Anger Management Services as a Major Income Stream for Non-profits

One of the best-kept secrets among non-profit social service agencies, substance abuse programs and after school programs for at risk-youths is the value of anger management classes as an added income stream.

During the current recession, many non-profit organizations nationwide are struggling to avoid staff layoffs, agency closures and/or a reduction in services offered. Many of these agencies are discovering that anger management and domestic violence classes can provide enough income to support other agency initiatives while providing an additional revenue stream.

Case Examples:

Mr. Frank Morales, M.A. received his certification in anger management (CAMF) in 1998. His agency, Family Services Center of Huntsville, Alabama is now the major provider of anger management for adolescents and adults, batterers’ intervention and anger management assessments for divorcing couples in Alabama. These programs are responsible for 40% of the Agency’s annual gross income.

El Centro de Libertad is the largest provider of Substance Abuse Services in Northern California. Under the skillful direction of CEO George Borg, this agency is one of the first non-profit Substance Abuse Organizations to recognize the need to diversify its services. During the early 1990’s, Mr. Borg incorporated anger management and domestic violence batterer’s intervention into its contracted services. El Centro de Libertad is now considered the premier agency for these services in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties of the state of California. Most of the company’s revenue results from them providing these services.

The current need for Certified Anger Management and Domestic Violence Facilitators far exceeds the availability of trained providers of these services. Therefore, organizations that incorporate these services experience a dramatic increase in their bottom-line.

For information on Certification in anger management or Batterers’ Intervention, please contact Rasheed Ahmed at 310-207-3591, or visit our website at

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF

Anger Management Guru

The JCAHO “Disruptive Physician” Mandate Quietly Implemented

Hospitals and Health Care Organizations nationwide are moving quietly to implement the January 1, 2009 Joint Commission for The Accreditation of HealthCare Organizations requirement for the handling of “disruptive physicians”, whose behavior may impact patient care and interpersonal collaboration.

Physician Well-Being committees and those responsible for mandating these interventions are addressing many of the concerns of physicians. The following are a list of common objections raised by physician groups:

  • Universal objection to psychiatric assessments or psychotherapy for anger, since anger is not a mental disorder and is not listed in the DSM-IV.
  • Objection to substance abuse screening if this is not a part of the complaint.
  • Anxiety over confidentiality issues raised by the use of the 360 degree assessment by some providers of services for “disruptive physicians”. Sending this instrument to colleagues and ancillary staff automatically alerts the recipients that the physician in question is being evaluated for “disruptive behavior”.
  • Suggestions by the Attorneys who represent the physicians that labeling physicians are sometimes used to silence “whistle blowers”.
  • Discomfort in being ordered to participate in any type of group intervention that deals directly with issues involving “disruptive physicians”.

Physician Well-Being Committees are taking the lead in advocating for the empathetic and responsible recognition and examination of these and other issues raised by the new requirements. County, State and Regional Medical Associations are also playing an active role in working to assure that these issues are resolved in a way that protects patient care and reduces medical errors.

Physicians who are exposed to a competently implemented Executive Coaching/Anger Management intervention are demonstrating the effectiveness of intervention for self-awareness, self-control, social- awareness and relationship-management. These results are making it easier for the reduction of resistance, by physicians, to this kind of intervention.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomat, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Excerpt from The Practice of Control: Styles of Communication

Communication skills, like anger, are learned behaviors that begin within our family of origin, and then expand outward as our world becomes enlarged. Most of us use different styles of communication depending on the situation, our moods, and the behavior of the person with whom we are attempting to communicate. We also use different styles based on our basic personality types, temperaments, and the roles we are in during the time when we are communicating with the other person. Communication is a skill and, as such, can be learned—with practice!

The Four Styles of Communication:

Passive Communication–The passive communicator avoids direct eye contact, fails to actively express his or her feelings, and tends to have low self-esteem. The anger is self-directed rather than directed at the source of the anger.

