The following example essay on “Basic Assumptions About the Nature of Reality” talks about what is available for anger management for a number of effective cognitive-behavioral techniques. No one is likely to need all of them. However, psychotherapy can identify how these strategies might be combined to reduce anger in order to help one to deal with this troublesome emotion.
Just as a pyramid depends on its foundation to provide stability for the rest of the structure, scholars rely on basic assumptions regarding the nature of reality and the purposes and methods of investigation.
We live in a time of intellectual ferment. Anger is considered as one of the most important and impressive emotions throughout human ontogenic and phylogenic history. Anger management is one of the main domains of psychology which does not work on triggers, but on reaction to them, so that any given individual which is frequently excited with internal and external activating provocations, can restraint and control her or his anger.
Horowitz (2006) contends that a paradigm includes the practices that define a scientific discipline at a certain point in time. Paradigms contain all the distinct, established patterns, theories, common methods and standards that allow us to recognize an experimental result as belonging to a field or not.
In response to being criticized or ignored, or when overwhelmed with daily hassles, people can feel irritated, annoyed, or angry. This is a normal reaction. In fact, when anger is experienced and expressed appropriately, it can lead to healthy coping and constructive change.
On the other hand, frequent, intense, and enduring anger can be quite harmful. Lazarus (2005) posits that anger is an emotional response to a real or imagined threat or provocation.
The social-cognitive model serving as the conceptual framework for the Anger Coping Program and the Coping Power Program began as a model of anger arousal. Lochman, Phillips and Holmes (2009) propound that cognitive restructuring is an advanced anger management technique that requires group members to examine and change their thought processes. The cognitive approach is appropriate for this research context because it facilitates empirical testing, and has been applied in a social psychology setting.
Lochman et al (2009) assert that counseling or psychotherapy can help one to deal with an anger problem. In seeking therapy, one may wish to consider several general issues. First, realize that anger is a common and sometimes normal human emotion. It is sometimes appropriate to be angry. But, when anger is exaggerated, uncontrolled, or linked with dysfunctional behaviour, it becomes a problem that can affect all areas of life.
Second, note that angry behaviour patterns are habits that are developed, repeated, and reinforced over a lifetime. Fortunately, these habits can be changed. Much anger is an automatic emotional response and, with practice, it can be reduced. Thus, it is important to ask prospective therapists how techniques for anger management will be learned and practiced. Third, if one have concerns regarding the confidentiality of treatment should discuss these issues with the therapist. Since laws vary from state to state, ones therapist would be in the best position to explain the doctor-patient privilege. One should be aware that therapists, to prevent harm, may warn a potential victim of aggression if a client intends to hurt someone. This is a normal professional procedure.
There are many different approaches a therapist may use to help an individual control anger. Some people may benefit from exploring their family backgrounds while others may be helped with medication. Cognitive behaviour therapy techniques have been shown to be very effective for anger reduction and often represent the treatment of choice. Not everyone, of course, will find every technique to be useful. Ellis (1999) mentions that Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy are types of treatment that are based firmly on research findings. These approaches aid people in achieving specific changes or goals.
Behavior Therapists and Cognitive Behavior Therapists usually focus more on the current situation and its solution, rather than the past. They concentrate on a persons views and beliefs about their life, not on personality traits. Behaviour Therapists and Cognitive Behaviour Therapists treat individuals, parents, children, couples, and families. Replacing ways of living that do not work well with ways of living that work, and giving people more control over their lives, are common goals of behaviour and cognitive behaviour therapy. There are many different approaches a therapist may use to help individual control anger. Larson and Lochman (2007) allude that the objectives of anger management treatment are to teach clients to identify the specific cues triggers to anger and to help clients develop strategies for controlling their anger in the form of individualized control plans.
The treatment also has the secondary objectives of examining the associations among substance abuse, anger, and violence, as well as the way substance abuse escalates anger and violence. The treatment approach is a form of self-instructional training (Meichenbaum 1995). Anger control problems are conceptualized from a cognitive-behavioral perspective. A fundamental assumption of this approach is that it is not specific persons or events that produce emotional and behavioural responses, but the cognitive appraisal of these events. Anger can be described rather easily within this cognitive framework: anger results from the belief that we, or our friends, have been unfairly slighted, which causes painful feelings and a desire or impulse for revenge .
