Anger Management, a Ray of Hope for Civility in Interpersonal Relationships

As we approach the end of 2007, there is a cause for optimism relative to professional anger management. Colleges, Universities, governmental agencies, business and industry as well as hospitals and prisons are moving aggressively to introduce anger management and executive coaching to the list of benefits offered.  In addition, jails and prisons are moving away from punishment towards rehabilitation by introducing anger management to inmates as well as correctional staff. Finally, the media is beginning to publicize the merits of anger management for celebrities, ordinary citizens as well as organized sports. 

A look at the trends

·       Jails and prisons in New York are planning to add anger management to its’ educational component for inmates.

·       California is requiring anger management for all parolees who have a history of violence.

·       Anger management is now being provided in all of California’s 32 prisons.

·       Veterans Administration Hospitals are using anger management in conjunction with psychiatric treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for returning Iraqi soldiers.

·       The Texas State Legislature is currently debating the teaching of anger management in all middle schools in Texas.

·       Military Brigs in San Diego and Virginia are now offering anger management to military inmates.

·       School Districts in California, Texas, Florida. Washington and Oregon are providing anger management in Adult Education Programs as well as grade schools.

·       The Joint Commission on the accreditation of hospitals has mandated that all hospitals in the nation establish standards for “disruptive staff”.

·       Professional Basketball, Baseball, Football and Hockey are all reviewing proposals to provide anger management for players and coaches.

·       Student Judicial Affairs Departments of major colleges and universities are contracting with professional anger management providers to provide anger management as prevention for violence.

·       Anger management in substance abuse programs has long been neglected. California in its’ proposition 36 for substance abuse programs has mandated “Certification” in anger management for all substance abuse contractors.

·       Executive Coaching/anger Management is being endorsed by physicians and Risk Management consultants. This is the intervention of choice for physicians and executives nationwide. 

The development of anger management as an accepted discipline has come a long ways in the last year. All indications are that 2008 will be a period of further advancement in this new emerging area of specialization in human services. 

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF


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