Lorraine Kerr-Atkinson M.S. NCC, LPC

9090 S. Ridgeline Blvd, Suite 220 Littleton, CO 80129

Serving Highlands Ranch


Anger Treatment

anger-therapyAre you irritable and angry?

Are you tense or on edge a lot? Do your loved ones cringe when you get upset, cranky, or grumpy? Do you wish you could be even-tempered, peaceful, and calmly assertive?

Has anyone ever called you a bully or a hot-head? Do others complain that you are critical, rigid, or negative? Do you find yourself snapping, raising your voice, or swearing when your focus is interrupted or when an unexpected obstacle or difficulty arises? Maybe a loved one has told you that they feel like they are “walking on eggshells” because they are afraid to say the wrong thing to you. Perhaps you have even lost a relationship or a job due to your temper.

Maybe people are always telling you to “calm down,” “take it easy,” or “relax.” Perhaps you try to let things slide, but find yourself “exploding” with irritability or “losing it” instead. Do you wish you could just let things go? Maybe you are tired of apologizing or saying irate words that you regret.

If You are Tired of Erupting, There is Hope!

You are not the only person to struggle with anger. Everyone gets angry from time to time. We all have moments when we “lose our cool.” The story goes that when the peaceful Buddha was asked if he would kill anything, he replied he would kill anger.

A lot of angry people would agree with the Buddha. They wish that they could get rid of their anger forever because, in a short amount of time, anger can be hugely destructive; abuse, murder, and war all have their roots in anger. However, as much as you would like to never get angry again, the truth is you can never be entirely rid of your anger. In fact, trying to get rid of your anger may make it worse!

One of the ways that angry people try to control their temper is to suppress their anger. Your hope may be that if you ignore your irritation, your anger will disappear. The reality is, the more you suppress your anger, the more likely your temper will come out in a way that you don’t want. Imagine chucking rocks down a volcanic chute with the idea of suppressing the lava and steam. Instead of stopping the volcano, you have simply given the volcano more to spew! It is the same with anger. You may feel discouraged from wrestling with your anger and losing, but you do not have to fight your anger alone.

What if Instead of Being Your Worst Enemy, Anger was Your Guide?

Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, offers anger treatment that helps you begin to create a new relationship with your anger. We don’t try to help you get rid of your anger; we help you begin to approach your anger with a fresh perspective and new tools. Although anger can be destructive when acted on impulsively, anger can also be a gift. Anger tells us when a boundary has been violated. Anger gives us energy to confront something that is hard or needs changing. Anger can also remind us that we have deeper feelings or point to core values. At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, we help learn to listen to your anger and begin to respond in new way.

Anger can sometimes become a catchall for angry people. It sounds counterintuitive, but many angry people have a hard time setting boundaries and speaking about their more vulnerable or deeper emotions. You may find yourself using anger to set a boundary, assert yourself, cover-up a more difficult emotion, or even control others.

At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, we help you begin to learn how to assert yourself calmly. We help you begin to become aware of, tolerate, and express the deeper emotions that sometimes underlie anger. Anger can become a guide to helping you notice when you need to speak up or when you need to let go of control or get quiet and explore the deeper emotion that may be present.

Although you may be thinking that anger treatment can help you begin to rein in your anger, you may have some questions or concerns.

“I don’t have the money to spend on anger treatment.”

The cost of anger treatment is small compared to the cost of doing nothing. Anger is one of the most expensive problems around. Anger not only costs our society large amounts of money, it can leave individuals and families devastated. Divorces, custody suits, law suits, domestic violence classes, safe driving classes, lost jobs, abuse, hospital bills…the cost of not treating anger can be enormous.

One of the biggest costs of anger is your self-esteem. You may win arguments by using anger, but you never win the battle because anger almost always makes you wrong, even when you are right. Step out of the role of the “bad guy” and invest in yourself and a calmer, happier future.

“My husband hit me. Should he call you for treatment?”

Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, does NOT work with individuals that are accused of domestic violence, abuse, or road rage. Your husband needs to attend court-approved courses that specifically address domestic violence. In the meantime, please get yourself to a safe place and seek help. There are good programs that help women who find themselves in a domestic violence situation. You do not have to put up with abuse.

“I just got a ticket and need to show the court that I am getting anger management treatment. Can you help me?”

No. You will need to attend a court-approved course that addresses your issues.

“I’ve gotten treatment for my anger before, and nothing works.”

The reality is that anger treatment involves more than just applying one or two techniques whenever you want. To change your relationship with anger, you have to change your life. You will need to work on and apply what you use every day. There is no quick fix for anger because you are literally changing the neuronal pathways in your brain and your habitual behavior.

With Support, You Can Begin to Feel Calmer Instead of Out-of-Control

At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, LLC, we help you learn tools that can begin to cool and calm your anger. We use mindfulness to help you become aware of how your anger works. We help you begin to notice and become aware of the ways your body and thoughts warn you that you are angry even before you even start to feel an angry emotion. Our anger treatment can help you start to learn how to work with and calm the physical sensations of anger before they are overwhelming. We help you notice and work with the thoughts that can trigger angry responses.

At Mountain Light Psychotherapy, we also offer existential processing groups that can help you to slow down and experience your anger in a new way or experiment with new behavior. While these groups are not exclusively anger oriented, participants have stated that they find the group process powerful, supportive, and even transformative for working with anger.

Facing your angry behavior can feel like you are confronting a towering inferno. I know what it is like to feel discouraged and helpless, and I am here to help guide and support you across the burning coals.

If you are sick of having irritability or anger control your life, and if you are ready to begin to live your life more calmly, peacefully, and with greater acceptance, then feel free to call me at 720-437-0776. I invite you to ask questions or set up a free phone consultation. I look forward to participating in your search for a more tranquil and happier life.