DES MOINES, Iowa -- We all get angry and experts say there’s nothing wrong with that. When your emotions start to ruin relationships or interfere with your everyday life, you might need help controlling your anger, before it controls you.
“I was just enraged in my mind,” described Don Witt.
It’s like a switch would flip when another drive cut him off. He would yell, flip them off or even get out of the car and confront them.
“Ask them what their problem was, yeah, it was pretty bad,” admitted Witt.
Before it got any worse, the father of two signed up for Anger Management classes at Broadlawns Medical Center.
“A lot of it has to do with saving relationships or just changing the negative consequences they've experienced in life,” explained therapist Melvin Bobo.
Bobo facilitates the eight week training program. Right now, there’s a waiting list to get in. Some people signed up for the class because they want to be there. Others have to be.
“I never thought I'd be sitting in an anger management class until it was identified to me that I had an anger problem,” said Maurice Green.
Green was arrested for domestic battery and was court-ordered to get counseling.
“If this emotion and anger is too often, too intense or lasts too long, it has negative consequences, then you need to something about it,” said Bobo.
With any program, it only works if you admit that you have a problem and want to change what's below the surface of your so called “Anger Iceberg”. The source of your anger can be a variety of things- depression, grief, jealousy, anxiety.
Bobo says people in the class go on to learn techniques to stay calm, when to walk away and how to let things go.
“If you can change your way of thinking, you can change your behavior,” said Bobo.
Green and Witt made it through the program. They say you have to want to change or else the classes won’t work.
“During the class there was several people who dropped out and you know that's what it's all about, attitude. You can get the help if you want the help,” said Witt.
“It wasn't by choice and at the same time, I didn't know how much i was going to benefit from,” said Green.
Iowa law requires all people convicted of domestic abuse to take classes approved by the state. Corrections officials say anger management classes alone do not address the issues of partner abuse.