The new JCAHO Standards (April 1, 2007) relative to hospital policy for handling “disruptive physicians” is sending shock waves throughout the medical community. Many hospital administrators are reluctant to pressure top admitting physicians to submit to assessment and intervention for anger management.
Some physicians are unwilling to have any type of psychiatric assessment or treatment for fear of the potential impact on their future careers in medicine. This precaution is wise, and is the type of recommendation which probably should be legally contested.
The American Psychiatric Association has appropriately determined that anger is not a nervous or mental disorder and, therefore, should not be treated as an illness. The most appropriate response to problem anger for “disruptive physicians” is executive coaching/anger management.
Coaching for anger is a non psychiatric/psychological intervention and does not connote psychiatric impairment. Rather, coaching for anger is a course, which begins with an assessment designed to determine the physician’s level of functioning in recognizing and managing anger, stress, assertive communication and enhancing emotional intelligence.
Executive Coaching/Anger Management can be provided on-site nationwide. The assessment and intervention is provided in an accelerated format over two days (12) hours.
The following outline is used in the Executive Coaching provided by Anderson & Anderson:
Anger Management/executive Coaching Outline
(All materials used are from the Anderson and Anderson method of teaching/coaching Anger Management)
1. Session One: the Conover Assessment is used to determine areas of strength and areas which require enhancement in managing anger, stress, communication and emotional intelligence. The EQ Map is a multi-dimensional guide used to help you discover the many facets of your personal, emotional intelligence.
2. Session Two: Summary of Assessments and Goal Setting. Introduction to client workbooks, control log, assignments including stress and anger logs.
3. Sessions Three, Four and Five: Anger Management
A. Client will learn to identify situations that produce emotions of anger and frustration.
B. Client will learn that anger is a secondary emotion.
C. Client will learn that anger can become a signal to look for our unmet needs and care for them.
D. Client will learn the coping skills to manage emotions in his/her interpersonal relationships,
including in the workplace, at home and in public.
Client will practice the coping skills learned above and will record Behavior Logs to report how a situation in his/her life was managed, using the skills learned.
4. Sessions Six and Seven: Communication
A. Client will learn the difference between passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive and assertive communication. (Assertive Communication Video will be used)
B. Client will learn the Rules of Assertive communication and how to use them in his/her life.
C. Client will practice assertive techniques in his/her own life between sessions and report back about results.
5. Session Eight: Stress Management (DVD, Gaining Control of Ourselves).
A. Client will learn about stress and its effects.
B. Client will learn about stressors and how to identify them.
C. Client will learn about negative self talk and its effects.
D. Client will learn how to develop positive self talk.
E. Client will learn how to overcome stressful situations.
6. Sessions Nine and Ten: Emotional Intelligence and Summary (DVD, Gaining Control of Ourselves)
A. Client will learn about the new concept of emotional intelligence.
B. Client will learn to apply emotional intelligence techniques in his/her life.
C. Client will use emotional intelligence to manage his/her anger and develop deeper empathy.
7. Sessions Eleven and Twelve: Review and Summary
D. Review and summary of skills learned
E. Emotional intelligence Quick book
F. Post Test
The four areas combined (anger management, communication, stress management and emotional intelligence, if practiced and utilized as taught), will enable the client to be more productive, less stressed, and more empathic to the needs of others. He/She will communicate more effectively and express emotion more appropriately.
A careful review of the above will clearly show that there is nothing in this type of intervention that can be viewed as an indication of emotional or mental impairment.
George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson, The Trusted Name in Anger Management