Stephen A. Diamond is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist, and author of the book Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic: The Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and Creativity.
In our podcast interview, Dr. Diamond talks about actors who have shown a dark and violent side, such as Christian Bale (“Batman”), and how therapy helps people navigate the ‘benevolent possession’ of creativity and the challenges of being closer to its source in the daimonic side of our psyche.
[Photo of Bale also used in my post: Creative potential – Anger and creativity.]
In his guest article on this topic, Morty Lefkoe writes about getting in touch with his own anger:
“The first time I really allowed myself to experience my anger I fainted. I was about 36 and had successfully suppressed my anger since childhood.
“And there I was in a group therapy session, hitting a mat with a stick with foam wrapped around it, screaming: ‘Mom, I’m really angry at you.’
“When I started the exercise I was only mouthing empty words, but then at some point the words became real and the anger surfaced. It terrified me so much that I literally passed out on the mat.”
Lefkoe notes, “In addition to the fact that suppressing your anger is suppressing a part of yourself—in other words, having a part of you be unknown to you—suppressed anger has been implicated in serious illnesses, especially heart diseases.”
He goes on to write about how beliefs fuel anger, and when those related beliefs can be eliminated, “a large part of one’s anger would be dissipated.”
Continued in his article How to Control Your Anger.