Understanding Your Own Anger Management Problem

An anger problem is one that hurts you and/or someone else.  The consequences of an anger control problem can be as various and individualized as people themselves.  Some consequences of an anger control problem are broken relationships, social isolation, loss of employment, physical harm to self or others, commission of crimes, incarceration, property damage, property loss, loss of reputation, loss of self-esteem and self-respect, and the loss of hopes and dreams.  Each person in an anger management class will have their own stories of how anger has damaged their lives.

While anger is an emotional state, it can take many forms that vary in the intensity of how it is felt and how it is expressed.  Both the emotion of anger and angry behaviors can be mild, moderate or severe.  We commonly recognize the various intensities of anger in the language we use every day– irritated, upset, mad, angry, livid, furious, enraged and so on.

Whatever the intensity of anger, each of these ‘levels’ of the emotion will carry with them the same physiological and biological changes that occur in the body during an episode of anger.  These bodily changes are the foundation for anger of any type:  increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and increased levels of adrenalin and other hormones.  Meant to assist us in emergencies, these biological and physiological processes, over time, can tax the body, creating yet other types of problems for people with anger management problems. Health issues are not uncommon for people who live with frequent or chronic anger.

Whether anger comes in bouts or is chronic, whether is it mild or severe, how frequently it comes, what is done with it when it comes and what the consequences of anger are for you are some of the questions you will answer in anger management classes. Further, learning your own personal triggers—the internal or external events that trigger anger and how your body feels (bodily cues) when anger is triggered and escalating is essential as you learn to have greater self-control.

Very quickly, the participant in anger management classes will find that much of what will bring greater self-control is greater self-awareness.  Examining your own patterns, triggers, cues and behaviors will create your own individualized picture of how anger and angry behaviors have become problematic in your life.  While each ‘picture’ of anger control problems is unique, the underlying dynamics of gaining greater self-control are not.  There are principles of anger management that work across the board, helping people with various ‘personal profiles’.  Anger management classes will give you an opportunity to learn about yourself in detail as you create your own ‘profile’ by using techniques and tools provided by your anger management specialist.  With increased awareness and increased knowledge comes greater self-control, the ultimate goal of anger management.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory.kyles@gmail.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Domestic Abuse – What Is Abuse?

Many people think that domestic abuse is strictly between a husband and wife or two people who are co-habiting with one another.  This is not the case when it comes to domestic abuse.  By most laws, anyone who is in a relationship, regardless of whether they are living together or not, can be a perpetrator or victim of this crime.

Another assumption people make about domestic abuse is that it is between adults only.  The stereotype of the typical wife beater is an example.  A man who comes home and hits his wife is usually termed a wife beater.  When people think about domestic abuse, they often envision this type of scenario.  Very often, domestic abuse encompasses the entire family.  This often includes child abuse where one or both of the parents also take out their rage on the children who become victims of this crime.  There are cases where both partners abuse the children or where one of the partners inflicts child abuse.

Domestic abuse does not always take the form of physical abuse.  It is important for people to realize that abuse takes many forms and is not always domestic violence.  Emotional abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse are also part of this type of behavior.  This type of abuse is also often inflicted on children in a relationship in which one or both of the partners are abusive.

All forms of domestic abuse is considered to be a crime.  Emotional abuse can be just as damaging to the victim as physical abuse, but often goes unreported.  This is particularly true in the case where this type of domestic abuse is perpetrated against children.  Sexual abuse is often stigmatized by abuse against children, although this form of abuse is often perpetrated by one adult against another in a relationship.

According to statistics, most of those who are arrested for domestic abuse are men.  The most common form of domestic abuse is domestic violence by a boyfriend or husband against a woman.  Second comes child abuse, again most often perpetrated by men against children in a relationship, most often not their own biological children.  Sexual abuse is third and again is a crime in which the perpetrators are overwhelmingly male.  These statistics are based upon reports.  However, it is also true that most cases of domestic abuse or violence against a man from a female partner go unreported as men are less likely to report these instances to the police.

There is help for those who are perpetrators of domestic abuse.  The help comes from a prevention program that deals with abusive behavior.  Most people who are abusive have grown up with this type of behavior in which they, themselves, where victims of domestic abuse as children and simply are continuing a cycle that will be passed on to their own children.  With a proper battering intervention program, however, this violent and abusive cycle can be broken.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory.kyles@gmail.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Anger Problems–The Tip of the Iceberg

The emotion of anger is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ for people with anger management problems.  Typically, other emotions cause difficulty for these people as well.

