Steve Lehrman: Your Therapist, Your Ally

Anger: It tries to defeat us


Anger.  It plays havoc with our lives.  Anyone who's felt it already knows what neurological studies are telling us: that we have access to much less of our intellect and reasoning once anger rears its head.  You'll hear people say, "He's not himself when he's angry."   In a fundamental way, that's true-- we don't have access to our complete, loving, wise selves when we are angry or in a rage.  And men in relationships often find it difficult to manage their feelings.

Usually, anger is a signal that something is going on underneath.  When you feel you want to scream at the driver who cut you off, in the moment, it feels like an injustice has occurred and you're simply expressing your righteous indignation.  But later, when you cool off, you realize-- my life isn't really about that moment with that driver, who is, after all, a stranger, albeit a stranger who doesn't obey the rules of the road.  When you and your spouse disagree over "who's right," you can both find yourselves triggered.

So, what's going on underneath?  Is there a critical voice inside you?  A shaming voice?  Do you feel rejected, or judged or ignored?  And where does that voice come from?

First, we learn techniques to notice the anger, and if necessary, pull over to the side of the road (in your day).  Slow down your breathing.  Notice and accept that it's anger, without condemning yourself for being angry.  You're still lovable, even if you don't love that you just lost it for a minute. Once you can take care of yourself, slow yourself down, and let the anger dissipate, you have room to be curious.  What has me wound up?  What is behind and beneath this anger?  We learn about messages we were taught at the very beginnings of our lives, by adults, some of whom were very well-intentioned.
And when you have room to be curious while taking care of yourself, all kinds of hopeful possibilities open up for you and the people who love you.

Call (213) 316-6325, to start working on your issues with anger, and find acceptance and hope through my unique therapeutic approach.