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Does My Teen Need Anger Management Treatment?

a teen showing clear signs of anger issues could benefit from a teen anger management treatment program

Anger is part of our innate fight or flight response and comes with a sudden surge of adrenaline and energy that can be hard not to give into, especially for children and teens whose impulse control isn’t fully developed. While angry outbursts can feel good at the moment, they usually result in more significant problems. Parents and teens need to understand that anger is not a problem, but how it is managed can be.

The teen anger management program at Imagine Nampa helps teens and families understand the stages of anger and learn to manage it in beneficial ways. At Imagine Nampa, we specialize in providing outpatient mental and behavioral health treatment for teens ages 12 to 17 in a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment. Through a thorough intake and assessment, we can develop a treatment program to address your teen’s unique needs.

We know that it can sometimes be challenging to know whether or not your child is exhibiting typical teen angst or if there is a more significant issue, and we are here to help. Contact our team at 888.503.4604 to see if a teen anger management program is right for your child.

Learn About the Anger Cycle in Teen Anger Management Treatment

Most people express anger in three ways:

  1. Outward aggression
  2. Inward aggression
  3. Passive aggression

Outward aggression is the type that is typically viewed as problematic and that parents find difficult to manage. More common among boys, outward aggression can include physical violence, destructiveness, antagonism, or hostility.

Inward aggression or “stuffing” anger is more common among teenage girls and can be equally damaging. Sometimes referred to as “smiling depression,” teens appear to be doing well but are internally suffering. Feelings of guilt, shame, and self-criticism often lead to self-harm and eating disorders.

Passive aggression, also more typical in teenage girls, is characterized by snide remarks, sarcasm, and “mean girl” behaviors.

Teen anger management treatment begins with helping teens develop an awareness of the types of anger expression and an understanding of the anger cycle. While it may seem that anger has a sudden onset, there are specific stages, which are:

  • Triggering event – The thing that provokes the anger response
  • Negative thinking – The beliefs or interpretations about the trigger, which are often irrational
  • Negative emotions – The feelings associated with negative thinking
  • Physical symptoms – The bodily responses to negative emotions, such as clenched fists, a racing heart, or flushed cheeks
  • Behavioral reactions – The responses to the thoughts, feelings, and physical symptoms, such as shutting down, fighting, or acting out

Teens need to learn that behavioral reactions are a response to the sequence of thoughts, feelings, and physical symptoms rather than the triggering event itself. Further, their behavioral reactions, particularly aggressive ones, can be triggering events for others, perpetuating the cycle of anger.

Signs Your Teen Can Benefit from a Teenage Anger Management Program

Parents must understand that yelling, crying, name-calling, and arguing are normal teen reactions to anger as long as these don’t escalate into rage or violence. Of course, all teens are susceptible to occasional inappropriate outbursts. However, if your teen regularly demonstrates red flag signs of an anger issue, it is best to seek professional help.

Signs your teen can benefit from a teenage anger management program include:

  • Excessive arguing with friends, teachers, parents, or siblings
  • Physical fights at home or school
  • Verbal threats
  • Violence in romantic relationships
  • Behavior motivated by revenge or payback
  • Bullying
  • Cruelty to animals, younger siblings, or others who can’t defend themselves
  • Physical violence
  • Self-harm, including substance abuse
  • Property destruction
  • Irrational thinking and behavior
  • Excessive emotional outbursts or rage

Excessive anger and defiance in teens are usually a cry for help. A teenage anger management program helps teens learn healthy ways to express anger and cope with angry feelings and understand and process the emotions behind their anger.

Learn More About Anger Management for Teens at Imagine Nampa

Anger is a normal reaction, and teen anger issues arise for many reasons. The challenges of adolescence can be overwhelming. Teens struggle to balance gaining autonomy and independence with relying on their parents for guidance and support, which can be frustrating. At Imagine Nampa, teens learn to uncover the genuine emotions behind their uncontrolled anger through our comprehensive day treatment programs, which include anger management. Contact us at 888.503.4604 or via our online form to learn more about teen anger management.