Anger Therapy - Using Anger Well



"Anyone can become angry---that is easy.

But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree,

at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way

... that is not easy." (Aristotle)


Do you struggle with persistent, problematic anger?  If so, how would you describe it?

Is it…explosive.  A volatile temper or sudden loss of control?  Is it abrasive---an irritable, belittling or controlling attitude?  Is it inhibited---a suppressed rage, passive defiance, or punitive withdrawal?  Or is it some combination of all three?

Whatever form your anger takes, has it now reached a point where you must address it---where, if you do nothing, you may lose your job, your marriage, your family, or your peace of mind?

If so, the good news is that your  struggle with anger does not have to put your livelihood or marriage at risk.

You can learn to use the energy of your anger constructively.  You can learn to: 1/ Experience your negativity without weaponizing it; 2/ Channel your frustration into self-assertion, not aggression; and 2/ Employ your displeasure to build connection, not fuel conflict.

While this may not seem easy, it IS doable.  I should know, I struggle with anger, just like you.

How to Use Anger Well

Using Anger Well rests upon taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions in the face of aggravating life stressors.

The first step is learning to PAUSE.  When you PAUSE, you:

  • ACCEPT your disturbing feelings as they arise---you learn to be with them, rather than avoid or resist them.
  • And you learn to OBSERVE your inflammatory thoughts as thoughts, not facts---you learn to watch them, not automatically believe them (just because you think them) and not automatically obey them (just because you feel them strongly).

The second step is learning to PIVOT.  When you PIVOT, you:

  • CLARIFY who and what you value in your life and determine how you wish to live your life.
  • And you WILLINGLY TAKE ACTION in accord with your values , rather than dwell on 'unhelpful stories' about yourself, others, or your circumstances.


Using Anger Well is a set of experientially proven skills.  With regular practice, your problematic anger will begin to lessen.

During moments of distress, you will find yourself acknowledging upsetting feelings more openly,  defusing negative thoughts more quickly, and relinquishing unhelpful "self-stories" more easily.

During moments of strong displeasure, you will find yourself responding to others with relationship-strengthening attitudes more readily and choosing behaviors that reflect the kind of person you want to be more freely.

Michael Altshuler, LCSW, CGP

  (914) 478-7952
  21 Jefferson Avenue Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
  [email protected]

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