Counselling, Therapy and Diagnosis for anger issues in children and teenagers

Anger problems in children and teenagers

Anger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, it can become an issue when it lasts for a long time, is frequent, is intense and leads to negative outcomes for the person. At times it may feel difficult to control this emotion and can result in violence or aggressive behaviour. Abnormal levels of anger can have damaging impacts on friendships, school attainment and mental health, and can cause issues into adulthood including criminality and anti-social behaviour.

There are many reasons a child or teenager may be experiencing high levels of anger, and it can be unclear why your child is behaving this way. An assessment can help to identify what support is needed to help your child cope with their emotions. Your child’s behaviour may be a sign of conduct disorder. This refers to a group of disorders whereby a child exhibits antisocial behaviour and disregard for certain social norms and rules. This encompasses Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) marked by a pattern of angry, irritable or defiant behaviour. High levels of anger is also commonly associated with children who are anxious, depressed and children with low self-esteem. It is also more common in children with autism spectrum disorder and children with ADHD. An in-depth assessment will help to uncover the cause of your child’s anger and behaviour difficulties.

If you believe your son or daughter may be struggling with managing their anger, assessment and support from a qualified clinical psychologist at Harwood Child Psychology can help. Help is available in the North West London area and online.

Anger management

How do I know if my child has a behaviour or conduct disorder?

Conduct disorders can present in many different ways and children can exhibit a range of signs:

Angry or irritable mood

This may present as losing their temper often or becoming easily annoyed

Argumentative or defiant behaviour

This may appear as frequent arguing with adults or authority figures and a refusal to comply to rules.


Showing spiteful or vindictive behaviour on multiple occasions.


Being aggressive towards people or animals, this may be bullying, intimidating, harming or forcing others into sexual activity.

Destruction of property

This may involve purposefully damaging or setting fire to property.

Deceitfulness or theft

Stealing items, breaking in with the intention to steal or lying to obtain goods or escape obligations.

Serious violation of rules

This might include staying out too late at a young age, frequent absence from school or running away from home.

How can I help my child or teenager with anger problems?

If your child has demonstrated any of the above it does not necessarily mean they have a disorder, it is important to have your child professionally assessed if you are concerned. Harwood Child Psychology can offer a full specialist assessment following the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. Establishing an appropriate support plan can help your child cope with their anger issues, allowing them to reach their full potential.

If the assessment identifies areas where treatment would be beneficial, Harwood Child Psychology can develop a support plan to help your child manage their behaviour. Therapy is conducted by a highly qualified clinical psychologist using evidence-based techniques. This may involve helping your child to control their anger and educating you as parents on the best ways to respond to their challenging behaviour. Family-orientated therapy may also help to establish a stronger alliance and agreement on certain rules. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help your child to understand the thought patterns and triggers that lead to their angry outbursts and develop new strategies for coping with and communicating their frustration.

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We pride ourselves on a high quality, warm and compassionate service that can help your son or daughter overcome their challenges with anger management.

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Harwood Child Psychology provides specialist assessment and effective support for anger management in Muswell Hill, Crouch End, Highgate, Hampstead, Finchley and the wider North West London area.

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