Tag Archives: Therapy For Anger

Defusing Anger in Relationships

Anger happens when, in some perceived way, we get a sense of a violation. A boundary that is crossed or a misalignment between someone else values compared to our own.

Sometimes these violations may be known to us – we may be aware of what angered us. At other times, the cause of the angry response may be outside of our conscious awareness. This is usually because the value that has been violated is a much deeper value. We tend to be aware of our surface values (such as trust for example) which makes it easy to spot why, when someone behaves in an untrustworthy way, we would take issue with it.

However, other values (for example significance) may be less conscious or may be values that we do not necessarily want to admit to having at such a high priority that should they be violated we would react with anger.

Some time ago, I was working with a woman who had come to see me at the NLP and Hypnotherapy Clinic in Hertfordshire. She had initially enquired about sessions of hypnotherapy, but as is often the case, we were able to resolve many of the challenges with anger in her relationship by way of NLP and CBT techniques instead.

The woman was frequently angry with her husband. They had at the start of their relationship been very loving towards each other but over the years she had come to resent him in some way and would fly off the handle very easily.

The husband would tolerate the snappy comments but every now and again, if she had been particularly provocative he would bite back and then a huge argument would begin.

Initially, I asked the woman about how her relationship was before the anger had crept in. Back then, she described her husband as a man who was always on the go. He seemed particularly energetic and had aspirations to start his own business. She felt that he was keen to impress her and that was where a great deal of his every had come from.

However, his plans to start his own business had gone out of the window, when they became pregnant with their first child. It seemed more sensible that he would take a promotion in his work instead.

Very soon their lives had transformed from an uncertain but adventurous future of starting their own business and carving out their lives together, to him going to work each day whilst she stayed at home looking after their child.

She became more dynamic as she ran the home and raised the child. He became exhausted by doing a job he did not enjoy. She began picking up the slack and doing more to make up for his lack of lust for life.

As this happened, unconsciously she began to think that his feeling toward her had changed. He no longer felt free and excited about the future and it appeared that the energised behaviour that he had previously had (which she had taken to mean he wanted to impress her) was gone. When she became more active and enthusiastic in her life he began to feel redundant in the dynamics of their relationship – as if he were no longer needed.

His response was to withdraw and hers was to attempt to jolt him into action with shocks of spikiness. Neither technique worked and this is why they both ended up getting so angry with each other.

Finding new and effective ways to respond to each other, change the balance in the relationship, show respect and appreciation and re-motivate each other was just one of the strategies we explore at the hypnotherapy Clinic. Finding out what you value most in your relationship and how those values may be getting violated is often the best way to diagnose the cause of anger in relationships and an NLP Practitioner would be able to help you to do this.


By Gemma Bailey

Using NLP to Get rid of Anger

The best thing about NLP is the way in which one can covertly weave it to an everyday focus and conversation and spin it into something more resourceful. You can talk to people and be NLPing them, without them even knowing it is happening.

I was out with a friend of mine in Hertfordshire, North London who had recently separated from her boyfriend. We knew that on this particular evening out, there was the possibility of bumping in to the ex-boyfriend so she was in a bit of a wound-up state. As we sat with our bottle of wine in the pub, a song came on in the background as my friend began to tune into it aware of the familiarity of it, she started to cry. Through the blubs and wales she explained that it had been their song – her and the ex-boyfriend’s and that she still loved him so much. It’s a good job I’m an NLP therapist and not a counsellor because sympathy just isn’t my thing. I reached over and touched her on the shoulder and said “It’s all going to be fine and I am sure he was an idiot anyway.”

This was closely followed by a snot-filled rage in which she exclaimed how she couldn’t believe how he had treated her, how could he do this etc and how much she hated him.

When this stage kicked in I quickly withdrew my comforting hand. Those of you who know NLP would have identified that I had accidentally anchored her melancholy state to her shoulder. You might think this was a bad thing. The truth is it would have been if I had not utilised it resourcefully later on. Really, I should skip the part where I tell you that this all happened by accident, and make out this entire event happened completely on purpose as a result of my marvellous skill set, but that wouldn’t be totally true!

Later on, we went to a Hertfordshire night club and guess who showed up? At this moment in time, there were several reactions she could have gone for and I thought she might go for blubbering wreck but to my surprise and his she launched into straight into snot-filled rage.

As she catapulted herself towards him, I spotted an expression in his face. In NLP we like to be very clear about the difference between a sensory observation and a hallucination. A hallucination is when you think you know what you have seen in the other person. The sensory based observation of the ex-boyfriend was this: His eyes widened. His jaw lowered. His skin tone became more pale. His forehead began to sweat. He became short of breath. The hallucination of what I saw, I will call ‘man having fear of ex-girlfriend’.

At this moment I grabbed her shoulder, yes, the same one as earlier and said something like: “I know that this isn’t the real feeling you are feeling towards him, isn’t it?” The snot-filled rage fizzled and vanished and the melancholy of earlier returned, though without the crying.

They had a conversation about staying friends and it was all okay. When she popped to the loo a little later he came over and spoke to me. He said: “I have no idea what strange therapy you did to her but you did something. She was ready to kill me and you diffused her somehow. How did you do that?”

At that point I realised what I had done. I realised I really could help others using NLP.


By Gemma Bailey