Passive-Aggressive Communication–The passive-aggressive communicator often sounds passive, but is hostile in his/her manner of speaking. He often uses sarcasm and other hostile gestures to get his point across. The listener is left without any indication of what the passive-aggressive communicator needs or wants.

Aggressive Communication–The aggressive communicator invades the space of the listener, speaks in a threatening manner, and may throw objects, glare or attempt to intimidate the listener. He or she often attempts to blame the listener for whatever the source of the disagreement may be.

Assertive Communication–The assertive communicator speaks in a reasonable tone, establishes eye contact with the listener, uses “I” messages, and clearly states his or her needs, feelings and requests. The assertive communicator invites the listener to work towards a mutually satisfactory resolution of the conflict. This individual demonstrates skills in emotional intelligence.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomat, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Incivility, the New Norm

The behavioral characteristic of incivility can be described as being an individual that portrays rudeness, impoliteness, bad manners and lack of respect. Anyone watching the news in today’s society can clearly attest that reporters are often perfect role models for incivility. What used to be called news is now labeled as “shows” or “theatrical performances”, both of which are not bound by the rules of fair play, honesty, or civility.

In many cities across the United States, incivility, road rage, intimate violence, and person-directed aggression have reached epidemic proportions. Due to the escalation of these types of behaviors, hospitals are now mandating surgeons and other highly skilled physicians attend Executive Coaching/Anger management for “disruptive behavior”. This new mandate is also in response to the January, 1, 2009 Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ guidelines relative to “disruptive physicians”.

One of the largest sources for referrals to professional anger management providers are Human Resource Managers, who refer hostile, aggressive employees who are considered to be source of tension in the workplace. Such employees are seen as “at-risk” for creating a hostile work environment. A second referral source is the Risk Management Professional who is responsible for protecting organizations from exposure to legal liabilities.

Well trained Certified Anger Management Facilitators are rapidly outpacing Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors and Marriage Therapists in terms of Private Practice income.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomat, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Stress and the Nature of Stress

Some Stress is Normal

Stress is a normal part of everyday life. Everyone experiences anxiety, tension and pressures at school, work, or home. A certain amount of stress in life is good. It keeps us energized, motivated, and productive.

Stress is our body’s natural response to danger or what we think is a threat. When we sense danger, our heart rate increases, our blood pressure rises and we are prepared for “fight, flight, or freeze.” The exact same reactions occur when we experience anger.

Excessive and Prolonged Stress is Harmful

Stress hurts when it becomes a way of life. However, too much stress or stress experienced over a prolonged period of time without relief can be harmful to both your physical and mental health. The accumulated effects of long-term stress are now linked to heart disease, ulcers, cancer, anxiety disorders, and depression. Under stressful situations, the entire muscle structure tends to constrict. sometimes, when the heart and arteries constrict, strokes or heart attacks result.

Is It worth Dying For?

No matter what symptoms you experience, excessive stress can be hazardous to your health. Research has found that stress is linked to potentially fatal conditions such as heart attacks, cancer, and a decline in the immune system, which makes your body more susceptible to infection and disease.

You Have a Choice

In addition to learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, you can also develop an understanding and ability to utilize skills to either accept, cope with, or change your stressors. It is necessary to be realistic about the source of your stress; if it is caused by something beyond your control, your alternative may be limited to acceptance. when stress is caused by something you can control, however, you can take action to change the situation. The ability to accept, cope with, and change, leads to effective stress management, whereas, the inability to adapt may result in physiological or mental disorders.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Venting Anger is Always Counterproductive

Anger is a normal human emotional. “A universal trigger for anger is the sense of being endangered. Endangerment can be a signal not just by an outright physical threat but also, as is more often the case, by a symbolic threat to self-esteem or dignity: being treated unjustly or rudely, being insulted or demeaned, being frustrated in pursuing an important goal” (Goleman,1995). Anger is an emotional response to a stressful situation.

