What Do You Do When “Anger Management” Doesn’t Work?

Often, when someone displays frequent outburst of anger or rage, we tell them that they have an anger issue.  Frequent displays of anger can disrupt the harmony of the home.  It ruins your relationship with your spouse and children.  Even worse is when your children begin to become hostile towards each other, and display the same type of anger as the parent.  Then a once peaceful home turns into a battle zone- which isn’t good for anyone.

The Solution- Does It Work?

angerThe solution, in most cases, begins with recognizing that there is a problem that the person does not have the tools to adequately control.  Thus, being ill-equipped to deal with the matter and resolve it on one’s own, we recommend anger management courses to remedy the problem, and to give the individual coping skills.

It sounds like the perfect solution, and may work for some people.  However, there is a large majority who claim that the skills they learned just don’t work for them, and they can’t seem to break free.  Then, they are told to go to step two.

Step two is seeking professional help.  People who have angry outbursts express their frustration either physically or verbally.  If anger management doesn’t work, those that aren’t receiving relief get labelled either as having control issues, or are abusive (which may very well be).  Professional help is the perfect remedy to work out the problems existing in the home, and resolve where the frustration is emanating from.  This may work for some, but not all.  So where do you go from here?  Or what if your spouse doesn’t want help?

Going Into The Core Of The Anger Issue

Anger, control, and sometimes abuse can all be inter-related.  We are angry/frustrated because we don’t have control over a situation, or feel like we need control in some area.  Abuse can result in an attempt to regain control.  However, anger management doesn’t always work because sometimes it doesn’t deal with the real issue that is lying underneath the surface.  Sometimes the one displaying the anger doesn’t know why little things are setting them off.  All they know is it just does.  So how is a behaviour supposed to change when we don’t know the trigger for it in the first place?

Additionally, no one wants to admit they are controlling or abusive.  Many abusers are experts at masking their behaviour at counselling sessions, and never receive the help that they need.  And this is if abuse/control is really the core of the issue.

What Can Be At Play?

Tabitha Albright explores the possibility that someone can be in bondage to uncontrollable fits of anger.  She contrasts whether the anger stems from a character flaw (inability to deal with things), a generational curse (learned pattern of behaviour), or vexation by a demon.  Vexation by a demon is the most interesting of the scenarios as it is the most overlooked.  A demon harassing a person to become angry would be in the form of self-talk.  It is seen in people who analyze others, are perfectionists, and who continually have a dialogue going on in their head.  They tend to be critical of others, thus “lending an ear” to a demon that is nattering in their thoughts.  The demon initiates the negative thought pattern, because the mind has not been renewed to the Word of God.  Small things irritate them because the details appear so obvious (again a demon whispering in their ear).  Finally comes the explosion.


Relief from anger is possible.  We just need to identify what exactly is at play.  Not everything is cut and dry, and sometimes we need to think outside of the box in order to move into freedom.

More on this topic and others in our next issue of Faith Filled Family Magazine coming out on December 27, 2018.

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