting Rules: Understand your emotions – before expressing anger, take a moment to understand what the feeling is, why it is showing, and identify evidence to back your anger. Express your emotion – using effective communication, what type of communication would be productive and understandable within this situation. Focus on one issue at a time – take your time with feelings of anger, avoid generalization and stay on topic. Don’t use demeaning language – you can be angry but still respectful. And give the other person a chance to speak – there should be equal power relations happening within a conversations, allow for other voices and opinions, make sure each other have been heard. Allow for cooperation. Don’t use physical violence or force. Work on achieving a mutual understanding. Give yourself a time out. Apologize if necessary.

Week Ten Anger Management Programming

Receiving someone else’s anger: Recognize the other individual’s anger. Create an emotional shield. Understand that Emotions can be Contagious – be sure to check-in. Offer to support the other individual. Walk away from the situation if it exceeds personal boundaries. Find a satisfying and mutual closure. 

Week Eleven Anger Management Programming

Cycle of Anger: Triggering event – An event or situation occurs that prompts an individual to experience anger. Negative thought – triggered series of negative thoughts. Emotional response – If an individual’s negative thoughts aren’t managed appropriately, the emotional experience is likely to be unpleasant. Anger management is about understanding the cycle, identifying triggers, identifying situations and identifying feels that create with a triggering event, negative thought or negative emotional response.

Week Twelve Anger Management Programming

Responding to the Cycle of Anger: Triggering event – why is trigger being caused? What happened? How does it make me feel? Why am I bothered with this? Negative thoughts – Challenge thoughts, reframe situation, and identify cognitive distortions. Emotional response – What else am I feeling? What might the reason be? Physical symptoms – remember to breathe, take a moment for yourself. Give yourself time to think about what you want to say or if you should say anything at all. Relax muscles. Journal. Behavioural response – explain to other individual how you are feeling and why you are feeling this way. Use mindfulness. Practicing self-care.

Anger and Resentment in Drug and Alcohol Use

At Addiction Rehab Toronto, as part of our weekly treatment programming – we offer Anger Management in Toronto. It incorporates evidence-based 12 anger management class modules with extra supplementary material. During active Addiction, individuals have been using alcohol, substances, and addictive behaviours as a way to avoid, enhance or suppress feelings of anger and resentment. These feelings that we keep down low in our hearts, minds and souls – spill into Addiction, Mental Health, and other issues in our lives. It’s healthy, productive and courageous to open yourself to the possibility of working through these thoughts, memories and behaviours with anger management therapy. When an individual understands anger, understands how it is manifested, understand how it is showcased and where it comes from – they can work on using coping and life skills such as cognitive behavioural therapy, communication, and relapse prevention.

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