While anger management has rapidly become a household term, the public still has a limited understanding of what anger management is and what it encompasses. As a consequence of this limited knowledge, many celebrities, athletes and other high profile persons incorrectly claim to have taken certified anger management classes. They are instead referring to counseling, psychotherapy or spiritual guidance for the treatment of anger.
What is anger management?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, anger is a normal human emotion. It is not a mental disorder; therefore, the condition is not responsive to counseling, psychotherapy or psychotropic medication. Additionally anger is not listed in the Manual of Nervous and Mental Disorders.
Anger is considered to be a problem under the following conditions:
• When it is too intense
• When it occurs too frequently
• When it lasts too long
• When it leads to health issues
• When it destroys interpersonal relationships
• When it results in person-directed aggression
Anger Management should be offered in a group or individual coaching format. The groups or individual coaching sessions should be designed to teach skills in the four domains of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-control, social-awareness and relationship management.
All professional anger management courses begin with a non-psychiatric assessment that is designed to assess the level of competence in recognizing and managing anger, recognizing and managing stress, communication skills, and the degree to which the participant is empathic and motivated to change.
Anger management intervention
Once a Certified Anger Management Facilitator has administered the assessment to the client and provided an intake interview, he or she gives the client a client workbook and the first assignment prior to entrance into the group or the individual coaching session.
In contrast to the small group classes for anger management clients, Executive Coaching/Anger Management is more intense. It contains three assessments rather than one, two client workbooks, and a DVD that provides a quick reference to the entire program.
All participants are given a Post-test following the completion of the intervention to determine the success of the program. The post-test determines skill enhancements in self-awareness, self-control, social-awareness and relationship-management.
George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomat, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management