Welcome to my podcast, The Wellness Project with Des. On today’s episode, I speak with Patrick Monette a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Trauma Specialist.

Patrick has his own private practice where he works with adults that have a history of trauma and experience anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Through Patrick’s work, he realized many people have an unhealthy relationship with their anger. He explains that though anger is a natural emotion there is a lot of judgment and stigma about being angry.

According to Patrick, anger management has been around for thousands of years, and it’s mentioned by Greek and Roman Philosophers. Through his work, Patrick receives many referrals for clients struggling with anger from family court, probation officers, even the loved ones of those that struggle with extreme anger. Patrick explains that anger management has evolved to be more related to legal charges.

During our conversation, Patrick explains the difference between anger and excessive anger, how it looks, and how they impact a person’s life in different ways. Anger isn’t just anger, it’s a spectrum and there are contributing factors as to why people struggle with their anger. With clients, Patrick works to assess where the anger comes from, it’s contributing factors, and how it manifests problematically in the client’s life.

Though anger is the presenting emotion, there is usually something else going on underneath the anger. Patrick and I talk about the Anger Iceberg. This diagram as well as Patrick’s cake analogy perfectly demonstrate how other emotions are beneath the surface. Patrick explains the importance of identifying underlying emotions and expressing them appropriately.

Though anger is a normal emotion, it can cause many issues in one’s life if the anger is expressed in excessive ways. Patrick explains that many people have an unhealthy relationship with anger and even confuse assertiveness for anger. He explains that many people are even resistant to conflict resolution because they are not clear about what it is and how it can help their relationships. He explains that “Anger is energy and we have to get it out.”

If you or someone you know struggles with anger then listen to this episode to learn about healthy ways to express anger, how to develop a healthy relationship with your anger, and how to identify the underlying emotions.

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