Group and Individual Anger Management Programs for Adults

Two anger management treatment options for Morris County, NJ

Our group and individual anger management programs blend cognitive-behavioral therapy with the principles of positive psychology: the knowledge that with the right skills and practice, you can successfully develop the ability to manage your anger even if you've struggled with it before.

What doesn't work? Counting to 10. Simply talking about how angry you feel. "Venting" by yelling or punching something -- in fact, studies show "venting" actually increases anger.

All of our anger management therapy options address:

  • How to recognize and control the physiological sensations of anger
  • Techniques for separating how you feel from how you think and act
  • New and effective techniques for de-escalating angry feelings
  • Successful ways to handle angry, upsetting or other negative feelings

You also learn about the origins and purpose of anger and how it can sometimes be useful or important as you learn how to handle upsetting feelings more effectively.

Call us with questions, to enroll in a program, or schedule your first individual appointment.

Six-Week Anger Management Skills Group

This comprehensive, short-term, intensive skills group teaches you new and practical techniques for:

  • Handling your reactions when you're angry or frustrated
  • Stopping the cycle of angry outbursts and actions that you regret later
  • Improving important relationships by changing how you deal with anger and frustration

This comprehensive anger treatment program is based on scientific research into what helps people control their anger.

It's useful for anyone with anger issues and can also be very helpful in protecting your sobriety if you're dealing with drug or alcohol addiction.

You'll regain control of your feelings and actions with skills you build through a combination of group and individual therapy:

  • One 60-minute group session per week for a minimum of six weeks.
  • Individual weekly appointments with an Ascend clinician, if needed
  • Medication consultation referral as appropriate

This program is especially helpful in addressing long-standing anger issues.

It can also help you guard against relapse and protect your sobriety if you're dealing with drug or alcohol addiction.

Individual Anger Management Therapy

One-on-one anger management counseling focuses on your specific mindset, triggers, and behaviors, and customized personal strategies and techniques for dealing with the root causes of your anger.

Anger: a familiar companion

Frustrated. Ignored. Trapped. Hurt.

Feelings of pain, resentment, and bitterness fester quickly into uncontrollable or explosive anger, hostility, outbursts, rage and aggression that seem impossible to contain.

Anger can feel like the monster under the bed.

Some live in fear of it. For others, ignoring the monster is part of drug addiction, alcoholism, substance abuse and substance misuse disorders.

Do you recognize yourself in these scenarios?

  • You're afraid of your anger -- sometimes it literally feels like you might explode
  • You've used drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, as a way to manage out-of-control anger, frustration or resentment
  • You've been furious with yourself for abusing drugs or alcohol, or for restarting old patterns of behavior even after years of sobriety
  • Life's daily challenges immediately spark intense anger, no matter how small
  • You're quick to anger and confrontation, even when you can't pinpoint a specific reason or you know you're overreacting to something minor
  • The consequences for your angry outbursts are severe -- for example, lost jobs, risking your probation, losing custody -- but you can't seem to change your behavior on your own
  • People you want to trust you and reach out to you, like your spouse or children, are afraid of you or avoid you
  • You've promised it'll be different next time, but...

What's behind out-of-control anger and frustration?

You may recognize some of these factors in your own life.

  • Family patterns as you were growing up -- your parents defaulted to anger, so that's what you learned
  • Feeling resentful or unheard about traumatic experiences in your life
  • Blaming other people for how you feel, because you don't know how to change your feelings or your circumstances yourself

Mental health issues can also contribute to uncontrolled anger or frustration. Examples include:

  • Anxiety, depression and other mood and adjustment disorders
  • Bipolar (manic/depressive) disorder
  • Antisocial, borderline personality disorder (BPD), and narcissistic personality disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder and intermittent explosive disorder

What's the connection between drugs, alcohol and anger?

Not all anger management clients have substance use issues, although many do. Many commonly abused substances -- especially marijuana, alcohol, and some prescription drugs -- have a calming or sedating effect. People start using them because they want to feel calmer, mellower, less stressed, less angry, less frustrated.

However, the root causes of these feelings still exist, since they haven't done anything to change them. Plus, for some people drugs and alcohol actually increase anger and aggression.

In either case, as their physical tolerance for drugs or alcohol increases but the negative emotions persist, they use more and more.

The result in both cases: drug or alcohol abuse, dependency and addiction, accompanied by angry, negative emotions and no alternative ways to improve those feelings.

Moreover, drugs and alcohol themselves tend to lessen our natural ability to control anger and frustration, as do changes in the brain that result from substance abuse.

The bottom line is that for many people, drug and alcohol abuse ratchet up anger -- and anger ratchets up drug and alcohol use.

Learning new ways to manage your anger is essential in protecting your recovery and sobriety. It's a very important tool for achieving the life goals that matter most to you.

Frequently-asked questions.

Is Ascend's program approved for court or employer situations?

Our program is suitable:

  • If your employer is requiring you to take an anger management program
  • If you're looking for anger management counseling in connection with deferred entry of judgment or deferred adjudication not related to domestic battery charges

You'll have an individually-assigned clinician. Upon request, we will provide you with proof of enrollment and completion at no additional charge.

Does anger management counseling really help?

In our experience, it's very helpful as long as:

  • You believe your behavior is a problem in your life
  • You're willing to learn new ways to improve it

I don't get angry very often, but when I do I really blow up. Is this pretty normal?

The important question is whether your anger is causing problems in your relationships at work, with family or with friends.

If it is, then it makes sense to learn new ways to handle it that don't cause problems.