Some of the most popular ways to do Anger Work are: hitting, shooting and throwing things. You can take hold of a bat and start pounding away on a bed, couch, toy, or an object that represents the person with whom you are angry. Some people prefer to use their hands instead of a bat. As long as you are not hurting yourself or anyone else, either way works just as well.
Take caution in what objects you are using as you would not want to destroy an object that you or someone else would miss. If it is precious to someone else, it would throw you back into a guilt/shame cycle if you destroy it. If it is precious to you, the loss will detract from the benefits of the Anger Work. The point of this Anger Work is not just to pound on something. It is important to attempt to focus on your feelings about some issue or event in your life which still causes you to feel angry, sad or hurt. It is not necessary to focus on a specific event, you may simply allow your feelings to flow into your actions, and start hitting.
Just as hitting things is a natural means to work out our anger, so is aiming projectiles at an object. Shooting or throwing things can be a very effective Anger Work method. This may include rock throwing, dart throwing, shooting toy guns, or going to a real shooting range. Some people enjoy and greatly benefit from throwing rocks as a form of anger therapy. This can be done while out in nature or in the city, skipping rocks into a body of water, or using a nearby rock pile. I worked with a boy once who loved to throw rocks at a rock mound near my office. He and I would both throw rocks; he would always feel better afterward. Since then, I have done therapy with other boys, girls, and several adults who enjoy using this technique.
For those of you who want a specific object to focus your Anger Work on, I have a couple of suggestions. First, you can try using a photo or a drawing of your abuser and throw darts or shoot toy guns at it. A second option is to pretend that some toy is a “bad guy” and shoot it with a toy gun. I keep a variety of toy guns at my office. As you might guess, they are very popular with the kids and even with some of my adult clients. If you are an adult who needs a more intense form of Anger Work, you may want to try going to a shooting range where they rent both guns and ammo. I do not recommend shooting a real gun for everyone, because although it is a great form of Anger Work, it can be scary and emotionally traumatizing.
Going with a friend is recommended if you decide to do it. At the shooting range they instruct you in how to shoot the gun, and then let you use it on your own. They have targets with circular rings like a classic bulls-eye, or life-sized silhouettes of a man or woman. You could pretend that it is the man who raped you, or you may prefer to imagine it as a potential attacker, and how you would deal with that now that you are empowered and no longer a victim.
By: Dr. Robert Puff
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Dr. Robert Puff is a Newport Beach psychologist and international business consultant who has given over a 1000 media interviews, including TV and radio talk shows. This article is taken from his critically acclaimed book, Anger Work: How to Express Your Anger and Still be Kind. If you would like either a free unabridged download or free unabridged audio recording of his book, go to => www.doctorpuff.com/