Many with anger problems are not as aware of other emotions as they are of anger.  Additionally, people who have trouble controlling and often try to avoid feeling other emotions that are perceived as more painful.  They often seek to suppress other emotions and not let them be known to others.  This can happen for a variety of reasons.  Some believe that other emotions such as grief, sadness and fear will be so overwhelming that they will not be able to cope with them.  Others have come to believe that certain emotions are signs of weakness or ‘breaking down’ and so efforts are made to avoid or suppress them.  Additionally, there are many cultural reasons that individuals avoid certain feelings.  Many of these have to do with the roles of men and women in our society. “Big boys don’t cry” is an example of how men have been affected by traditional messages.  “Kindness is weakness” is another.  There are more that support the notion that “being strong equals being angry or aggressive” and showing other emotions such as sadness, compassion, grief or fear is a sign of inferiority or weakness.

Many people who have trouble controlling their anger simply have a limited awareness of emotional states.  Their limited awareness prevents them from identifying the body’s signals and cues that alert us to the nature of various emotions.  It also causes misinterpretation of others’ emotional cues.  Anger management classes that teach emotional intelligence will increase awareness of emotions and the body’s cues that accompany them.

As awareness of the emotional experience grows, people with problematic anger will typically widen their awareness to include many other emotions that are related to and often underlie or support their anger.

Anger is considered to be the tip of an emotional iceberg for many.  As with icebergs in nature, the vast majority of it is submerged.  Looking deeper, with skills that improve self-awareness, people who have trouble controlling anger will find a body of other emotional sates that can trigger anger and angry behaviors.  Learning to identify these other emotions, to tolerate them and manage them successfully, will typically reduce anger and enhance anger management efforts as well.

Below is a list of other emotions that people in anger management classes have identified as directly related to their anger management problems:
• Fear
• Sadness
• Grief
• Loneliness
• Being overwhelmed
• Helplessness
• Hopelessness
• Anxiety
• Panic
• Despair
• Depression
• Feeling rejected
• Feeling abandoned
• Feeling betrayed
• Feeling

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory.kyles@gmail.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

 

What Are The Causes of Spousal Abuse ?

There are a great many people who will tell you that the cause of spousal abuse is due to a substance problem that the battering partner suffers from. Many women who live with a wife beater will be quick to defend them saying that they are a completely different person when they are not drinking.  This is not the case.  Drinking and drugs does not cause spousal abuse.   Abuse is all about control.  The alcohol or drugs may aid in loosening the control that the batterers feel, but the underlying problem is not in the alcohol or drugs.  If this were the case, no one sober would ever abuse their spouse and everyone who had a drink would become a wife beater.

The causes of spousal abuse are usually found in childhood.  There are traumas, such as child abuse, that can cause someone to seek control over their environment that includes those who are in their environment as well.  Most of the cases of spousal abuse are against women perpetrated by men.  The cause usually lies within childhood and in the way that the man was raised.  In most cases, this is a learned behavior that can be unlearned if the man enters into a battering intervention and prevention program that can help him control his own behavior.

Many women who are the victims of spousal abuse will blame themselves for the abuse that is inflicted upon them.  They tell themselves that if they can only do better, their spouse will stop the abuse.  The wife beater will typically blame the spouse for the abuse and tell her that it is her fault that he is behaving this way.

Unfortunately, in too many cases, domestic violence escalates into severe beatings and even murder.  When a woman finally has enough of the abuse, she often leaves the wife beater who might try to track her down.  Many of these cases end with the abuser not only killing his wife, but also himself.  In some cases, an abuser will also kill the children in the family as well.  Needless to say,  domestic abuse is the fault of the perpetrator of the act, not anyone else in the family nor any drug or alcohol problem.  It is a myth that drugs or alcohol are the cause of domestic violence.

Those who are perpetrators of spousal abuse need to recognize it as a crime as well as a choice in their own behavior and not blame anyone else or any substance for their actions.  Controlling this behavior and un-learning behavior that is often learned in childhood is the key to helping those who are batterers in a battering intervention and prevention program.  These programs work to address the issue itself rather than try to lay blame on substance abuse.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory.kyles@gmail.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Anger Management and Self-Control

Greater self-control is the ultimate goal of anger management classes.  Gaining self-control reduces anger levels, stress levels and the negative consequences of problematic anger and related behaviors.   Working with the concept of emotional intelligence, anger management classes will teach skills and techniques that increase self-control.

Self-control can be learned.  Building skills that enhance the awareness of emotional information in one’s self and others is a basic building block of emotional intelligence and self-control.  These skills increase the ability to be self-aware, or aware of one’s own stress levels and emotions, bodily cues that accompany stress and emotions and a wider range of options for dealing with all these.
By increasing emotional intelligence you become better equipped to recognize, understand and manage all feelings as well as the stress of daily living.  Anger becomes just one of many feelings that an increased self-awareness makes more manageable.

Self-awareness helps you become more able to monitor feelings as they occur.  Monitoring allows you to break emotional responses down to more manageable parts so that greater and more frequent control is possible.  Consequently, judgment and decision-making in daily life can be more consistent and improved overall.  Such improved coping creates a greater sense of well-being.  Improved coping in everyday life is also a product of increased self-control.