There are a number of situations in which anger is unhealthy:

  • When it is too intense
  • When it occurs too frequently
  • When it lasts too long
  • When it leads to person directed aggression
  • When it destroys interpersonal relationships
  • When is impacts health

The Myth of “Venting”

There’s a myth that simply “venting” your anger will make you feel better. In reality, it often makes you feel worse. “Venting” is a concept, which began in the 1960s. We thought at that time that venting, or letting it all hang out, would serve to free the psyche of pent up feelings and somehow lead to healing.

Unfortunately, volumes of research studies have demonstrated that “venting” actually  increases anger, rage and other intense emotions. It is counterproductive and serves to reduce any potential gains from an anger management intervention. Venting is banned in most anger management programs in the United States.

An alternative to venting is to recognize and label your feelings. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is it important or unimportant?
  • If it is important, can you influence or control it?
  • If it is important and you can control it, are there strategies that are necessary in order to implement the actions? (If so, then list them)
  • If the incident is not important, dismiss it and move on to other more healthy issues.

Learn to use “self-talk” to calm down, take a deep breath, and use positive affirmations to assist in this technique. This serves to allow the rational mind to take over. Hopefully, this will lead to a more reasonable resolution of the conflict.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Social Awareness and Relationship Management–Antidotes to Unhealthy Anger

The four domains of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-control, social awareness, and relationship management. These skill sets are the keys to competence in emotional intelligence.

These competencies determine how we handle relationships.

Social awareness:  Awareness of others’ feelings, needs and concerns.

  • Understanding Others: Sensing others’ feelings and perspectives and taking an active interest in their concerns
  • Developing others: Sensing others’ development needs and encouraging their abilities
  • Service orientation: Anticipating, recognizing and meeting customers’ needs
  • Leveraging diversity: Cultivating opportunities through different kinds of people
  • Political awareness: Reading a group’s emotional currents and power relationships

Relationship Management: Adeptness at inducing desirable responses in others

  • Communication: Listening openly and sending convincing messages
  • Conflict Management: Negotiating and resolving disagreements
  • Change Catalyst: Initiating or managing change
  • Building bonds: Nurturing instrumental relationships
  • Collaboration and cooperation: Working with others towards shared goals
  • Team capabilities: Creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals
  • Influence: Wielding effective tactics for persuasion
  • Leadership: Inspiring and guiding individuals and groups

For motivated participants, all of the above skills can be learned and enhanced with practice.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Interpersonal Conflict: A Hidden Crisis in Hospitals

The worst kept secret in hospitals nationwide is the widespread tension and conflict between physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, administrators and other ancillary staff such as inhalation therapists and nurse anesticists.

Work stress is par for the course in almost all areas of inpatient hospital care. It is not reasonable to expect an absence of stress in Emergency Rooms, or among Cardiologists, Surgeons, Neurologists, Gynecologists, Oncologists and most other critical care specialists. However, medical staff, working in any of these areas of specialization can and should be expected to be able to recognize and manage their own stress rather than have it turn into anger, abuse or person-directed aggression.

The nature of the work in all of the areas mentioned is, in itself, stressful. There are, however, additional stressors which, until recently, have not been adequately addressed. These include the debilitating stresses placed on all hospitals by the constraints of Managed Health Care. Physicians are no longer able to provide the level of care to their patients which are needed. Rather, they must seek/beg for permission from some non-physician (MBA) at the other end of an 800 line to approve or disapprove of each procedure based on cost. Therefore, doctors tend to displace their frustration, anger and stress on nurses and other members of the treatment team, including technicians and ancillary staff.

Hospitals are being forced to close Emergency Rooms because of a lack of adequate funding. This adds stress and patient distress. Patient care is no longer based on the needs of the patient. Instead, it is based on the cost of the procedure. This is demeaning to physicians and life threatening to patients. Unfortunately, patients are angry at their physicians for not providing the care needed;and they do not recognize the current limitation placed on physicians by the patients’ own health care plans.

