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Derek S. Unconscious rage

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    Question
    What are some ways to deal with or release my unconscious rage ?
     
    Mac07 likes this.
  2. Derek Sapico MFT

    Derek Sapico MFT TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Good question. A lot of people struggle with this.

    It's one thing to be able to identify emotions like rage and quite another to express or release that rage in a healthy way.

    One of the things that I find the most helpful in processing rage is doing somatic work. When you encounter feelings of rage, direct your attention to your body instead of thinking your anger away. See if you can practice feeling the anger in your body and becoming familiar with the somatic experience of rage. A research study actually proved that human beings experience emotions physically before we become consciously aware of having these feelings. What can often happen is that our brains can employ all kinds of defenses designed to keep us away from feeling rage in a healthy and productive way. Instead of diving straight into thinking about your anger, try really feeling it in your body for a while. This is a great way that you can practice processing your rage and you can do it any time and anywhere without making a sound.

    The somatic experience of rage tends to be pretty uniform for most people. Basically, you start to feel like a volcano with all of the heat/pressure/redness/steam that comes with it. The sensation will start in your core and it will want to radiate up and out, through your extremities and your mouth. You may notice that your hands will begin balling up into fists or strangling the air and/or your jaw will become tense. These gestures are indicative of the violent impulses that inevitably come with rage. Rage is a very active emotion. It wants to do something. It is primal and it is pissed.

    Try to distill the rage from the anxiety that inevitably will come up when your are doing this. Rage does not always have to feel uncomfortable and it does not always have to feel overly tense.

    It can be helpful to use the ISTDP technique of utilizing imagery to get into contact with your rage. Of course this is just a fantasy and we would never act on these impulses in our real lives. Imagery about rage is a technique to help you to feel and express your rage without doing any harm to yourself or others.

    While working on manifesting your physical experience of rage, imagine what your rage would do to the person who you are angry with. Your anger does not need to be logical. Rage seldom is. Allow your rage to run it's course in your fantasy. Keep checking to see if there is still anger in your body and, if so, keep on visualizing what your rage would do to make the anger dissipate.

    Practice taking yourself through the imagery exercise while staying connected to the somatic sensations of your anger. This is pretty difficult and is much easier to do with the help of a psychotherapist trained in ISTDP. That said, I have had many clients learn how to use this method to process rage on their own with really positive effects on their symptoms.

    Give it a shot and see what you can do. If you need a good example of ISTDP imagery, listen to the audio consultations on Alan Gordon's Recovery Program, specifically the call with Dustin under the "Anger" section.

    Best of luck!

    -Derek


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

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  3. Wow - Really?!

    Wow - Really?! New Member

    Thanks for the suggestions!
    Heather
     
    Derek Sapico MFT likes this.
  4. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Derek, what should I do if I DO NOT FEEL any anger or rage, even when I should, by all the societal norms? I tried to make myself experience physical symptoms of anger when I think I should feel it, but with little success.
     
  5. Mac07

    Mac07 New Member

    Thanks Derek for your recommendation on doing Somatic work in regards to rage/anger!
     
  6. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much for this post and detailed explanation of how to stay connected to your body while letting the anger/rage do what it needs to (in our imagination). I'm encountering guilt when I do this, even though it is only in my imagination. Any thoughts on how to overcome this?
     

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