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Anger, and how trauma-focused therapy can help

Why trauma-informed therapy?

It has been my experience that approaching any topic that a client present with a trauma informed lens can be therapeutic. Let us take the topic of anger for example.


What is anger?

Simply put, anger is a secondary emotion. What do we do when we are angry? We can yell at someone, swear at them, become physical, or avoid someone and walk away. Either action results in either getting someone away or staying away. When our bodies feel threatened, our muscles begin to constrict, and this sends a signal to our brain that we are not safe. If we do not listen to this warning system, our brain will shut down the Pre-frontal Cortex (where decision making and rational occurs) and the Amygdala ramps up. Our Amygdala is an almond-shaped structure in our brain that is about emotion and emotion memory.

Though on the surface it exhibits as anger, underneath that layer is often fear or feeling unsafe. Trauma-informed therapy looks into instances where things such as anxiety, depression, substance use popped up and investigates why those behaviours were adaptive for the individual at that point in time. Trauma-informed therapy can be gentle, includes psychoeducation, is evidence-based, and can help a client understand their past. In my practice, I encourage clients to tune in to their body’s warning system and offer tools for self-regulation. If you are curious if therapy is right for you, I encourage you to book a consultation now.


Written by Farhana Adatia, MACP, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), CCTS-I

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