Dispelling Four Common Fears About Going to Anger Management
For a lot of people, the thought of going to meetings or to groups to talk about their problems is second only, perhaps, to getting a root canal on their list of “Things I Don’t Want To Do.” Common concerns are that they will be forced to reveal information, that they will be embarrassed or that their privacy will be violated. Other times people resent being the one to attend a class, thinking that “other people” are the ones who “need to learn a thing or two.”
While these worries are normal, they are usually not accurate. If you struggle with anger—meaning that when you are angry you tend to engage in behaviors that are damaging to your employment, your relationships or yourself—the longer you wait to address the problem the more problems you will have to address. Hopefully this article can help dispel some of the fears you may have about attending anger management classes.
First, in our classes, no one is forced to share or tell any information. Sure, we may encourage you to tell a little about your experiences or role play some new behaviors, but you always have the option to say, “no thanks, not right now” and you won’t be penalized for it.
Secondly, no one in class is there to embarrass you—in fact, they are probably there for similar reasons that you are. Another thing to think about, if we have done or said things we are not proud of (are embarrassed about), that probably means we could stand to learn some new behaviors so we can make better choices next time.
Third, your privacy is very important to us. In class you will only share your first name and whatever details you are comfortable with. Nobody is recording your story or what you talk about; the only records we keep are those of attendance, and even that information can only be given out at your request. All class members are expected to respect the privacy of all other members.
Finally, the idea that “other people” are the cause of our problems is a very tempting way to avoid taking responsibility. The truth is, when there are situations in our lives that happen repeatedly (for example, you have had trouble with your boss at your last three jobs), or if different people are sending us the same message (your wife, you mother, your kids all say you have a bad temper), the common denominator is…us. Ourselves. The best part about that is, we have the power to learn and to change ourselves.
So don’t let your fears stop you from getting the help you want and need. Anger management classes can be the first step towards better relationships, self-understanding and a more peaceful life.
Daybreak Counseling Service