Since each person and each situation is different, at Zande Behavioral Health we specialize in providing individualized treatment approaches for our clients unique needs. We will sit down with you and carefully determine your goals and your preferences in working together. Many of our clients will benefit from short term solution focused therapies while others may require longer term treatments. To learn more about what we treat just click on a corresponding tab below:
- Marriage Counseling
What is Anger
Simply put, anger is an emotion like all other emotions. Emotions are signposts into our internal structure. It’s simply something we feel.How do we become angry?
When does anger become unhealthy? How do I know?
Does anger have a neurological basis? Is it hereditary?
Can medication help treat anger?
Is there a pattern and process to becoming angry?
Two people, same situation; one becomes angry, one does not; why?
How does one’s anger affect other people and relationships?
What are some physical side affects of anger? Can anger kill me?
What can I do when I’m feeling angry?
I’ve been told to stay calm but sometimes I can’t. I’m so frustrated!
Do men get angry more than women?
Sometimes I go back and forth from depressed to angry. Why?
How do I let someone know I’m angry? Should I wait to "cool down"?
There is a direct and an indirect process of becoming angry. If we are referring to anger as an emotion like sadness, hurt, or joy, anger is simply a direct feeling response. So something happens, and we may react to it with feeling hurt, angry, or some other emotion.
However, anger can also be a secondary emotion. Many people (particularly males) are trained to accept the feeling of anger, but not to accept the feelings that may have preceded it; such as feelings of hurt, fear, or vulnerability. Sometimes when we feel hurt or vulnerable, we immediately jump to anger because that’s more acceptable to us. In this context, it becomes a secondary emotion, it’s the feeling we can tolerate rather than such feelings as hurt or vulnerability.
Anger is unhealthy when it gets in the way of your functioning or your relationships; if anger is causing you to loose friends, put your job in jeopardy, if people complain to you about your anger, if you hear people talking about you having a bad temper. These are signs that your anger is getting in your way, and therefore it’s unhealthy.
No, anger doesn't have a neurological basis any more than any other feeling. And no, it isn’t hereditary. There are people who suffer from a certain kind of illness called intermittent explosive disorder. This illness results in anger being used as a secondary emotion, prompting an outbreak of rage, smashing things, yelling at people and so forth. There may be some hereditary basis to this, but there is no clear evidence at the present.
Certain kinds of anti-depressants reduce explosive disorders, and also reduce anxiety. But generally, medication is not used to directly treat anger. Anti-depressants are more often used to temporarily relieve symptoms associated with anger, such as anxiety or depression.
When it’s a secondary emotion, there’s the process of moving from whatever the original emotion is to the anger, because it’s too hard to stay with the original feelings.
It’s the same as with any other feeling. We are affected by the interpretation we have of an event. Some people become angry because they read something into an event which could cause hurt or pain that can eventually translates into anger. Somebody else either reads something else into the event or doesn’t read much into the event at all, and therefore doesn’t feel the anger.
In particular, the violence that women and children face (primarily from men) is a result of anger. Anger can very much affect other people if it’s tied into threat of violence, or into violence itself. It also tends to shut down the people who are around the angry person. Angry people may find their relationship becoming less open because people are afraid to argue back. This can be devastating, and ruin relationships.
There seems to be some small amount of physical side effects. There is clear evidence of increased blood pressure, and with increased blood pressure is a propensity towards a stroke.
You can attempt to process it. Think through right and wrong. Get clear about what your underlying feelings are. Pardon the cliché, but take a "time-out". Remember, anger is a feeling that is here today, gone tomorrow, but the pain and backlash we inflict on others during anger are harder forgotten. If the anger is so intense that processing and time-outs don’t help, the best next options are to release the anger through activity or towards inanimate objects. It’s also best if you do this alone, because even releasing anger on inanimate objects can be threatening to other people. After you get alone, you can do things like using a bat on a couch or pillow. Some other ideas for releasing anger might be playing basketball, racquetball, jumping rope, taking a pet for a walk, watching television, or reading a newspaper article. These are all excellent ways to take a time-out or release anger appropriately. Remember, the option that is NEVER available is hitting another person. *You have the right to be angry, but you do not have the right to hit someone.
The question is, do you have something to be angry about? Sometimes people treat us poorly, and don’t expect us to respond. If you’re in conditions which frequently upset you, then it makes sense to start looking for, or creating other conditions. So often we want to change what other people do that initiates our anger. That’s part of the anger problem; so often people do things differently than we want. Getting angry is not going to change what other people do, and usually does not change or improve the situation much. The key to resolving anger issues is to get in touch with what is going on inside yourself, and to take care of yourself. Being frustrated by your anger plays into being more angry. If you really are having a struggle with being angry, recognize it, and give yourself a chance to work with it, to figure out what’s fueling it, and how you can let go of it. For a few people, emotions, particularly like anger, can become like a habit; addictive in their pattern. They get a release of endorphins every time they get angry. But most important to remember, is anger is best used if processed, rather than acted on spontaneously.
