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We oftentimes begin an anger management treatment and end up talking about anxiety.
Rage attacks are really loud panic attacks. Once the rage dissipates, the panic comes online. People are naturally empathic to panic, while rage scares them and pushes them away. Rage attacks may be panic attacks laced with despair. No one ever helped you with your anxieties and you don’t expect anyone to show up now. Do you see how sad that is?
And we almost always end up talking about bullying. Even if you were never a target. Even if it was silent. A parent may rule the family with a smoldering rage that never erupts. The child’s mind brines in fear hormones for years and fantasizes what that rage is about and tries to steer clear. In the end, you might emulate it without knowing why. If we find memories of hyper-alertness to the insides of another instead of yourself, we need to unwind that. I will help you stop paying attention to the ghosts of your childhood and instead, know yourself now. We’ll honor the vigilance that got you through those times. You did that to survive. Now it’s time to think about what’s necessary and animate a compassion for the defenses you built, a gratitude for getting through, and an intimate knowledge of the insides that count: yours.
Which brings us to the internal tyrant that silently rules many of us.
It takes a while to see this entity and hear its voice, but it’s almost always present. Because you are a striver. You build things. When you grok that the tyrant wants something done, but you can’t get to it, that creates a tension inside. That tension breeds anxiety. If your partner asks you for something while your insides are battling this one out, whoa nelly, an outburst is likely. Our aim is not to solve that conflict, there will always be more to do than time to do it.
Our aim is to flesh out what exactly is being asked of you and whether or not it makes sense now given a complex adult life. Then you can make decisions based on your values and not on your caretaker’s mood in your eighth year.
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