Did you know that EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) can help people deal with bottled up anger?

When we have trouble managing our angry feelings, it’s often because we are holding onto something that made us angry when we were kids. Kids are too little to effectively fight back or escape from an adult’s abusive or threatening behavior. They need the support and protection of caring adults. If kids are hurt or overpowered and don’t receive help, they learn to hide their anger and try to adapt to the situation in a way that allows them to avoid further pain.

When we grow up, any bottled up anger and physical tension that we have held inside can get activated by adult experiences that make us feel powerless. It is safer for adults to have the “fight or flight” response to anger that was unavailable to us as powerless kids. But the bottled up anger from our childhood fuels the fire and can cause us to feel that our anger is poorly controlled and too big for the situation we are facing. It may feel like we have a compulsive need to respond to the anger, either through an action or an internal process, that has to complete or exhaust itself before we can calm down.

It turns out that EMDR can be one helpful way to work out this bottled up tension and anger so our bodies can relax and we can learn how to calm down more quickly. EMDR can also be used to help us think about what caused our anger when we were kids and visualize standing up for ourselves in a way that allows us to gain a new sense of personal control and power.

Anger is a strong emotion that serves as a signal that something is wrong. If we deal with anger from the past, then we bring our anger down to size and can learn to trust that our responses to anger will be protective and not harmful to ourselves.

Interested in EMDR? Give us a call at (508) 797-7110. We offer both in-person and telehealth services. We’re located in Holden, MA and serve the entire Worcester and greater Massachusetts areas.