Anger Management Counselling and Therapy in Singapore
By Carol Goh | Last updated on 23 March, 2023
What is anger?
"Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage," according to Charles Spielberger, Ph.D., a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger. When anger is felt, the body normally experiences all or if not some of the following symptoms:
- Faster heart beat
- Increase in blood pressure
- Unable to empathise
- Strong urge to lash out
- Feeling of ‘I lose it’
Why is anger management problem a big concern?
It is because it is an outburst that is so terrifying, intimidating and even terrorizing to victims. Anger can be disruptive and destructive in relationships whose consequences we cannot undermined. Anger hurts both the perpetrator and the victims. Often the perpetrator feels angry to the point of having difficulty to control their emotions. It might have become chronic anger if has been going on for some time.
A common scene of anger is road rage. Many drivers have shared that they are usually mild- mannered. However, once they hit the road, they are on guard to protect the lane they are travelling in. When someone cuts into their lane, their anger shoots up the roof which can cause preventable road rage or accidents.
What are the causes of anger?
Do you know anger is just a secondary emotion? Whenever you are provoked or triggered into anger and aggression, there are always underlying deeper emotions at play. Other than overt anger, passive anger may also happen. The cause of your anger could be due to the following hidden emotions:
- Past hurts
- Fear or perceived threats
- Not respected or valued
- Feeling of little importance
- Not loved
- Not accepted
These primary emotions could be seething all these years within you and are often denied or suppressed. Basic anger management techniques are ineffective to address and overcome such deeper emotions. The source of anger could date way back to childhood and specific therapeutic techniques will be used appropriately to resolve those past hurts.
"Do you know anger is just a secondary emotion? There are underlying deeper emotions at play."
Types of Anger Management Problems
1. Family issues
a. Abuse (physical, emotional and sexual)
Experiencing abuse since young can scar the children even after they grow up. As they are unable to fight back when being abused, children will feel hurt and unconsciously allow the anger to seethe within them at a young age.
The anger suppressed since young will find its way out now and then no matter how old the children have grown. It will manifest as uncontrolled outburst in relationships with significant others such as spouse or children, thus perpetuating the abuse.
Joan’s (not her real name) mom passed away when she was 10 years old. Living with her dad was torturing as he will find reasons to beat her up every day. No matter how well she completed her housework and how well she performed in school, they were never good enough for her father. The constant beating took a toll on her, leaving her bruised physically and emotionally. She was badly hurt since young and had accumulated so much anger and bitterness towards her father over so many years that caused her to burst into uncontrollable anger by the slightest triggers in her workplace or at home.
"The anger suppressed since young will find its way out now no matter how old you are."
In our society that focuses so much on academic results, parents may inevitably compare their children’s results among their older siblings, thereby setting the stage for sibling rivalry and enmity. Unknowingly, parents might think by making comparison, it will motivate their children to strive to do better.
However, the way their children comprehend and interpreted the intended messages differs greatly from the parent’s “good” intention. In fact, such comparisons always backfired, leaving the children feeling inferior and always not good enough for parents’ standards. These often lead to the children feeling they are not being accepted, which is a common cause of anger when they grow up.
2. School Issues
Some causes of anger in the school context are as follows:
- Being picked on by teacher
- Humiliated by teacher in class
- Isolated by classmates
- Bullying including cyber bullying
- Betrayed by good friends
- Ostracized by classmates
- Unfair treatment by teacher
Just like domestic violence, victims of abuses in school often cannot fight back and had to swallow the hurts with a huge sense of injustice brewing inside them. These students will often have thoughts such as “Why target me?”, “Why bully me?”, “It’s not fair and it’s not my fault” running through their mind.
Analysis of the killers in the many school shootings incidents in US has revealed that these murderers have often suffered injustices all these years that their only resolve is to turn to violence to get back at those who have caused their sufferings. They have been made to feel a deep sense of humiliation, shame, injustices, rejection when young, fueling their intense anger towards society at large. Not able to get help and understanding, they took action on their own to avenge the perceived injustices that have made them feel inferior and outcast.
Often parents are at a loss at how to help their children. Do seek professional help for anger management for your children and not allow it to escalate. Such feelings of anger when exploded will cause so much tension and unhappiness in the family.
3. Work issues
Anger at work can result from the following scenario:
- Overworked by superior
- Not able to say no to colleagues or superiors
- Being openly criticized
- Passed over for promotion
- Being made the scapegoat
- This list of hurts in the workplace can go on and on.
