Explore STAR’s Retreat Therapies
There is a truth in anger that often gets lost in the explosion of emotion accompanying it. Many times that ‘truth’ is connected to a painful memory of feeling neglected, abandoned, or abused. And it is this pain that fuels the anger most people feel. Unresolved anger causes us to react to everyday stressors in an elevated way. Others seemingly always know how to ‘push our buttons.’ Feelings of frustration, annoyance, hurt, shame, helplessness, or disappointment may frequently arise, followed by quick, often loud or aggressive reactions. Your anger may sometimes surprise you as you come face to face with a part of yourself that acts out of control.
Later there are ‘messes’ to clean up: hurt feelings, damaged relationships, or even destroyed property. What may feel like simply expressing yourself can cause others to shut down, turn away, or become aggressive in return. Unresolved anger can also turn inward, and we may find ourselves closing off from others, harshly criticizing ourselves, or self-harming.
To understand this behavior, we must examine our childhood experiences with it. As children, many of us learned to repress our negative feelings and were not granted the opportunity to speak up for ourselves. Or, we were never heard or given appropriate guidance to deal with our feelings when we spoke up. Our parents and other caregivers failed to model or teach healthy ways of expressing emotions. Many well-intended, loving parents simply did not learn these skills themselves. They unintentionally passed the burdens of carrying unresolved anger and unhealthy expression onto their children as a result.
Below are a few forms of therapy employed at STAR to help get to the root of your anger management challenge, heal from the traumas that contributed to it, and create new, more positive ways to handle it when your temper tries to flare out of control.
In contrast to subconscious operations, cognitive foundations are your conscious-level thinking, reasoning, remembering, understanding, and learning mental activities. By clearly defining and understanding these foundations, STAR created a structure upon which other healing treatments can be built.
Self-reflection gives you a chance to pause, observe yourself, and sort through thoughts and emotions in a calm and relaxed manner. These exercises may ask you to reflect upon an experience you had, your feelings about some subject, or explore your reactions to different scenarios to better understand yourself.
In contrast to talk therapy, meditation, or other types of treatment, experiential therapy focuses on action and immersing yourself in an experience. These programs can be outdoors-based, with animals, music-related, play therapy, or using art and drama. When your body is engaged and acting in a new or different way, it opens up parts of your psyche to healing that can lead to lasting change.
Breathwork has its roots in many ancient spiritual practices, but scientific research has also overwhelmingly supported its benefits. Controlling and manipulating your breath has a surprising level of influence over emotions, physiological responses, and thought processes. We use integrative breathwork therapy to facilitate all types of healing.
Emotional Release Work
Emotional release techniques are designed to help neutralize negative or overwhelming emotions and damaging thought patterns that tend to keep us stuck. Exercises may include breathing practices, visualizations, or more active ways to physically release pent-up emotions. Emotional release therapy offers techniques to manage emotions and get back to a calm and balanced center.
Psychodrama is a type of active therapy that includes acting out scenes from your past that have impacted your life. This re-enactment may consist of role-playing and other forms of psychology-based performance. The goal is to help retreat participants gain a deeper understanding of past events and prompt emotional healing.
Birth psychology studies experiences that impact the development of your psyche from pre-birth up through one year of age. Traumatic occurrences that took place while you were still in your mother’s womb, during birth, and in infancy can create lasting psychological damage that we need to uncover and heal from to move forward in life.
Guided imagery is a mind-body therapy in which a retreat facilitator guides participants in using their mind’s eye for visualization. This therapy incorporates all five senses and often uses story-telling or metaphor to prompt stress and physical tension reduction, emotional healing, and positive anger management. Your inner wisdom often reveals itself during guided imagery therapy.
The ego state is our combined state of mind, made up of various segments of our personality, that controls our relationship to the outside world and to other people. Working with the psychology of the ego state can help resolve behavioral, emotional, and interpersonal challenges more quickly and effectively than other treatment types.
Family of Origin Exploration
Family of origin exploration is a powerful tool of self-discovery. Many answers to current challenges can be found in our childhood by diving deep into family roots. Coping mechanisms, destructive habits, anger management problems, and how our “stories” are developed are frequently based on our family of origin experiences. When we confront these often painful childhood traumas, it opens the way for healing today.
Art as therapy is not a new concept, and its longevity is due to its effectiveness. Expressing yourself through art, whether that is drawing or painting, creating a collage, sculpture or other media, allows you to explore emotions and gain personal insight. Our art therapy programs can also serve as a positive coping mechanism for stress or treatment for grief. These projects will allow you to find your own individual artistic agent of change.
Bodywork encompasses a variety of different treatment practices, both physical and energetic, which have a relaxing and stress-relieving impact on both body and mind. As therapy, bodywork may include hands-on treatment, touchless energy manipulation, or breathing exercises. Bodywork is considered an essential part of our retreats here at STAR.
Far from a laundry list of daily happenings, journaling therapy is a very effective way to learn more about yourself, discover new insights into your behavior, and have revelations that may not come about in other self-work exercises. Journaling may include asking yourself questions about your goals or desires, recording memories, or keeping track of your nighttime dreams.
Writing assignments are similar to journaling, but with specific topics to write about. Unlike journaling, these pieces of writing may be shared with counselors or other retreat participants. The design of these assignments helps you to dig deeper into your past, your present, and your desired future.