No. There is no evidence of this at all. However, in our society, obvious anger by men is more acceptable than obvious anger by women. We see anger in women quite frequently too, but usually more subtly than the anger seen in men. Only two generations ago, a woman had to exhibit her anger only in ways that people wouldn’t be able to pick it up. There’s still some of that hiding of anger by women, but that doesn’t mean women get angry any less than men. Anger is not part of how we identify women in the culture, but it is part of how we identify men. Therefore a woman being angry is less acceptable.
It depends on where your anger is coming from, or where your depression is coming from. If you’re in a terrible situation or have been in a situation that is very hurtful to you, then at times you may feel sad and disillusioned about yourself and the future. And at other times you may be enraged at the situation, another person, or yourself. It’s important to examine what’s going on in your life. If things seem to be fine, yet you go back and forth between depression and anger, chances are that the anger is a cover up for the depression or vice versa. Depression can also occur if we’re in situations where we aren’t allowed to feel/show anger, then depression may be what we replace it with.
Ideally, we stay very much in touch with our feelings and we let people know what those feelings are best while we’re still feeling them. Anger within the context of it being just an emotion, like all other emotions, can be stated plainly, "I’m angry about xyz." However, because anger can be such a strong emotion, and feel so personal, many times we’re better waiting for some of the "heat of the moment" to cool down before we talk about what’s troubling us. More often than not however, our "angry" feelings are primarily due to other feelings such as feeling hurt or abandoned. So what we can say to another person is, "I’m feeling hurt, abandoned and angry about what you just did". Unfortunately, what happens to a lot of people is they sit on things, then it all comes out in an angry outburst. Within this context, it’s important to let a person know you’re angry in a way that’s not deliberately hurtful to them. It’s important to understand anger, and to view it not as a separate and unwanted feeling, but rather one of the many feelings. We need to be willing to let others know how we feel about all feelings, not just anger. Revealing feelings can leave us feeling vulnerable, and therefore, it is true courageousness.
Counseling: What's it All About?What is counseling?
What can you expect from your counselor
Responsibilities in counseling
Tips on how to benefit from counseling
Simply stated, counseling is any relationship in which one person is helping another person to better understand and solve some problem. Friends and relatives provide a type of counseling, as do clergy, academic advisors, teachers, and many others. Counselors have a broad range of experience in developing "helping relationships" and working with many different situations.
In counseling we look for what we find good in ourselves. The good can be used as a model for the things we would like to change.
Counseling is a change (growth: healing) process in which people (individuals, groups, couples, and families) are helped to:
- express themselves (catharsis) in a safe, supportive, collaborative,
- identify, sort-out, clarify their problem laden "stories" (deepened awareness of past & present story and alternative future stories)
- identify non-helpful patterns (e.g. "crisis" pattern);
- learn, where appropriate, more helpful coping skills (e.g. "assertive skills")
- identify and achieve goals that are important to them.
For those with a humanistic bent, the ultimate goal for counseling is to help people to recognize and accept their own internal worth, i.e., to integrate their learned habits of thinking about themselves (their internal messages and images) and their learned behaviors (feelings, physical responses, & actions) to be congruent with who they really are in their essence (beautiful, loving people).
- David Santoro, Ph.D, Psychologist, Cleveland, Ohio
You can expect someone who is interested in listening to your concerns and in helping you develop a better understanding of them so that you may deal with them more easily and effectively. Your counselor will take you seriously and be willing to openly discuss anything you wish to discuss. Expect your counselor to focus the session on you, and not on others. Because counselors have different beliefs about how people change, they differ on how much talking they do in sessions, whether they ask you to do "homework," and their focus of discussion. If you have any questions about what is going on, by all means ask. Counselors have no "magical" skills or knowledge, and will be unable to solve your problems directly for you. Your counselor will want to work with you, but won't do for you what you are capable of doing for yourself. Except under unusual circumstances, your counselor will maintain strict confidentiality about you, and will openly discuss this with you.
Your main responsibilities in counseling are to attend your regularly scheduled sessions, talk about what is bothering you as openly and honestly as you can, and complete any tasks or "homework" assignments you may be asked to do. You are expected to let your counselor know if you are unable to make it to a session. Most counseling will require you to try something new or a "different approach." Another thing your counselor will expect is for you to be willing to experiment and try things without jumping to conclusions. You are also expected to let your counselor know when your problems have been solved as well as let your counselor know if you don't feel like you're making any progress. This latter point is most important: your counselor is most interested in your benefiting from counseling.