Over the years in the workplace, we may collect and pile up the hurts suffered and are not able to find a venue to defend ourselves. We develop feelings such as not being respected, and that life is so unfair. All these accumulated underlying feelings are the perfect catalyst for frequent anger outburst. Unfortunately, most of the times, these outbursts often happened at home and directed at our loved ones.
4. Marriage issues
Anger with your spouse could result from the following situations:
- Spouse have extra-marital affairs
- Domestic violence: physical, emotional or sexual abuse
- Spouse not meeting your expectations
- Having conflicting parenting style
Our family is supposed to be our safe haven. It is depended upon as a place to seek refuge when we are troubled. However, when there is spousal abuse in the marriage, the home is no longer a safe haven when anger gets the better of one. What makes such situation worse is that we will have to face the predator every day. This serves only to aggravate the sense of helplessness and constant feeling of being trapped in the marriage, fueling the anger that could only grow over time.
On the other hand, if we discover our spouse having extra-marital affairs, the sense of betrayal is enough to send our anger shooting to the roof any time of the day. While reading a self-help book or talking to a close friend may help, if you find your anger issues continue to linger and grow and affecting your life, the next step you should consider is to seek professional help for individual as well as couples therapy. Anger management therapy can help couples to realise what fuel their argument and work with both to address underlying issues. Family therapy may be needed to address the hurts of other family members.
When Do I Need Therapy for Anger Management?
Most people experience anger occasionally. Anger is a normal emotion that can help you to protect yourself hence anger can be a good way of expressing and verbalising our boundaries. If overly intense, anger which becomes difficult to control may affect your relationship with your loved ones at home, your colleagues and your social circle. Some may not even be aware that they have anger issues. When we cannot control our anger or frequently experiencing anger or irritation, it becomes a problem. However anger can turn aggressive, this is when the behaviour or action becomes hostile, destructive and even violent. Aggressive anger can be physical assault, damaging properties, self-harming or verbal threats and insults.
Hence, if you find yourself feeling excessively angry too often or unable to control your anger, it may be time to seek professional help for your anger management issue. Therapy helps individuals identify the underlying emotions and causes of their outburst.
"To resolve anger, real work has to be done to address the root source of anger to eradicate it from within."
How Can Counselling Services Help with Anger Management?
At Emotional Wellness Counselling Singapore, we provide a safe and supportive environment to help individuals manage their anger. To better control and manage anger, real work has to be done to address the root source of anger in order to eradicate it from within. Our therapist will help to explore your history, relationships, upbringing, and current lifestyle choices that might be contributing to your difficulty in controlling your emotions.
Our therapist are well equipped with more than 18 years of experience counselling over 1000 clients. We have developed a structured form of therapy utilising evidence-based tools and techniques to treating anger. Our therapy using techniques such as EMDR, Schema, Gestalt, have proven to be effective in desensitizing anger and learn how anger can be expressed appropriately.
In addition, during our therapy sessions, our counsellor will teach you to use mindful techniques such as deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation to reduce tension levels during confrontational encounters.
Benefits of Psychotherapy for Anger Management
The long-term benefits from undergoing anger management therapy include improved communication with others, increased self-esteem and enhanced relationships with family members and loved ones. People who struggle with managing their temper may also experience less stress due to a reduction in arguments at home or work resulting from being able to express themselves more constructively rather than becoming hostile or aggressive. Anger management therapy in Singapore is available at our counselling centre.
Effective counselling requires patience and commitment but can lead to lasting changes if given adequate time and effort. With proper guidance from our qualified counsellor, you will gain valuable tools needed for managing difficult situations in healthy ways which ultimately leads to improved wellbeing overall.
Anger Management Therapy in Singapore and Internationally
Do seek professional counselling, therapy to improve your relationships with your loved ones and others around you. We provide psychotherapy and counselling onsite at our cosy office. Online counselling is available to clients located outside of Singapore. If your loved ones are showing signs of anger management problems, do contact us for a discussion.
1. Angry Men and The Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
2. Anger by William Gray
3. Boiling Point by David Stoop
4. Capture by David A Kessler, M.D.
5. Forgiving What You’ll Never Forget by Dr. David Stoop
6. Healing the Angry Brain by Ronald Potter-Efro
7. How to Forgive When You Don’t Feel Like It by June Hunt
8. How to Really Love Your Angry Child by D. Ross Campbell, M.D.
9. How To Really Love Your Teen by D. Ross Campbell
10. The Anger Solution by John Lee
11. The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner, PH.D.
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Suls, J. (2013). Anger and the heart: perspectives on cardiac risk, mechanisms and interventions. Progress in cardiovascular diseases, 55 6, 538-47.
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