Preparing for Your First Anger Management Session
In many cases, anger is a justified, healthy, and normal emotion. However, anger can also be a difficult emotion to manage. As such, many people have difficulty controlling and coping with their anger in healthy ways.
If you struggle with anger, you may have noticed that your reactions cause problems in your relationships. You may even hurt yourself, your loved ones, strangers, or property when you feel frustrated. While it may feel impossible or overwhelming to overcome these reactions, there is hope.
Anger management sessions can help you learn healthy coping mechanisms to use in frustrating situations. With time and practice, you can learn to build healthy relationships and feel anger in appropriate ways.
The first step to overcoming your difficulties with anger is to decide to take your first anger management session. Whether you embark on this journey as your own choice or if you received a court order, you can benefit from knowing what to expect at your first anger management session.
Understand the Specifics of Your Plan
If you’re ready to tackle your anger management problem, you may attend any of three types of sessions:
Each of these types of therapies has a different structure. Both group therapy and group classes include several anger management patients and at least one mental health professional. In group therapy, the primary goal is for attendees to share their experiences and learn from one another.
Counselors provide guidance to ensure participants learn from the group therapy session. Often times, the group gathers weekly to share their progress and discuss any troubles they had. In group classes, professionals do most of the talking. They teach a specific lesson about anger management and may ask for input from attendees from time-to-time.
Individual therapy sessions consist of one patient and one counselor. These sessions allow patients to spend more time focused on their individual problems. However, they sometimes miss out on the community aspect of group sessions.
Know the Ground Rules for Participation
Each group and/or counselor sets unique rules for participants. These ensure the safety for all attendees and make a safe space for everyone. While rules vary, you should be ready to abide by the following general guidelines:
- What people say in group therapy should stay within the group.
- Do not tell anyone outside the group who you saw in the session.
- It’s fine to disagree on points, but keep it respectful.
- Your counselor will keep what you say confidential in most cases. However, if you pose a threat to yourself or others, they need to report it.
If you have questions about any of the guidelines, be sure to ask your counselor. They can help you feel comfortable in the space.
Set Your Goals
While the structures of each type of therapy are different, the goals are generally the same. Counselors help patients:
- Discover their triggers
- Think about how they react to those stimuli
- Start avoiding some triggers
- Learn effective coping mechanisms
- Start implementing those coping strategies in daily life
While your counselors may have these broad goals for your treatments, you should also decide on some specific things you want to accomplish. For example, you may tell your counselor that you want to stop yelling at your children.
No matter your goals, the professional staff at FLBH can help. Contact us today to start your anger management journey.