Learning how to manage anger – Tom’s story of how therapy helped him

“I used to get road rage when driving. I used to get angry at work and get into shouting mode in meetings. I used to get angry a lot. Looking back, so much of my behaviour was unacceptable. At the time though it felt like justifiable revenge for an imagined offence against me – the type of revenge that deliberately hurts someone. My anger seemed natural and reasonable. Now when I stop to look back at a past incident, be it road rage or meeting rage, I regret what I did.” Tom

Driving with confidence: overcoming fear of the road

Whether you’ve had a bad driving experience in the past, or you find yourself feeling anxious on the road, just being behind the wheel can cause some people to experience severe anxiety. Often, this is due to an accident, where people lose their road confidence completely and avoid getting behind the wheel again. Moreover, a nervous driver can actually increase the risk of accidents, so it’s really important to overcome your fears, so you can feel confident when you are on the road. Being able to drive gives you the ability to be independent. Therefore, when you lose your driving confidence, this often results in a loss of independence too.

Lifting depression and overcoming anxiety

When Phillip came to see Mark, our experienced therapist, it wasn’t difficult to understand why he was suffering from depression and anxiety. In the previous two years he had experienced significant, life-threatening health problems. A restaurateur, his livelihood was in his words ‘slowly killing’ him. He had experienced two traumatic bereavements, which while some years ago continued to affect him. And his view of himself was far from positive. In fact Phillip described himself as ‘a mistake’. In the month prior to seeing me he had considered suicide. ‘I’m on antidepressant medication,’ he told me, ‘but it’s not working.’ It’s interesting how people come to choose their therapist. When I asked him why he chose me, he replied because of my photo. “You looked kind,’ he said, ‘and your type of support – Human Givens Therapy – that really appealed to me, too.”

Dealing with Unresolved Issues from the Past – Conversations With Impact

As we age and begin to lose loved ones from our lives, unresolved issues have a tendency to surface. Often, problems arise from past conflict between spouses, or parents and children, which were never brought to a close or effectively dealt with at the time. Sometimes, such issues can lay hidden until we are faced with a difficult or traumatic situation. Sadly, it’s not until we lose someone, or we have to start caring for their needs, that long-standing issues start to emerge. If you suddenly find yourself in the role of ‘carer’, you may experience a mix of emotions including sadness, guilt, anger, resentment and even bitterness, despite your genuine love for that person. These emotions can turn into anxiety issues, an inability to deal with stress, or you may find yourself suffering from low self-esteem or depression.

How does your brain deal with a difficult trauma?

We know there are mechanisms in our brains and bodies for processing – getting rid of – trauma because many people often fully or significantly recover from all types of trauma. Sometimes these mechanisms are explained in concrete, scientific terms e.g. the interplay between different parts of the brain, and sometimes they appear to defy explanation when trauma disappears, as if by magic. What’s not in doubt though is the fact that mechanisms do exist. This article looks at examples from my own therapeutic practice to better understand the way our brains deal with trauma.