Anger is an adaptive emotion that signals threat or harm, quickly energizes behaviour, and mobilizes resources, directing a behavioural response to reduce the threat. For some individuals, however, anger is experienced frequently and with intense arousal. When experienced in this extreme form, anger can lead to health problems, verbal abuse, or violence. Various approaches have been used for the treatment of anger. According to Meichenbaum, responses such as anger and violence are socially learned, reinforced, and practiced to the extent that these responses soon become automatic. Individuals display these responses without deliberate thought and without thinking of the consequences of their actions. Responses that are learned, however, can be unlearned.
Meichenbaums approach can be used to teach clients to think and plan before they act: to stop, look, and listen before behaving impulsively. The anger management treatment is organized around Meichenbaums three phases of treatment: conceptual, skill acquisition and rehearsal, and application and follow-through. The conceptual phase consists of creating a working relationship with clients, and helping them better understand the nature of their anger. Clients are taught a basic conceptual framework for understanding anger. Initially, the focus is on re-conceptualizing anger in terms of the persons, situations, and events that elicit anger, as well as the thoughts, images, and physical cues that indicate an escalation of anger.
Ellis (1999) further states that, the focus is also on the role that cognition and other emotions, such as shame and guilt, play in eliciting and escalating anger. In the skill-acquisition and rehearsal phase, clients are provided with a variety of behavioural and cognitive coping techniques, which they can then use to control their anger. Clients differ regarding their ability to use these techniques, so they are encouraged to consider what works best for them and to consolidate these strategies into a specific and individualized anger-control plan. The application and follow-through phase in Meichenbaums approach consists of arranging for transfer and maintenance of change from the therapeutic situation to the real world. Transfer is encouraged throughout the 12 weeks of treatment.
At the start of each session, for example, clients check in by describing an event during the past week that had produced an escalation of anger. Clients are encouraged to describe how they managed their anger by using one of the specific cognitive-behavioural strategies outlined in group. Lochman et al (2009) support that clients are presented with a basic conceptual framework for understanding their anger. Clients are taught to examine the cues indicating an escalation of anger. Cues are presented as belonging to four cue categories: physical, emotional, fantasies and images, and red-flag words and situations. Izard (1999) postulates that physical cues to anger escalation can be either internal or external. Internal cues include rapid heartbeat, tightness in the chest, and feeling hot or flushed.
External cues include clenched fists, a glaring stare or agitated pacing back and forth. Emotional cues are the other emotions that coincide with anger and further increase the escalation of anger. Baron (1999) concludes that for many clients, anger is a reaction to feeling hurt, shamed, or powerless. In these instances, anger is used to increase feelings of power and control. Other emotions indicating this loss of control may include fear, jealously, hurt, and humiliation. Fantasies and images can also indicate anger, and may include elicitors of anger, such as imagining that ones spouse is having an affair, or behavioural reactions following anger, such as mental rehearsals and fantasies of committing a violent assault.
Red-flag words and situations are the specific issues and events from an individuals past that may continue to elicit anger. For example, clients may react with anger when called a particular name they were teased with during their childhood. Teaching clients to self-monitor their anger is a second important goal of treatment. As described by Meichenbaum (1995), responses such as anger have been learned to the extent that they appear to occur spontaneously, without deliberate thought or control. Self-monitoring allows clients to understand the events and situations that elicit anger, the cues that indicate an escalation of anger, and the thoughts and cognitions that maintain and further escalate anger.
Lerner & Keltner (2004) proclaim that relaxation training is another specific behavioural technique available to clients. In this session the basic rationale for relaxation training is examined, and clients practice deep-breathing exercises and other basic techniques. They are encouraged to set aside time to practice these exercises. One of the difficulties in discussing the concept of theory is that it has layers of meaning. That is, there are not only different levels of theory but there are also overarching concepts like paradigm that are sometimes conflated with the notion of theory.
A pressure cooker is often used as a metaphor for anger, where anger builds up inside a person like steam inside a pressure cooker. Using this analogy, there are three ways to deal with the build-up of steam. One way is to keep the pressure inside the cooker until it explodes. A second way is reduce the pressure by periodically siphoning off some of the steam, as described using common terms such as venting and blowing off steam. The third and best way is to lower the flame and reduce the heat. Rather than stuff anger inside or expressing it outwardly, get rid of it. Stuffing anger harms the self. Expressing anger harms the self and others.
In conclusion, although frustration and a degree of anger are inevitable parts of life, individuals do not have to be victims of uncontrolled, intense, or frequent anger.