Anger Management Counseling in Tulsa with Individual Sessions
Alina Morrow is the ONLY Certified Anger Management Specialist Level II in Tulsa County.
Alina Morrow, LPC is a Certified Anger Management Specialist II (CAMS II) and member of the National Anger Management Association. NAMA approved CAMS II counselors are recognized by the court systems in all 50 states as qualified anger management specialists able to offer court mandated anger management classes.
In a society constantly challenged by random or planned acts of violence and cruelty, anger has become a synonym for aggression. Due to the anger/aggression association, people confuse anger (which is a feeling) with how they will behave or react when angry. This confusion is particularly reinforced when anger is exhibited as verbal belligerence, emotional abuse (mocking, attacking, and belittling,) or physical violence (which includes damaging objects/property in close proximity or hitting people).
Based on this premise, society does not tolerate anger, and those affected by it are told there is something wrong with them. Consequently, they are often in denial about the severity of their problem, and are less likely to reach out for help. Frequently, being in denial perpetuates destructive behavior which can have legal implications and lead to mandatory anger management counseling.
The negative view people have toward anger affects their understanding of what is really happening to them and why they struggle with anger. Most will see it as a personal flaw or character defect. They will try to explain it through genetic predispositions in the attempt to maintain a positive self-image. (My father was an angry man, therefore, I am angry too).
Anger has nothing to do with genes or your personality or character. Anger is a natural, universal feeling present when we are dealing with long-term stress or frustration; when faced with a threatening situation; or when personal needs are not being met or fulfilled. It can be a learned behavior, as well as a coping or a defense mechanism. Therefore, treating anger as a problem that just needs to be eliminated is an unrealistic goal.
How to recognize if anger is a problem for you
There are two ways of showing anger: overtly (outwardly) and covertly (inwardly).
Anger expressed outward (overt) is easier to identify in someone's behavior and attitude. The individual will display their distress and frustration by being verbally and physically aggresive. Simply said, they take their anger out on other people.
Anger expressed inward (also known as passive aggressivness) is harder to identify because the person will internalize their frustration acting as if things don't bother them. People that internalize their anger tend to think they don't get angry or don't let things get to them. Suppressing frustration and hurt feelings is a sign of denial rather than proof that anger is not a problem. Usually, someone that stuffs their frustration down inside, will externalize it later in through intense outbursts.
Going back to the question of how you can tell if anger is a problem for you, there are several signs that will help you identify and recognize this problem.
One reliable sign is the feedback you receive from other people. Family and friends will be the first to tell you through comments that your anger is more intense and persistent than just moments of being snappy or in a bad mood. They may even reveal that they fear you. Although painful to hear this from dear people, those around us are able to see more clearly than you how well you cope with frustration.
Another indicator is the frequency to which you respond to stress, frustration, and pressure by getting angry. Those that tend to suppress their hurt, frustration, and anguish have a hard time recognizing and being aware of how often they are on the edge and become snappy. That is due to their high threshold for disavowing their hurt feelings. This high sense of denial prevents people from recognizing how much stress they are under because they condition themselves to ignore it and "move on."
Another sign that anger is a problem in your life is to examine the intensity of your reactions when faced with an anger trigger. If you do any of the following, anger is a problem for you:
- You cannot recall what you did when really upset (black out)
- You do things out of your character
- You say cruel or mean things to others without meaning it
- You hit or damage things out of frustration
Regardless of how anger is being displayed (outwardly or inwardly), it takes a toll on our physical and mental health, impairs relationships, and decreases our overall productivity and quality of life.
Goals of Anger Management Counseling and Education
My anger management approach is based on the following premises:
- Anger is a natural and normal emotional reaction in the presence of a real or perceived threat, aversive event, insult, injustice, or frustration.
- Anger is caused by perceived feelings of helplessness and need to control situations, people, and circumstances.
- Anger signals a blockage in meeting personal wants, needs, and goals, or that something is wrong.
- Anger fosters personal growth and significance, improves relationships, and motivates people to accomplish personal goals when it is expressed in a healthy manner (Whats Good about Anger, Third edition, L. Hoy, T. Griffin.)
- Anger is good when used as an agent for change.
In my clinical work, I focus on providing my clients with the knowledge of how to effectively deal with anger and not to eliminate it completely. Completely eliminating anger is an impossible goal as well as a dangerous one. Our anger is a sign that something inside our heart and mind is not right and we need to pay attention not ignore it.
So how can it be possible to effectively cope with anger without eliminating it? For most people anger management is the answer. Anger management is a process not an event, so the initial step will focus on helping the client understand, reduce and control the emotional and physiological arousal associated with being angry. The second step focuses on learning and increasing respectful and appropriate communication skills by using assertive communication and conflict resolution techniques. The final step focuses on recognizing and becoming aware of personal goals and needs, and learning healthy behaviors to accomplish those goals and fulfill ones needs.
What to Expect?
The main trend when it comes to anger management is to attend classes. This is a standard format of people being grouped together with the intent of receiving education on the topic of anger. The advantage of this arrangement is that you can be around other people that struggle with similar issues and the information can reach a large number of people at the same time. The disadvantage is that the individual needs of each person in the group are not addressed. Receiving information about the mechanisms of anger and coping skills does not automatically result in personal changes.
Since anger management is an investment in your overall well-being and future, I want to provide you the opportunity to accomplish that. Therefore, I offer a more personalized, individually tailored format through one-on-one sessions. This format allows the clients to have my undivided attention when working on the specific problems associated with their anger. It combines the educational aspect with exploring how this actually looks like in their life. Clients have the opportunity to explore, in a confidential setting, past and current life circumstances responsible for their struggles. The skills to cope with anger will be tailored to their needs and the time in between sessions can be used to practice new behaviors. Since anger is usually just the tip of the iceberg, and it signals that there is more under the water, clients can feel free to be themselves and not fear judgement. The one-on-one session also facilitates personal development at each clients pace without having to accomplish everything in a certain time frame.
Who can benefit from this format?
1). Clients that are private in nature and do not feel comfortable with the group format.
2). Clients that need privacy and confidentiality due to their career, jobs, or social position.
3). Clients that have challenging work or personal life schedules. This format allows clients to set their own time and day when they want to meet with the therapist, rather than depending on an pre-established schedule that most classes have.
Contact Alina to Receive Anger Management Counseling
Page Last Updated: October 30, 2016