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Cognitive Therapy for Anger Management

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Authored by Thea Tan in Mental Health
Published on 01-14-2009

There are many anger management programs that offer advice, strategies, and techniques in coping with anger. Individuals can choose whatever program suits their needs. One technique that is being successfully used by many to cope with anger is cognitive therapy.

In early 1970s, a psychiatrist named Dr. Aaron T. Beck developed an anger management program concentrating on problem solving. In problem-based therapy, the goal is to correct unhealthy behavior by specifically targeting the problem. It addresses the needs of those affected by anger.

Using this principle, Dr. Beck developed a behavior modification method, which he called Cognitive Therapy, now known as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). What led Dr. Beck to develop this approach was his frustration in seeing the slow progress that his patients make towards correcting their behavior. He then developed an anger management program that is more intense and will directly target the problem.

As the name implies, cognitive therapy targets a change in the thinking process of the patient. The patient may be burdened by negative thoughts and emotions causing behavioral problems. Dr. Beck recognized that negative thoughts are formed during the thinking process so modifying the thoughts of a person can lead to alleviating anger problems when they begin. Being able to cease the formation of negative thoughts will alter the emotions and behavior of individuals.

Techniques used in CBT are relaxation and assertiveness training. These prove CBT to be an efficient method of releasing negative thoughts and freeing oneself from anger. It has been proven as the most effective psychological treatment and it has become popular worldwide. Professionals from all over the world have adopted this method. Information about CBT is available online.

People suffering from behavioral problems avoid therapy because they deem it unnecessary and a sign of weakness. However, the contrary is evident since individuals who seek therapy are determined to do whatever it takes to change their behavioral problem. They are strong because they face their problems head on and they have made the correct decision to change.

Finding the right therapist can be difficult since one ought to choose someone approachable and easy to talk to. One important factor is building trust with the therapist, who must establish good rapport with the patient. The patient will definitely commit to therapy once trust is given.

Sharing and trusting are essential tools for successful CBT because through these the individual is able to understand his or her self better. Individuals will discover their inner strength to help cope with behavioral problems. Working on modifying their thinking process to eliminate negative thoughts will result to positive changes.

CBT may not yield immediate results because changing one’s behavior is never easy. As long as one has a therapist worth trusting and building a relationship with, then there will be progress.

Attending CBT or any anger management therapy is not a sign of weakness but of a strong desire and commitment to make lasting changes in one’s life. One must choose the appropriate anger management program to guarantee success in eliminating self-destructive fits of rage.

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