Anger Management

Learn to Manage Anger

Whether one will be shouting or will be repressing it, bad anger management can be detrimental to relationships with others or with oneself. It is therefore important to learn how to manage anger. This page explains the different methods of anger management with their advantages and disadvantages.

Why should you learn to better cope with anger?

First of all because it is an emotion that disturbs!

... it disturbs the one who is angry.


... or it diturbs people around.

... or it disturbs both!

It's hard to remain insensitive to this emotion. We are talking here about anger as we usually hear it, not irritation or frustration, which are similar feelings, but of lesser intensity. We are talking about the anger that drives someone to act, that can bring someone to lose it, that makes one scream, that reddens skin becomes red, that injects adrenaline into one's veins. That's the anger we're talking about.


This page outlines the services we offer in terms of anger management .

Anger Management

Dealing with anger can lead to problems with others or with oneself.


Learn to manage anger            with the help from a psychologist         


For all sorts of reasons, whether through education, social imitation or to avoid legal sanctions, most of us have learned to temper our frustration, to hide it, to deny it, to ignore it. Or perhaps, some of us have never learned to manage it and let it prevail, guide their behavior. But whether it is repressed or expressed, it almost always prints its effects: on oneself, on others ...


It may be helpful to remember that anger is first and foremost an emotion. An emotion is an internal response based on a perception. In this case, it is usually a threat that is perceived. Right or wrong! We will have the impression that our physical or mental integrity is threatened and we will have an angry emotion to inform us of this impression.             


However, an emotion is not just a message. If that were the case, the anger would not be such a problematic emotion. Emotion mobilizes: it prepares and sets the person in motion. For example, sadness is associated with mourning: the mourning of a person, a situation, a dream ... from which one is called to separate. Fear can mobilize the person to enter fight mode or flight mode.             

When it comes to anger, this emotion usually has the role of mobilizing the person to restore the balance that he perceives as broken. Generally, it causes the person to act in such a way as to prevent, intimidate or attack what they perceive as threatening. In its most "natural" form, anger leads to               aggression, to violence. And in a "natural" way, violence breeds violence. Each society, in its own way, has had to find ways to deal with violence. And one of those means is precisely the management of anger by the individuals themselves.             


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Managing anger


The reasons that make a person want to deal with frustration may be personal or dictated by the society in which they live.             


Because anger is an uncomfortable emotion, it causes the person to react impulsively, if only to get out of this discomfort. The question is rather how will this emotion be managed?             


The researcher-clinician Charles D. Spielberger (1988) proposed some 30 years ago a model still used today. He defined three possible reactions to an angry emotion: the inadequate expression (anger-out), the repression (anger-in) and the control of anger.             


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Inadequate expression (Anger-Out)


Inadequate expression refers to a way of expressing aggression with little or no restraint. It can be by hostile or outright violent actions (obscene gestures, insults or physical aggression). It can be by being impulsive, shouting, breaking things. It can also be by the use of sarcasm. Here, anger is expressed. It could also be said that it is neither restrained nor contained. The label "inadequate" is added to illustrate that this way of expressing frustration is accompanied by undesirable effects: it provokes fear, hostility or violence in those who witness it.             


Inadequate expression of anger damages the relationship.             


"Inadequate" also refers to lack of restraint in a social point of view. A person living in our society is expected to be able to restrain herself when she is angry. Moreover, neuroscientists have shown that part of the prefrontal lobe, responsible for inhibiting the impulses of aggression, is sometimes underdeveloped in some aggressors (see Shaver & Mikulincer, 2011). This zone of regulation would develop mainly during childhood; in return, exposure to violence could lead the regulator to atrophy, leaving the person to express with little or no restraint its aggressive impulse, in the form of violence. This behavior is observed in someone who is described as "impulsive".             


There is a more or less direct link between anger and violence.             


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Suppression (or anger-in ) consists of trying to forget, or even to deny, the emotion experienced. In fact, if the inappropriate expression of anger suggests a lack of restraint, the supression suggests rather an "excess" of restraint. It is a reaction that could be caused by the impression that aggression or anger is unacceptable. Indeed, many clients, and perhaps most of them women, have learned that anger is bad. One can imagine, for example, a child who has been told that it is "not good" to get angry and that he has learned to do "as if" he or she was not angry. And from the outside, it can be very difficult to see this frustration: some are masters in the art of disguising their tiniest irritation.             


The dangers associated with this mode of reaction are to live with guilt or shame in regard of angry feelings that one tries to hide, to annihilate. When worn out, this guilt or shame can take the form of feelings of anxiety or depression. One becomes prisoner of his repressed or suppressed anger . In popular language, it will be said that the person is consumed by an anger that she or he tries to ignore. This negation of aggression can have very negative effects for the person who lives it. And in some cases, on his or her relationship with those around him or her.             


There is no anger or violence here (if not violence to oneself).             


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Anger control


This reaction involves an acknowledgment of the anger felt. To achieve this, it is important to have developed a good introspection to feel the signs that you are experiencing frustration (eg, sweaty hands, warmth in the neck and head). Once recognized, it is possible to use various strategies to control this emotion (eg, give yourself a few seconds to think, explain to the other that you need time to deal with this strong and uncomfortable emotion). According to this model, a recognition of its aggressiveness allows a constructive response.             


This reaction can involve various strategies that allow the person to calm down, to be patient and to understand others. This reaction hardly damages the relationship. The person is not taken with a feeling of guilt that can paralyze.             


Here, there is anger, but it is not followed by violence             


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