The effectiveness of Evidenced Based Anger Management Classes have resulted in the inclusion of anger management classes in most At Risk Youth Programs and Reentry Programs for persons returning to their communities following incarceration. This new trend is occurring in the U.S. and Canada
Generally, when we think of anger management we tend to think of aggressive males who are physically violent and, as a result are mandated to attend anger management classes by Court Order as a result of person or property directed violence or aggression. In reality, most clients of Anger Management Programs are men and women who are mandated to attend anger management coaching by their workplace Human Resource Managers. HR Referrals are related to the prevention of workplace violence, hostile work environment or workplace tension.
The second most common referral source of anger management clients is actually from spouses or significant others who are concerned over their partners’ lack of social awareness or poor communication skills or lack of empathy or compassion. Many participants are self-referrals who recognize the need for professional assistance.
Monster. COM is one of the largest employment agencies in the world. In recognition of the importance of skills in emotional intelligence for success in many jobs such as sales, executives, customer services and other positions where interpersonal relationships are keys to success, Monster. COM is now advising job applicants to personally take Emotional Intelligence Assessments prior to being interviewed. This goal is to provide the job applicant with information regarding his or her blind spots and deficits in many EQ skills.
Finally, there is now a dramatic increase of volunteer referrals from persons, such as parents, who have become aware that they often exhibit a lack of patience, lack of empathy, assertive communication, poor stress management skills or a lack of competence in creating win win situations in interpersonal relationships.
In Summary, the current trends in anger management referrals are primarily related to the public’s recognition of the need and value of opportunities for skill enhancement in self-awareness, self-control, social awareness, relationship management, assertive communication, stress management, empathy and impulse control. The current focus of most anger management programs in the U.S. are actually based on emotional intelligence skill enhancement.
All of these programs are non-psychiatric and include Emotional Intelligence Assessments such as the internationally recognized Bar On EQi 2.0 Emotional Intelligence Assessment that can be taken on-line. In order to coach for skill enhancement in Emotional Intelligence, client workbooks, DVDs, videos as well as a wide variety of skill building exercises are essential. Generally, these courses are provided individually in a coaching format or in small groups.
George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CEAP. CAMF Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers