Anger management is in demand. Learn how to recognise and treat the issues
The British Association of Anger Management’s latest Anger Academy training course begins soon.
Could your practice benefit from you learning to teach anger and stress management skills?
The coronavirus crisis has put a strain on many households. Indeed, the United Nations has declared domestic abuse to be the ‘shadow epidemic’ of C-19. Physical aggression though is at the extreme end of the anger management spectrum; many who’d benefit from treatment won’t exhibit such extreme behaviour. So, how can you tell if one of your clients requires anger management?
Below is a bullet-point guide from The British Association of Anger Management’s (BAAM’s) Mike Fisher. His course is the UK industry standard, and BAAM receives referrals from The NHS, police, law courts, family solicitors, social services, charities, and FTSE 100 businesses. Right now, BAAM’s experiencing the busiest period in its 25-year history.
“If therapists of whatever nature – psychotherapists, counsellors, alternative specialists – don’t address what is clearly the core issue of anger, the clients will eventually vote with their feet,” says Mike.
The obvious symptoms of a client requiring anger management are, according to Mike, “Being run down physically, stressed to the max, digestion issues, migraine headaches and perhaps lower back problems. They’re not sleeping, continuously waking up, plus are ruminating and overthinking.” He continues, “They are short tempered, impatient, lost, confused, overwhelmed, lethargic, unmotivated, withdrawn, without purpose, their relationships are crumbling, they hate everybody, and everyone hates them.”
Here’s some more detail on the ‘red flags’ to look for right now – and you can find out more about the Anger Academy course at the end of the article.
Anger Red Flag #1 – Outbursts
“People are oriented in two directions: external or internal,” says Mike, “those who express their anger externally we call ‘ exploders’. They blow their lid then they themselves quickly recover. It may take them ten minutes to act out, then they feel good again. But the family takes weeks to recover, and the externaliser ends up hurt, sad, ashamed and angry themselves.”
Anger Red Flag #2 – Internalising
Passive aggression is actually more common than ‘exploding’, and while it might not be quite so dramatic for other family members to experience it can be a sign of looming depression and still make life difficult for others. “Internalising is passive aggressive,” says Mike, “these people will get others to scream and shout for them. They will be critical, undermining, dismissive, create obstacles, and resistant to problem solving. They do make life difficult.”
Anger Red Flag #3 – Redundancy
“If someone’s in danger of losing their job or has done so already, this is a major indicator of incoming issues,” says Mike.
Anger Red Flag #4 – Social media and news addiction
“Social media can certainly be an addiction, which we as a society are only just beginning to acknowledge,” says Mike, “and addictions are most often a sign of underlying mental health issues. Moreover, if we are feeling anxious about current affairs, then to manage that anxiety we have to read less tragic news.”
Anger Red Flag #5 – Covid-19 anxiety due to poor physical health
“High potential for catching the virus increases anxiety levels,” says Mike. Anger is often an expression of underlying stress or anxiety, or due to unresolved past trauma that can compound all three emotions.
BAAM’s Anger Academy course begins on Monday November 9th 2020. It features 18 weeks of weekly three-hour group training sessions via Zoom, ending Monday 24th May 2021. The course also includes 70 hours of E-learning with all materials provided and a four-day, in-person coaches’ retreat.