Although anger often seems to be sudden and out of conscious control, anger is the result of a series of judgments and decisions about self, others and the world.  Similarly, angry behaviors are the result of judgments and decisions as well.  By learning to monitor one’s self throughout the day, judgment and decision-making become more conscious and effective.  Coping skills in all daily functioning are enhanced by better judgment in interactions and the ability to make better decisions about how to communicate and problem-solve with others.

People who have anger management problems demonstrate poor social coping skills, ineffective stress management skills, poor self-monitoring abilities and limited self-awareness.  These deficits decrease self-control and can lead to many negative consequences.  On the other hand, working to learn and improve these is essential to  controlling problematic anger and to increasing one’s emotional intelligence.

Problematic anger can be reduced.  The skills necessary to bring problematic anger under control are available in anger management classes.  Working to increase the essential elements of self-control needed, anger management classes build skills in a manageable, step-by-step way.  Greater self-control is the ultimate goal of anger management.  It is teachable, learnable and do-able!

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory.kyles@gmail.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

Developing Empathy through Emotional Intelligence

Empathy is an important ingredient in learning greater self-control for individuals who have anger management problems.  Empathy is the ability to identify with others through understanding how they feel.  It is increased by better understanding the thoughts, attitudes and overall experience of other people.

Emotional intelligence increases the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others and to use this information to interact more appropriately with them.  Becoming more aware of one’s own feelings (through increasing emotional intelligence) also helps one become more aware of the feelings of others.  Self-awareness helps us to empathize with the feelings of others.

Empathy for others helps us make more appropriate decisions about how we will view others and treat them.  Empathy also helps us evaluate the motivations of others in a more realistic light.  Consequently, this type of information can be used to adjust our own perceptions and to make better, more socially-informed choices about our own behavior.

Understanding others better can dramatically decrease conflict and the perception of threat from others.  In this way, empathy helps to make sense of others’ behavior so that their experiences do not have to trigger an angry response in ourselves.  With greater empathy, communication improves and interactions have less conflict.

Learning and practicing greater empathy for others helps increase awareness of the emotional cues others give us during interactions.  Empathy helps us ‘read’ another person’s expressions and communication with a greater understanding of that person’s experience and motivations.  With better information about the other person, we are then able to make more informed choices about how we will respond to them.  Empathy helps us perceive and use emotional information so we can then reduce the stress of daily interactions.  Empathy helps us be less defensive; more in tune with what is actually being communicated by others and less stressed by any misinterpretations we may make.  Empathy also ‘allows’ others to make mistakes and we are less apt to respond defensively, take things personally or ‘hold grudges’ when mistakes are made.

For Anger Management & Domestic Violence – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com

More on Using the EQ Map to Develop Emotional Intelligence and Manage Anger

The EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) Map is an assessment tool used in anger management to help you understand why you have difficulty managing your anger.  Furthermore, the EQ Map will help you identify the origins of stress in your life since stress is directly related to anger problems.  The EQ Map also helps pinpoint what problems you have in managing that stress effectively.  It will look at the specifics of problem behaviors in relationships, how you communicate with others, what triggers your anger, stress and problematic behaviors.  By mapping out this type of valuable information about why you have difficulty controlling your anger, the EQ Map becomes a useful tool throughout your efforts in anger management classes and afterwards.

Learning what you typically do when faced with stressful situations, in relationships, in conflict and on a daily basis to manage all of these typical life occurrences empowers you to make changes.  Identifying the exact nature of your anger management problems will enable you to identify the correct and effective solutions. Overall, anger problems can be managed by reducing stress and learning coping skills that will help you in stating your needs through assertiveness, reducing interpersonal conflict by seeking compromise and managing anger by focusing upon improving communication skills and appropriate ways of expressing feelings.

The EQ Map will identify your emotional intelligence—how well you are doing in all of these areas at the time of assessment.  Once your baseline of emotional intelligence is known then you can set realistic goals for learning the necessary skills to reduce stress and improve anger management.  When emotional intelligence is improved your ability to monitor yourself as you grow more stressed will improve.  Your ability to better regulate your emotions will also improve and you will be able to de-escalate yourself before anger becomes problematic.  By learning your triggers—the things that are likely to cause stress and escalate anger—you can prepare yourself for better handling these situations and events.  As your awareness of these things increase so will your ability to have greater self-control.  For people with anger management issues, learning how to have greater self-control will dramatically decrease such problems and allow the more successful accomplishment of goals, improve relationships, improve health and improve the overall quality of daily life.

An investment in anger management classes is truly an investment in yourself, your family, your relationships, your health and your goals.  Becoming more emotionally intelligent is an education that pays off in all areas of life for people who struggle with anger management problems.

For Anger Management & Domestic Violence – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to gregory@emote-institute.com.

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute
http://www.ami-tx.com
http://www.dvi-tx.com
http://www.emote-institute.com
http://www.gregorykyles.wordpress.com