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We all know what anger is, and we've all felt it: whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage. Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. And it can make you feel as though you're at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion. Cognitive Behavioral Anger Management Therapy helps people control and reduce their anger by focusing on the present, and targeting only those problems that need to be solved. CBT for Anger Management involves cognitive behavioral problem solving, mindfulness training, and changing dysfunctional thought patterns.
Problem solving training can be helpful for patients who experience problems that seem to be so large, they completely overwhelm the patient. This treatment is often a part of cognitive behavioral therapy for a number of different disorders. This treatment can involve clearly defining the problem to be solved, brainstorming possible solutions without prejudging them, evaluating possible solutions, and selecting one, listing the steps needed to execute the situation, training in cognitive techniques needed to effectively execute the solution, and implementing the solution.
Mindfulness based therapies represent a revolutionary innovation in cognitive-behavioral therapy, incorporating elements of Buddhist mindfulness meditation techniques into traditional cognitive-behavioral interventions. These techniques focus on awareness of thoughts and feelings without attachment or judgment. Examples of mindfulness-based therapies include Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The latest research indicates these treatments can be more effective than traditional talk therapy in treating a host of problems and disorders. These include depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and relationship issues, to name a few.
There are numerous methods to identifying and altering dysfunctional thought patterns. Generally, they all begin with identifying automatic thoughts, those thoughts which provide a running commentary to our experience. Instead of accepting all of these thoughts as accurate reflections of reality, the cognitive therapist helps the patient to learn to think of these thoughts as guesses about what is really going on, and consider alternate points of view. In this way, the client is able to develop a more balanced way of thinking about whatever is causing him or her distress.