Maxine Gower, LCSW, NCPsyA - Boulder Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy in person or by phone, write or call (303) 875-5046

Boulder Anger Management & Working With Aggression

One of the defining features of human beings is that they can be aggressive towards themselves and others. Aggression has a role to play in protecting and sustaining us. It is always a part of conflict, which is something we all experience. Because it is such an integral part of the human experience, it needs to be integrated into our emotional vocabulary. Given this fact, how might one embrace this aspect of one's humanness and bring creativity and imagination to the situation? When one learns how to use aggression in the service of life, the whole subject becomes very interesting because rather than fear aggression, we may come to see it as an ally. This is one way to view anger management.

In some traditions aggression is seen as a life force and as such it deserves much understanding and attention. Have you noticed how much energy there is when one is angry or reactive in some way? Ever wondered where all that energy is coming from and what intelligence might belie it? What if one was able to harness that energy and use it in the service of life and life giving causes rather than for destructive or death oriented purposes? What if we were actually able to enjoy our aggression and accept it as an intrinsic and inseparable part of ourselves? What might it look like to enjoy one's sadistic or murderous or vengeful feelings, without ever harming oneself or others? Again, although untraditional, this can be part of anger management.

Developing skills in working with anger and other forms of aggression such as hate, revenge, murderous impulses etc, is possible and can best be learned in a therapeutic relationship. Please call my Boulder office if you wish to talk about working with aggression.

Please see my article entitled "Revenge: Interplay of Creative and Destructive Forces" for an elaboration of this perspective. A full length version of this paper was chosen by the American Association of Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW) for presentation by Maxine Gower, LCSW, NCPsyA, at their annual national conference in Los Angeles in March 2011.

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