Friday, July 23, 2010

Anger Management Classes- Skills, Tips and Techniques

What makes a quality anger management class program and what can a client expect to learn? Anger management classes are designed to teach skills in a variety of areas to improve interpersonal and internal functioning. Anger management is not the same as psychotherapy and should not be confused with getting "therapy". Anger management classes are educational in nature and should teach skills in 8 core areas. These areas of skill enhancement include:
* Stress management
* Empathy Development
* Learning to respond instead of react
* Improving self-talk
* Assertive Communication
* Expectation Management
* Forgiveness
* Retreat and think things over
Participants of a quality anger management program should expect to use a well known curriculum. The program should be well structured and teach a new skill during each class. Sessions should be separated with cognitive homework assignments to help reinforce the material and progress should be discussed at the onset of the each subsequent class session.
Another popular question is "will the classes work"? Ultimately, ones motivation to succeed is the biggest determinant in the success outcome of any class or program. Without motivation the desire to succeed is severely limited. Keeping this in mind, clients who are willing to learn and motivated to grow tend to have the best outcome. While motivation is not the only factor for success, it is certainly the most influential. Another important component is utilizing a program that has some empirical data to back up the interventions used. Programs that incorporate cognitive behaviorally based concepts tend to have more empirical data to support their effectiveness than programs that do not.
Clients should enjoy the learning experience. We believe that humor is one of the most important approaches an instructor must use. It's not to say make fun of the work you are doing, but rather make the work fun for the client. Anger management should not, and is not punitive. The term itself often comes with a stigma that says "I'm bad, and therefore must take a class with a bunch of other bad and angry people". This could not be farther from the truth. Anger management could be and should be considered more of a life skill class that anyone will benefit from.

Ari Novick, Ph.D. is Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a certified anger management provider for both adults and adolescents. Dr. Novick is also an adjunct professor of psychology at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. His corporate website is and his innovative online anger management class.


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