The man came into my office and told me he was here to be “fixed”. He told me he had an anger problem and needed someone to help him get rid of it.
When I inquired why he felt his anger was such a problem, he said that his wife and family did not like that he was angry all the time, and that the way he expressed his anger scared them.
The man talked about feeling that his needs were fulfilled after everyone else’s in the family. He had elderly parents who required a lot of time and care. He had a demanding job in healthcare and suffered from serious back problems, which caused him pain most of the time.
No wonder he acted angry all the time! I suggested that perhaps he had feelings that were hiding under the anger, hurt and sadness. He was surprised by that idea. It had never occurred to him that he might be feeling any emotion other than anger.