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Explains anger, some possible causes and how it can make you feel and act. There's practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support. This includes advice for friends and family.

Mae'r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg. This link will take you to a Welsh translation of this page.

What help is available for anger?

There are various treatments available that can help you with your anger problems. This page covers:

It may be that your difficulties with anger are related to a mental health problem or traumatic experiences. If this is the case, you might find that treatment and support for this also addresses your anger. See our A-Z of mental health for information on treatments and support for different diagnoses and experiences.

Young People Chatting In Bathroom

Under 18? Read our tips on anger for young people

It felt good to be able to comfortably explain where I am coming from and what triggered my anger, without worrying about being judged.

Talking therapies and counselling

Talking therapies and counselling involve talking about your problems with a trained professional, such as a counsellor or psychotherapist. They can help you explore the causes of your anger and ways to manage it. This may help you understand your feelings and improve your responses to situations that make you angry.

There are different types of talking therapies which might be able to help you cope with or manage your anger.

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is highly structured short-term talking therapy. It examines how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours affect each other. It also aims to teach you practical skills to change this. CBT is the most commonly offered talking therapy on the NHS. You could also try to learn CBT techniques by yourself using self-help books from your local library, or free, online apps.
  • Counselling is a treatment where you might talk through a specific issue. For example, outbursts of anger with your partner or in the workplace. And try to understand how you could manage those situations differently. 
  • Psychodynamic therapy often lasts longer than counselling and tends to go deeper into past experiences. Your focus here may be on learning more about yourself to help you understand why you express your anger the way you do. Or why certain situations make you angry.

For more information about different kinds of talking treatments and how they can help, see our pages on talking therapies.

Talking, talking, talking over many years has helped immensely. Now I don't bottle it all up inside.

How do I access these treatments for anger?

To access most treatments, the first step is usually to talk to your GP.

In some areas, you can also self-refer for counselling through NHS Talking therapies.

Some workplaces, higher education institutions and local charities offer free or low-cost counselling services to their employees, students or local residents.

You could try searching for a private course or therapist specialising in anger. You can use the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy's (BACP) website to search for accredited therapists near you. Unfortunately, this can be expensive so may not be possible.

Some private therapists offer a sliding scale of payment, depending on your circumstances. So, it may be worth checking their website or contacting them to see if this is something they can do.

See our pages on talking therapies for more information about private therapy.

You can also see our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem for tips on how to talk to your doctor about your mental health.

Anger when trying to seek support

Accessing treatment and support can be challenging. You might experience setbacks or delays. It's understandable that you might feel frustrated or angry about this – especially if you don't feel you're getting the help you need. Or if you're not being listened to.

If you feel you've been unfairly refused treatment, or treated badly, see our pages on complaining about health and social care

I get angry when I don't get the help I need. That worsens my mental health so I feel more anxious and frustrated.

Anger management programmes

These are a specific kind of talking therapy for people who struggle with anger issues. They often involve working in a group or one-to-one sessions. They may use a mixture of counselling and CBT techniques. You can try:

  • NHS anger management courses. Many NHS Trusts run free local anger management services – you can ask your GP what's available near you.
  • Local Mind anger management courses. Some local Minds also provide free counselling or anger management services. Contact your local Mind directly to check whether they offer anger management services. 
  • Online self-help. Some organisations have produced online self-help guides for managing anger. See our page on useful contacts for more information.

Help for abusive and violent behaviour

If your anger means you're acting in an abusive or violent way, it's important to get help. You might feel worried that asking for help will get you in trouble. But it's often the most important first step towards changing your behaviour. You can contact:

  • Your GP. They can talk through your options with you and refer you on to any local services. In many areas, the NHS, social services or your local council will run programmes to help perpetrators of domestic abuse change their behaviour.
  • Respect runs a phoneline offering advice, information and support on 0808 802 4040. The phoneline is open from Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. It's for anyone who is concerned about their use of violence or abuse towards their partner and for those supporting them. You can also email [email protected]. Or use Respect's online live chat on Thursdays 2pm to 4pm. 
  • The Freedom Programme runs online and in-person courses for anyone who wants to change their abusive behaviour.
  • The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) runs courses to help people learn new ways to tackle situations where violence could arise.

Local support

Please note:

  • Mind does not endorse any particular support service, including those listed on this page. We have no knowledge of their services or performance.
  • This is not a complete list. You may be able to find other services near you through online searches or local organisations.
  • It may be helpful to contact local organisations directly to see if they are a good fit for you and your needs.

This information was published in June 2023.

References and bibliography available on request.

If you want to reproduce this content, see our permissions and licensing page.

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