Our work is beneficial for both men and women. The field of anger management has focused more extensively on dealing with the male perspective, and one of our main contributions in this field is distinguishing the different needs when dealing with anger from a feminine perspective. The challenges that women face in relation to anger are different than the ones men face, and correspondingly, need to be addressed in a different way. Having experience with both perspectives, we can help both men and women understand each other better in their respective challenges, appreciate their respective resources, and find a balance in how they relate to and communicate their emotions.
Anger and gender
How is it that the construct of gender affects our perception and experience of anger as being different than for men?
Gender stigma on how anger is not feminine leads women to neglect and deny their anger. Repression of anger is a form of psychological dissociation and it negatively impacts one’s health. It has been correlated to chronic and autoimmune diseases.
Our aim is to educate women to own their anger and not fear it. Anger has been misunderstood and trashed by our society — it can be a healthy and loving emotion.
The ratio of women to men that come to see us is 1:3. Our hope is that this is finally changing. Last year, more women opened up to talk about anger than ever before — through the #metoo movement and beyond. Many women that come our way are confused as they do not portray the character of the “usual angry woman stigma.” These opposite and extreme sides of the spectrum are:
Repression and complete denial of “negative” emotions. Maintain the status quo, never clearly voice or complain, aim to please, take all the abuse in and allow people to cross boundaries because, “that is what nice women do.” Show up with a smile outside, but inside, bitterness and resentment grow — both expressions of unresolved anger. These women don’t ever speak their truth (“What is the point?”) but when they do, they scream and it does not go pretty, and they are so ashamed of this that they go back into their shell, back to repression.
On the other side of the spectrum is “the angry bitch” — the radical feminist, the one that is not afraid to speak, the queer, the weirdo, the manly stereotype. These women exploit, don’t let anybody touch their wounds, control freak, no vulnerability, they live with the mask of “nothing hurts anymore”. These women are not the abused woman that stay all day at home cooking for their partners. They are sustained, high achievers, perfectionists, never talk about their flaws. They maintain the appearance of control and niceness.
We know that many people out there could benefit from our services. The people who contact us are committed to turn their anger into growth and want to make a real difference in their relationships. If that is your case, we are here to help you achieve just that. Visit our partner website Healing Anger to find out more about our group and individual counselling for women.