So what is anger, anyway?

We talk about anger as a thing, but there are several theories suggesting that anger can actually be divided up into a few different things; predominantly anger and rage. Anger is generally considered to be a usual and healthy response to boundary incursion. It can often be a surprisingly gentle emotion. Put another way, when someone crosses a line, we sometimes feel a natural urge to want to protect that line. That's anger.

Rage, however, doesn't feel the same. It is sometimes referred to as the red mist. Research shows that we behave quite differently during expressions of rage and expressions of anger. Even our body language is actually very different, despite how similar the two emotional responses are often considered to be. Rage has a power and a force which can consume us, can confuse us, and can leave us feeling like we're being attacked from all sides. Sometimes, when in the grip of rage, we go into a place of numbness and feel a disconnection from everyone and everything which is important to us. It is in this state, that we are able to behave in ways we might never normally even consider behaving.

 

I spent over a year researching these feelings, so I've studied them quite a bit. But I also know them, because I have them. In fact, it was because I wanted to better understand my relationship with my own rage, that I decided to do my post graduate research on feelings of shame around anger and rage in men.

 

One thing I have found to be true, is that there is not much cultural acceptance of men struggling with rage-related issues. There's not much compassion out there for the struggle we face when we feel overwhelmed by rage. I believe that this is due, in part, to how difficult it can be for our nearest and dearest to be around us when we are struggling in these moments. But I wonder how might it feel for you to read that we are usually not to blame for why we feel and act this way? We may be held accountable for our actions during outbursts of rage, certainly, but what if we learned that much of how we struggle with rage was started whilst we were toddlers? And that because of how our bodies 'remember' learned reactions to stressful situations we continue to flare up, without always knowing why and often feeling dreadful about it afterwards without being able to understanding what happens to us at these times.

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A strong component of much of the therapy which is generally available to us to work with anger and rage, is often based around encouraging us to subdue our anger. How many times are we urged to "count to 10 backwards" or to "go to our happy place"? These and other practices can be useful in the moment, but what about really working on these issues in a deep and significant way? Not just finding methods to help us to get on, but to better understand what's happening with us.

 

Working with me, the opportunity is facilitated for you to look deeper. It is a chance to work towards understanding what is going on for you during these expressions of rage, and it's a chance to work with someone who knows how it feels because they have been there and have gone through their own similar experiences. Imagine how it might be to discuss this struggle knowing you're not being judged, because the person you're talking to has struggled in a similar way. Imagine being able to relax in the knowledge you have been completely accepted and are really appreciated, within a therapeutic environment?

I am a humanistic therapist and my work is firmly grounded in person-centred practice. I draw on my academic research, my own unique insight, and current academic literature on the subject.

There is no judgement here. I am a man, working with my own anger and rage and I get it. This isn't quick work, but it can be life-changing, as it continues to be for me!

If any of this speaks to you and you'd like to know more, then get in touch via our contact page.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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