If you're running an anger management course, outlines can help you keep the group on task and make sure that you cover all the important information.
An Anger Management Course Outline
Part One: Introductions
Establishing rapport within the group will help the members trust each other, which is important when they begin discussing their anger issues and working on them together. You can help members with this process by having each person contribute something. You can ask specific questions such as "What do you hope to get out of this course?" or leave it up to each person what he or she would like to share such as "Tell us something you would like to share." You can also use icebreaker activities such as breaking the members up into groups and asking them to list five goals they would like to reach by the end of the course. Introductions usually last one session and each meeting afterwards should have a five-minute refresher to bring the group back together.
Part Two: Understanding Anger
Before helping members with their anger, they must understand the basics of the emotion. You can provide printed information or lecture. Be sure to tailor to people's different learning abilities: visual and auditory. It's also helpful to encourage active participation. After a short lesson, ask the group some questions and then write the answers on paper or blackboard for all to see. You can even do a game show type of activity at the end of the session and give out rewards such as candy for right answers or simply keep score.
Part Three: Identify Anger Triggers
Now that members know what anger is, they need to understand what makes them angry. Explain what an anger trigger is and how one person might not find something anger provoking while another will become enraged. This will help members understand that when someone shares their trigger not everyone is going to find that as bothersome. Once the group understands triggers, have each member either write down his or hers privately or write them where everyone can see.
Part Four: Teach and Practice Anger Management Techniques
Once the members understand what triggers their anger, they must also understand that sometimes feeling angry is unavoidable and in those situations, they should employ anger management techniques. It's a good idea to start off this part of the course by discussing some of the members' current reactions to anger and how they are counterproductive. This will help them realize the need to change the way they respond to anger-provoking situations.
Teach techniques by explaining them and then showing them how to do it. You can use a couple of the members and talk them through what to do in a given situation. After the members have a good idea of what to do, have them break up into pairs and have them role-play different scenarios. This will help them take what they learn and use it.
Part Five: Assign Homework and Process
Ask the members to use the anger management techniques they learned outside of the group and then write down what happened, what they did and the outcome of it. When the group meets again, have members share their experiences and discuss any anger issues still present.
Part Six: Wrap Up the Course
If you feel that the members could benefit from a refresher, review the information the group learned throughout the course. End the course by having members discuss whether they met their goals or got what they wanted from the course.
How to Use This Outline
When using an anger management course outline, be sure to tailor it to your group and its needs. An outline is just a guide to create your own course. Some groups consist of members who have been in anger management before and may need a refresher and/or advanced techniques, while others may need to start from the very beginning and need a more thorough explanation about their anger issues and how to help them. Before you begin your course outline, attempt to find out as much information about the members of the group as you to provide them with the best possible experience and assistance.