Domestic Violence Costs $8.3 Billion Annually

from Forbes

Today domestic violence is known as a social, business and health priority in addition to being a criminal issue. Not only does it cause personal suffering, but domestic violence also reduces productivity, leads to absenteeism and drives up health care costs. And unless people are trained to look for it and ask about it, domestic violence is rarely identified.

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Gregory A. Kyles, LPC, CEAP, PHR, CAMF
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute of Texas

Thinking Distortions in Anger Management Problems

anger 13For people with anger management problems, patterns of thinking are key in building and maintaining high levels of stress and anger.  Patterns of thinking also trigger and ‘validate’ the angry person’s choice of behaviors used to express anger.  For people who have difficulty with stress management, stating their needs directly, confusing anger with assertiveness and managing their emotions and emotional behavior, examining their patterns of thinking helps a great deal.

Thinking distortions–sometimes called thinking errors or thinking mistakes–are ways of thinking that support and fuel anger problems.  These patterns of thinking are learned and can be unlearned.  Anger management classes can help people with thinking distortions learn more effective ways of thinking that will reduce anger levels and eliminate problem behaviors.  This happens as anger management classes focus on building skills that increase emotional intelligence or how one will understand, use, manage and express emotion.

Thoughts and emotions are inseparable.  Thinking patterns trigger how we will emotionally respond to people, situations and events. Since thoughts are directly related to emotions and since anger is first and foremost an emotion, patterns of thinking are the basic building blocks of anger management problems.
Some of the common thinking errors that lead to problem behaviors and anger management issues are:

• Making excuses for one’s behavior
• Blaming others
• Justifying one’s actions
• Re-defining issues and problems to avoid focusing on one’s own responsibility and to put the focus on something or someone else
• Using super-optimism to convince yourself that, despite your behavior, things will go your way
• Lying by stating an untruth (commission); leaving out pertinent facts (omission) or by pretending to agree when you do not (assent)
• Making fools of others as a way of taking the focus of yourself
• Building up to dramatic behavior by accumulating ‘evidence’ that you should
• Assuming what others are thinking, feeling or are motivated by without asking them
• Ingratiating—‘sucking up’ to others to get your way, take the ‘heat’ off you
• Minimizing the importance of an issue or your own behavior
• Using power plays to manipulate others
• Playing the victim to ‘turn the tables’, get sympathy rather than be held accountable
• Creating drama to confuse the situation, exert dominance and control
• Not taking ownership of responsibility for your behavior, your part in the problem or the solution that is needed
• Maintaining and image that is important to you rather than dealing with real issues and feelings at hand

Anger management classes will help you identify the thinking patterns that you use and understand how they contribute to chronic feelings of anger and acting out behaviors.

Anger Management Classes in Houston, Texas

For additional information about anger control skills visit or call 713-477-9105.

Gregory A. Kyles, LPC, CEAP, PHR, CAMF
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute of Texas


anger 9aPseudo-violence or ‘near violence’ are the behaviors that threaten, menace and seek to control others without actual physical, ‘hands-on’ aggression.  These types of behaviors seriously impact others and are forms of emotional, psychological and mental abuse.  People with anger management problems often attempt to be controlling of others through intimidation, menacing and other nonverbal threats such as:

  • Posturing in an intimidating way; using body size and presence to communicate “I’m in charge” or “I may hurt you”.  “Getting the message across” by getting too close to others, standing over others, etc.
  • Using forceful gestures such as jabbing, pounding, waving hands, pointing, clenching fists
  • Forcefully handling objects
  • Using facial expressions to communicate anger—rolling eyes, ‘smirking’, staring, clenching teeth, widening eyes
  • Driving recklessly
  • Using body movements such as pacing, moving rapidly, ‘circling’, tapping, bouncing leg, etc.
  • Using defensive body language such as crossing one’s arms, turning one’s back, shaking the head, refusing eye contact, holding up a hand to ‘stop’ the other
  •  ‘Accidently’ bumping into others, dropping things to break them, knocking things over
  • Stalking—appearing unexpectedly, following others in their daily routines, driving by their homes or in their neighborhoods in order to be seen

Such behaviors strongly communicate anger and are forms of manipulation, menacing, and intimidation. They are intended to induce fear.  They are also used to exert dominance and gain control over others and/or situations nonverbally.  While such displays of anger do not use words, they still powerfully communicate anger and threat to whoever is present.  The angry person displays such behavior while focusing upon having others witness it and respond submissively or in fear.

Anger can become obsessive as in stalking behaviors in which the angry person becomes preoccupied with the target of the anger.  Anger can also have other obsessive qualities that do not result in such extreme behavior.  Having thoughts that cannot ‘let go’ of the notion that others have wronged you, need to ‘be taught a lesson’; ‘won’t get away with that’ or other such triggers to a desire for revenge or retaliation are also obsessive.  The amount of time spent in such thoughts can interfere with other activities and eventually can lead to dysfunctional behavior such as outbursts and other confrontations, as well as self-sabotaging and self-destructive behaviors in the workplace and in significant relationships.  The thoughts that preoccupy us will determine behavior.  Frequent anger-related thoughts are a strong indication of anger management problems and a need for an anger management assessment.

