Gary came to see me on his 27th birthday. He had suffered from anger (and anxiety) for many years and he felt that due to the circumstances he continued to put himself in it was time to change!
Gary initially questioned the relevance of most techniques we discussed, stating that he knew a better way - this is a form of resistance (a term used in therapy). I have always continued to learn in my profession and will introduce new tools and techniques as part of my learning, so this did not phase me in any way. The technique that really helped Gary turn a corner was 'Time Line Therapy'. Gary had been holding onto unhelpful emotions from many past events, specifically from his childhood. This session was emotionally draining for Gary, however as he left that evening, I could see he looked lighter.
Slowly but surely Gary managed to gain control of his anger and became an advocate in the CBT Thought Record Sheet - I bet he still shares it with people to this day. A simple thing* like 'challenging and changing his thinking' had a huge positive impact on Gary and helped him make a choice as to whether or not he should react with anger or just let something go. This put the control of emotion back with Gary - the emotion no longer controlled him.
When I mentioned that Gary questioned the relevance of my techniques, one of them was meditation. Since finishing his sessions with me, Gary has trained in mindfulness and runs his own sessions :)
* I use the term 'simple thing', however it takes a lot of practice and a WANT to change. Instilling good habits / patterns takes time and practice, practice, practice!