anger management group therapy

What to Expect at Your First Anger Management Session

Anger is a healthy, normal part of everyday life. However, it can reach unhealthy levels in some people and become difficult to control. This can lead people to act out against themselves, others, or property. This process can be difficult for everyone involved.

The good news is that there is hope if you find yourself in this situation. Anger management sessions can help you learn to cope with problems in healthy ways. You can discover healthy outlets for your frustrations and learn to maintain healthy relationships.

One of the most difficult steps in the anger management journey is deciding to take the first class. Whether you decide to attend on your own volition or you have a court order, it can help to know what to expect in your first anger management session.

Know What Type of Session You’re Attending

Anger management can come in many different forms. Three common types of anger management sessions include:

In individual therapy, you and a counselor work one-on-one. You talk about your own experiences, and the professional helps you work through those emotions.

Group therapy is perhaps the most common form of anger management in popular media. In these sessions, several people who need help managing anger gather with one professional. Participants share their stories and feelings. They meet regularly and share their progress. Occasionally, the professional steers the conversation in a productive way.

Group classes are similar to group therapy in that they include several patients and one counselor. However, patients don’t freely share their emotions and the group does not meet regularly to share progress. Instead, the professional teaches a specific lesson pertaining to anger management.

Before you participate in anger management sessions, make sure you know which type of meeting you will attend. This will help you feel more prepared.

Understand the Ground Rules

Each group or counselor has unique rules for participation. However, you should generally expect to abide by a few basic guidelines:

  • Keep it anonymous. If you recognize someone from group therapy outside of the session, you do not “out” them.
  • What is said in group therapy should stay there.
  • While disagreements are OK, you should be respectful of all group members.
  • What you say to your counselor is confidential unless you pose a threat to yourself or others.

If you have any questions about the ground rules, be sure to ask your counselor.

Know Your Goals

While individual and group therapies have different structures, they use similar principles. First, patients learn to identify their triggers and the unhealthy behaviors that follow. Then, they learn to avoid some triggers when possible. Finally, patients come to understand how they can channel their feelings in more productive ways.

While the counselor will have goals for your treatment, you should also establish goals for yourself. For example, you may want to stop yelling at your children or repair your relationship with your partner. Tell your counselor about your goals.

If you’re ready to learn how to control your anger, contact LifeStance Health today. Our professionals can give you the care you need to meet your goals.

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