Anger Management Classes in Houston, Texas

For additional information about anger control skills visit or call 713-477-9105.

Gregory A. Kyles, LPC, CEAP, PHR, CAMF
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute of Texas

Anger vs. Aggression

anger man7Many people mistakenly believe that someone with anger management problems is physically violent.  Actually, many people who have never been physically aggressive have anger management problems.  Any anger problem can benefit from anger management classes. It is the cost of anger to yourself and others that will determine your need for help.

Keep in mind that since anger is an emotion, it is not necessarily problematic in itself.  However, anger does occur along a continuum of feeling that can be mild, moderate or severe. It is important to decide where your anger fits on that continuum.   Additionally, the frequency of anger is an important factor in considering whether anger is problematic or not. It is the level of stress you experience, your ability to do effective stress management and the consequences of poor stress management that determine whether anger management classes are appropriate for you.

Culturally, we have many ways to describe anger management problems that can confuse the issue when you are trying to decide if anger management classes are appropriate.  For example, you might think about your current situation as “feeling upset”, “irritated”, “overwhelmed” or “frustrated”.  You might believe that if others would change or be more reasonable, you would feel better.  You might think a change in environment is the solution.  Focusing on the environment and others may be confusing the issue, too.

Many people with anger problems do not want to think of themselves as having problematic anger.  Often, again, this is because many equate anger problems with “being out of control”, being violent and harming others in serious and physical ways.   However, chronic feelings of anger are problematic in themselves.  Chronic anger, however “mild” is often directed toward others in verbal outbursts, sarcasm, criticism, and communication styles that are ineffective.  Nonphysical anger can sabotage employment and relationships and create health problems.

Verbal anger is typically experienced by others as verbal abuse and can cause mental, emotional and psychological harm.  In the workplace, verbal anger can be viewed as harassment and/or creating a toxic work environment.  In fact, verbal anger alone can be considered a form of mental, emotional and psychological violence.  Individuals with chronic feelings of anger are likely to interact with others in ways that are mentally, emotionally and psychologically abusive.  Even passivity, or avoidance, can impact others in abusive ways.  Passive aggression in relationships, for example, punishes others without obvious displays of verbal or physical aggression.  Passive expressions of anger can also be harassing such as the intentional failure to fulfill commitments and job responsibilities, for example. Such behavior is considered problematic workplace anger.

Problematic anger can cover a wide range of behavior.  However it is manifested, however, it remains problematic—for others who are involved with the person who has anger management issues as well as for the individual who has them.

For additional information about anger control skills visit or call 713-477-9105.

Gregory A. Kyles, LPC, CEAP, PHR, CAMF
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute of Texas

Problems Associated with Anger: Anger Management Classes

If anger becomes an emotion that occurs too often, is felt too intensely or causes some inappropriate behavior (verbal, physical), then anger is a problem.  Additionally, problematic anger can have a great deal of impact upon health and physical well-being.

anger 20a

Anger naturally causes a rise in heart rate and blood pressure, even when anger problems are not present, however, individuals who have chronic anger, or recurring intense anger in episodes, can have high pulse rates and high blood pressure frequently and for prolonged periods.  This can result in serious medical issues such as hypertension and heart disease. 

Furthermore, escalated levels of strain upon the body such as those that occur in problematic anger can, over the long run, create other multiple physical problems that are experienced as intense bodily discomfort daily.  Some of the physical consequences of chronic anger must be managed medically to prevent, for example, the extreme problems associated with heart disease and hypertension. 

Also, ulcers, other digestive problems, headaches and chronic muscle tension throughout the body are common for people with anger management problems.  Some people with chronic and problematic anger will have a lowered resistance to infection as chronic stress wears down the immune system.  Complications of ‘adrenalin dumping’ (anger creates surges of adrenalin that ready the body for fight and survival mode) can seriously affect the nervous system and lead to other debilitating conditions.  It is not uncommon for individuals with anger management problems to have a variety of physical problems that, in themselves, can wear down the ability to use appropriate coping skills.

While anger problems will naturally have negative consequences upon others as the individual interacts in problematic ways, the biology of anger is often a silent and accumulating, serious issue for those with anger management problems.  Often the other negative consequences of problematic anger (social, legal, occupational) are much more apparent and the physical issues—many of which can be serious—are discovered much later.  Anger management Classes can be a significant investment in one’s own health and well-being. 

For additional information about anger management services please call 281-477-9105 or visit

Anger Management Classes in Houston, TX

Gregory A. Kyles, LPC, CEAP, PHR, CAMF
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute of Texas