One of the most difficult steps in counseling occurs before you even see a counselor for the first time. Deciding to seek counseling is the first step in change. Once this decision has been made, the mechanics for change have been set in motion. In the process of changing the way you think, feel, or behave, you usually must try out new ways of doing things. This can make you anxious or frustrated. Also, in the course of counseling you may come to realize that things you once thought of only in a positive or negative way you may see a bit differently. The challenges of pushing on your limitations may also cause your frustrations, but with commitment and practice, you will find that you can stretch your limits and find new and exciting aspects of your self.
Be ready to focus on a specific problem or issue. Be prepared for your sessions. Attend your sessions and take an active part in them. Complete (or at least attempt) any "homework." Tell your counselor if you don't think you're being helped.
Marriage and relationship counseling is a very important tool. Counseling can be extremely helpful at any stage of a relationship, from premarital counseling to working with couples experiencing difficulties of many years' duration. Generally the initial session is with both husband and wife, although sometimes one person will start therapy and their spouse will join them later. Therapists work to help couples improve communication skills, learn to handle conflicts constructively, and help to resolve old childhood issues that may be hindering the growth of a healthy relationship. At ZBHS, we believe that every couple who calls for counseling is demonstrating a readiness to work on their relationship, no matter how severe the difficulties may seem. While of course there can be no guarantees of success, our experience is that the decision to enter therapy is often the first major step on the road to recovery for the relationship.
Organizations and Other Resources
"Everybody knows what it's like to feel anxious--the butterflies in your stomach before a first date, the tension you feel when your boss is angry, the way your heart pounds if you're in danger. Anxiety rouses you to action. It gears you up to face a threatening situation. It makes you study harder for that exam, and keeps you on your toes when you're making a speech. In general, it helps you cope.
But if you have an anxiety disorder, this normally helpful emotion can do just the opposite--it can keep you from coping and can disrupt your daily life. Anxiety disorders aren't just a case of "nerves." They are illnesses, often related to the biological makeup and life experiences of the individual, and they frequently run in families. There are several types of anxiety disorders, each with its own distinct features.
An anxiety disorder may make you feel anxious most of the time, without any apparent reason. Or the anxious feelings may be so uncomfortable that to avoid them you may stop some everyday activities. Or you may have occasional bouts of anxiety so intense they terrify and immobilize you.
At the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Federal agency that conducts and supports research related to mental disorders, mental health, and the brain, scientists are learning more and more about the nature of anxiety disorders, their causes, and how to alleviate them.
Many people misunderstand these disorders and think individuals should be able to overcome the symptoms by sheer willpower. Wishing the symptoms away does not work--but there are treatments that can help. That's why NIMH has produced this pamphlet--to help you understand these conditions, describe their treatments, and explain the role of research in conquering anxiety and other mental disorders. "
The quotation above is from the brochure "ANXIETY DISORDERS: DECADE OF THE BRAIN " published by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
The full text of the brochure can be found at the following NIMH link: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/anxiety/anxiety/index.htm
This brochure includes a wealth of information about anxiety and its disorders.
National Anxiety Foundation
3135 Custer Drive
Lexington, KY 40517-4001
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Dept A. 6000 Executive Boulevard,
Rockville, MD 20852
Freedom from Fear
308 Seaview Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305
Obsessive Compulsive (OC) Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 70
Milford, CT 06460
P.O. Box 1180
Palm Springs, CA 92263
(619) 322-COPE (-2673)
Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
60 Revere Drive, Suite 500
Northbrook, IL 60062
We offer hypnosis for behavior change and habit reduction. Hypnosis is a useful adjunct to treatment but it is not psychotherapy in itself; don’t expect miracles. You rarely recover whole areas of forgotten experience, visit past lives, or quit smoking solely by using hypnosis. There are only a few situations where you would want to go straight to a hypnotist. If you specifically want to recover a forgotten experience, a hypnotherapist might be able to help. Also, if you are in psychotherapy and want to see if such things as post-hypnotic suggestion (telling yourself to be calm, for example, in tense situations) can help, try it.
Bear in mind that a good hypnotherapist must first be a good psychotherapist. If you are going to pursue this kind of treatment, go to someone with the credentials and qualities you want from your psychotherapist. A better plan, I believe, is to find the best psychotherapist you can. Then, and only then, discuss with the therapist the use of hypnosis in addition. And again try to get a referral directly from someone you know and trust.