Can Couples Therapy Help with Anger Management? 

On the path to love, emotions will always have a strong impact, anger being one that is almost unavoidable. However, when anger goes unacknowledged it can become damaging. Unprocessed anger can harm both those who are carrying the active pain of their hurt and shaking the foundation of their relationships. Couples therapy can offer a different path, one in which partners can learn how to navigate their anger with support and develop more awareness around their needs alongside those of their relationship. In this article we will further explore how couples therapy can aid in the management of anger, the strengthening of one’s relationship, and in essence the potential betterment of one’s health. 

Understanding Anger in Relationships: 

Before addressing the potential benefits of couples therapy it is important to understand the role of anger. Anger is often misunderstood as a negative emotion, however, no emotion is negative, and they all have a purpose. Anger is vital for noting where felt injustices, threats, or frustration may reside. The experience of anger is significant, it moves one towards whatever is ailing them, helping them to gauge where their values reside or that they may need to implement boundaries. While anger is a natural response, how it is expressed and managed is more complicated, holding the ability to be constructive or harmful. Uncontrolled anger can steer couples towards conflict that feels bleak, full of resentment, and leads to a loss of trust within the dynamic. 

How Anger Shows Up in Relationships: 

When considering how anger shows up in relationships, it can appear in many different forms. In relationships, it can stem from unmet needs, unresolved issues, or differing expectations. Often though anger is found within an individual’s triggers, the ways anger gets expressed are deeply rooted in the coping mechanisms one has developed throughout their life. Patterns of anger repression or anger explosions can lead to immense strain implementing a cycle of resentment and negativity. This is why although anger is a natural emotion, there are many potential benefits to intentionally exploring the role it plays in your life and within your relationships. 

The Impact of Anger Management in Couple Therapy: 

Communication Enhancement:

Learning how to communicate effectively is a way in which partners can build a clearer understanding of each other and develop the foundation for feeling understood. Anger management training can help create a space for couples to learn how to express their emotions and the needs behind them without judgment or fear. Couples therapists help guide exercises and discussions that teach couples how to express their desires, fears, hopes, and grievances constructively. Aiding partners in the expression of their anger without the damaging impacts of avoidance or overwhelm of aggression. With the cultivation of active listening skills, compromise, and negotiation, couples can learn how to express their concerns and fight collaboratively without escalating into an argument where both leave feeling misunderstood. 

Healthier Coping Strategies: 

Not all coping methods are great for you or your partner, learning how to navigate disagreements and issues with the longer-term impacts in mind can have immense benefits. Dealing with anger requires coping strategies for managing feelings of overwhelm in ways that aren’t suppressing or venting. It may involve partners learning relaxation techniques, cultivating mindfulness practices, or implementing interventions that challenge negative thought patterns. There are many different ways to honor the feelings of anger and what it is signaling without getting lost in the emotion. Building a toolbox of coping mechanisms that work for you and your partner is part of the journey toward more connective experiences. 

Creating Shared Goals: 

A notable part of anger management for couples therapy is exploring the presence and implementation of collaborative goals and aspirations for their relationship and future. Working towards creating the skill of compromise and mutual understanding to aid the couple in the process of building a relationship that feels safe. Anger can often break down the sense of trust and openness to intimacy within the partnership. Therapy offers a space where couples can begin to restrengthen their bond and co-create a sense of trust in each other. The use of exercises that help partners access their emotions and identify what they need to forgive the hurt that has arisen, working towards a shared vision of their relationship aspirations moving forward. 

It is an intricate dance of navigating conflict and love. Counseling can help to provide tools that help those in relationships navigate the murky in-between that exists within every relationship. Anger management skills can be a resource for couples that facilitates room to rediscover each other within the disorienting upheaval of conflict, re-establishing trust, and creating a foundation of mutual understanding. With the development of clear communication, shared understanding, and recommitment to the relationship, couples can shift from being stuck in gridlock to finding their way towards feeling like a team. The goal of this work is not to make anger obsolete but to change the role it plays within the relationship. Allowing those in partnership to learn how to use their feelings to help them build a brighter future together. 

At Anger Management 818, we offer Anger Management courses catered to couples and relationships. We offer aner management classes in multiple locations including Glendale and Sherman Oaks. Reach out today to learn more and find the class that works for you.

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