In an attempt to address at least part of this quiet crisis in healthcare, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations issued a directive requiring that on January 1, 2009,  all hospitals must have in place written policies that address the problem of “disruptive physicians”. The “disruptive physician” is defined as a physician whose “aggressive and abusive behavior” impacts patient care and treatment, as well as team effectiveness.

Simply put, nurses, physicians and other treatment staff can now formally complain about unfair treatment/abuse from physicians in the course of their hospital work. Enlightened Hospital Administrators, Physician Well-Being Committees and Hospital Admitting Staff Credential Committees have begun to move quickly, requiring that doctors who are defined as disruptive complete an Executive Coaching/Anger Management course to enhance skills in recognizing and managing stress, anger, enhancing assertive communication and increasing emotional intelligence.

Nurses and staff are now being required to participate in Organizational Training Courses, in which the same topics, along with an assessment, are given with the option of small group anger management classes. The assessment is utilized to determine the individual’s current level of functioning in stress, anger, communication and emotional intelligence. In summary, previously ignored behavior, which impacts patient care and staff morale, are being addressed by using Executive Coaching/Anger for physicians and ancillary staff in most hospitals.

Executive Coaching/Anger management will likely have the impact in reducing litigation and increasing staff morale, as well as increasing effective patient care nationwide.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

Anderson & Anderson creates anger management group on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest networking site on the internet. It has over 114 million members worldwide.

The Anderson & Anderson Anger Management Facilitators Group is the first professional group on LinkedIn that focuses on anger management. This group is designed to provide information on research, trends and developments in the world of anger management. The purpose behind creating this group is to develop a networking system for current anger management providers, those who might be interested in becoming anger management providers/facilitators, and professionals who might be looking for some advice that is related to anger management, psychology, social work, or business.

Membership is open to psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, probation officers, licensed professional counselors, substance abuse counselors and other
professionals interested in anger management intervention. Membership invitations have been sent to all Anderson & Anderson Anger Management Providers, as well as those who have been trained to offer the services (but are not currently on the Anderson & Anderson providers list) and those who have visited Anderson & Anderson web site. As anger management becomes a nationwide and, eventually, worldwide phenomenon, it is important that key people and organizations involved in the practice create networks that will increase the relevance and prominence of intervention.

Anderson & Anderson will continue its anger management campaign strategy by reporting its activities relative to this campaign, as well as any significant events that have taken place as a result of this networking strategy.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management

An Action Plan for Developing Self-Awareness and Self-Control

Emotional intelligence, in contrast to IQ, is not static and can be improved at any point in a person’s life. The keys to change include recognition of the areas in which a person scores in the deficit range in any of the domains of emotional intelligence. Once the problem areas are defined, an action plan, along with a commitment to change and a coach or facilitator to guide you through the change process, are the keys to success.

Self-Awareness and Self-Control are two of the four domains of emotional intelligence as defined by Daniel Goleman. The other two domains are Social Awareness and Relationship Management.

Below is a sample of an action plan for developing Self-Awareness and Self-Control:

Begin each day by monitoring the thoughts and physical signs that accompany a particular feeling. These are not the feelings themselves, but the thoughts and sensations that go with them:

  • Do you sweat?
  • Does your hearth beat fast?
  • Do you feel tense?
  • Do your thoughts race?
  • Does your throat get tight?
  • Do you get tunnel vision?
  • Does you mind go blank?
  • Do you feel numb?

Self-Control Action Plan:

Use the strategies below to manage your reactions to emotionally arousing situations:

  • Listen with your head and heart – During difficult conversations, always let the other person finish speaking, even if it takes a while. This decreases your chances of rushing to judgment and calms the other person down.
  • Take a time out – Explain to the speaker that you would like to take more time to think about what has been said and you will get back to him or her. Use the time to view the conversation in a more objective light before responding.
  • Breathe – When all else fails, breathe. Regardless of your feelings, practicing breathing will clear your head and you will be in a better position to choose the best course of action.

Emotional intelligence is like any other skill enhance model of learning. The more you practice, the more likely you are to succeed in mastery.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management