An effective anger management curriculum focuses on providing participants with the skills and strategies necessary for recognizing and controlling angry feelings. In many cases, children and adults with behavioral problems can learn to get them under control by completing anger management classes.
Anger Management Classes
Most anger management classes range from 15 to 20 hours in length and are taught in one to two hours sessions over a period of several weeks. Most anger management instructors are counselors, psychologists, or other professional mental health workers. These courses are typically offered in small group sessions, and in some cases are supplemented with one-on-one counseling.
The best anger management programs consist of multiple instructional strategies, including:
- Examples and non-examples of acceptable behavior
- Role play exercises
- Case studies
Anger Management Curriculum Content
One of the major aspects of an anger management program involves teaching students to look at situations from the perspective of other people. Teaching people to empathize with others involves helping them learn to stop and look at situations as if they were standing in another person's shoes.
Many times, people who exhibit anger management problems have trouble recognizing the signs that they are losing their tempers. An important component of any anger management curriculum involves teaching people to become aware of the emotional and physical signs that they are becoming angry. By learning to recognize the onset of anger, people can take steps to keep their responses under control.
In addition to recognizing what the onset of anger feels like, it's also important to become aware of the situations that tend to trigger the onset of an angry episode. Different things lead to anger responses for different people. By reflecting over past situations that resulted in problematic behavior, people can learn what environmental factors put them at risk for an outburst. Reflection often reveals varied anger triggers, such as being teased or bullied, experiencing personal or professional criticism, feeling "backed into a corner", and more.
Recognition of the onset of anger and triggers for inappropriate responses are significant steps toward keeping problem behavior at bay, but it isn't sufficient. To effectively manage anger, people must know how to resolve problems in a constructive manner. Because of this, most anger management programs devote significant time to teaching problem-solving techniques and strategies. The problem solving component of an anger management class typically focuses on a five step approach that includes:
- Problem identification
- Identifying alternatives
- Weighing consequences of alternatives
- Choosing an appropriate response
- Evaluating the outcome
Many problems associated with violent outbursts are associated with the inability to cope with stress. When teaching people how to get their anger under control, it's important to teach them a variety of relaxation techniques. Since not everyone responds to the same type of relaxation exercises, several options are usually presented in these types of classes. Anger management sessions often involve instruction on a variety of types of meditation, including deep breathing, visualization, yoga, and more.
Printable Anger Management Curriculum
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Anger Management Training Benefits
There are several benefits associated with anger management training. People with anger problems pose a danger to themselves and other people. Participating in these types of classes is often recommended for people who have trouble keeping their tempers in check. In some cases, doing so is even mandated for people who have exhibited violent tendencies.
Early Recognition and Intervention Are Crucial
Unchecked rage problems often lead to run-ins with the legal system, trouble staying employed, and abusive behavior. When anger problems are recognized early and are headed off with appropriate interventions, such problems may be reduced or avoided. People who are able to handle feelings of anger without resorting to violent or other counterproductive responses are much more likely to be fully functioning, productive members of society throughout their lives.