ANGER - A VALUABLE WARNING SIGNAL
Anger tends to get labelled negatively in our culture, often being described as a "negative emotion," or seen as something dangerous or to be denied. Yet the truth is, like all emotions, anger plays a vital role in our psychological system. It serves as a warning that something important to us feels threatened. It can motivate us to take action to correct something negative that is happening. Prevalent negative attitudes about anger contribute to many people getting insufficient practice in identifying and communicating about anger effectively. With greater understanding one learns that problems stem from behaviors and actions taken in response to the emotion of anger, not from the emotion itself.
A FIRE BURNING OUT OF CONTROL
At times the amount of anger we experience or the actions we take in response to our anger can become a problem. In this way the emotion of anger is much like fire: powerful and constructive when used in the right way, potentially harmful and destructive when not harnessed sufficiently. The warning signal that tells us that something is threatened can be less attuned to a real problem and more attuned to an imagined danger. The powerful results that can arise from expressed anger that is intimidating can be addictive and hard to resist despite their negative consequences.
There are many techniques that can be learned in order to help manage anger. Delaying your responses by counting to ten, using breathing exercises and improving communication skills are some examples. Yet reading or being taught such techniques in a classroom manner is sometimes not what is needed. Individual or group psychotherapy can be critical to unlocking certain tricky aspects of our relationship with anger. Therapy sessions with a psychologist can help people understand aspects such as: the relationship of our anger to our other emotions, the role of significant people in one's life and understanding important links to our personal history. One can learn to identify particular triggers to anger and expand their range of responses to the emotion.
CONSEQUENCES OF BURIED ANGER
Problematic angry behavior is most often visible in interpersonal conflict. But it can also have more silent negative internal impact on the person storing the anger within themselves. Problems with thinking and concentration, sleeping, eating, heart problems, headaches and high blood pressure, among others, can at times be linked to angry feelings that we hold in over long periods of time.
COUNSELING And THERAPY
At my central Westchester County office I provide individual, family and couples counseling for issues related to anger management in adults and children. Sometimes the anger seen in a family member or member of a couple is most effectively addressed through family or couple's meetings. The length of time and type of therapy utilized is determined by the unique needs of the people and families I work with. Please contact me to discuss any questions or concerns about scheduling an appointment to assess the possibility of our working together. I also work with adults, couples and children on other behavioral and mental health issues.
My psychotherapy practice is located in Pleasantville, Westchester County, New York, close to the Saw Mill and Taconic Parkways and one block from the Pleasantville train station. It is convenient to reach from Hawthorne, Chappaqua, Valhalla, Tarrytown, Ossining, Croton, Briarcliff Manor, Thornwood, Sleepy Hollow, Armonk and Irvington among other locations.
In-Network Insurance Accepted: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, CIGNA, Emblem Health, GHI, Value Options, Beacon and The Empire Plan. *
* Please contact Nathaniel Smith, LCSW-R to discuss out-of-pocket rates if you do not see your insurer listed here. Contact your insurance company to verify if they provide reimbursement for "out-of-network" outpatient mental or behavioral health services.