We all get upset. We all have to deal with angry emotions, at times. But what happens when anger is a constant issue? How to you use Gestalt therapy to change the way you see anger triggers and then react to them?
First, let us address what anger really is.”In any biological, psychological or sociological investigation whatever, we must start from the interacting of the organism and its environment.” [Perls, Hefferline & Goodman 1973 p. 274] In fact, Fritz Perls described the organism-environment field thus: “No individual is self-sufficient; the individual can exist only in an environmental field. The individual is inevitably, at every moment, a part of some field. His behaviour is a function of the total field which includes both him and his environment. The nature of the relationship between him and his environment determines the human being’s behaviour…The environment does not create the individual, nor does the individual create the environment…Each is what it is, each has its own particular character, because of its relationship to the other and the whole.” [Perls (1976), p.81: ]
Anger usually is the result of an action or an indirect action. Anger can cause rage, sadness, and even break relationships. And understanding the cause root of our anger is important because if we don’t understand it, if we don’t see it for what it truly is and how it impacts us, our environments can become toxic- causing a host of mental and physical issues.
For example, if you are angry about a co-worker landing a promotion you worked so hard for, you may perceive yourself as angry towards you co-worker. By using Gestalt therapy, I help you realize the root cause of that emotion and the emotions (like jealously, hate, disappointment, etc.) that follow. Together, we look at the cause of your anger. Are you really mad someone else got the position? Or, are you mad that you didn’t get the position? Why do you think the other person won the promotion? Why do you think you didn’t? What environmental factors, like office politics or personal schedule limitations, do you feel had a role in the decision your boss made to pass you over and select someone else? These types of questions need to be asked because letting anger turn to jealously and then turn into a toxic working environment for you and everyone else in your office.
I help my patients identify the true nature of a situation and the root cause of their emotions. Sometimes what we identify as anger isn’t truly anger, making our reactions skewed or incorporate- which causes further misunderstandings and challenges within our personal and professional lives.
If you want to know more about how I can help you, click here.