As the title implies, this site will continually update changes and trends in anger management services, research,referrals and provider training. In addition, books,CDs,videos and DVDs used in anger management programs will be introduced.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Is Anger Beating You Up?

by Sonia Brill, LCSW
Is Anger Beating You Up?

On a soft leather couch in a warmly lit room, a middle-aged husband finally says to the counselor, “I pushed her into the wall. I ‘lost it.’ The yelling and constant fighting over small things have to stop.”

An executive from a major telecom company complains that he is tired of the politics and pressures from upper management to make employees meet unreasonable deadlines. His wife says he needs to quit the job and get help because “his job is our life.”

A 40-year-old man is charged with beating his wife.

A 15-year-old girl is asked to seek counseling for making threats to a classmate.

An employee is put on probation for screaming at her boss.

In the movie Anger Management, Jack Nicholson uses a golf club to transform the hood of another driver's car.

All of us have been here—angry—at one point or another. These people are trying to navigate their complex feelings of stress and anger. Anger can be one of the most frightening and complicated emotions we experience. For some, anger can be a seething cauldron that explodes if the conditions are ripe. For others, anger is not a loud, spectacular expression but a chronically irritable and grumpy disposition.

Easily angered people don't always curse and throw things; sometimes they withdraw socially, sulk, or get physically ill. People who have explosions of anger land themselves in trouble, enough to find themselves behind bars or charged with restraining orders. Others lose their marriage or job over the mismanagement of anger.

It would behoove angry individuals to not seek help. Oftentimes, people only seek counseling or an anger management group once they are mandated to or if they are told to get help. However, with anger management books, CDs, DVDs, and classes popping up everywhere, who knows what works? It's a multi-million-dollar industry, colorfully packaged for consumers to be served by a host of entrepreneurs and experts who are anxious to teach the secrets of self-control.

George Anderson, president of Anderson & Anderson, a Los Angeles-based anger management firm and consultant for the movie Anger Management, has contracts with court systems, colleges, and hospitals across the country. “It should be a class,” he says.

Anderson, the first global anger management/executive coaching training provider, identifies that there are differences in programs as well as practices.

Today, many "practitioners" call themselves anger management counselors. Some of them hold degrees in psychology, to practice professionally, with varying skilled proficiency; others have business degrees and claim to have the answers to anger management.

Counseling Might Not Work

For many people, though, an anger management group or counseling does not work. Part of the problem is that anger management is a term that has become the panacea and is used to encompass a variety of techniques. Many groups or sessions are based on the group therapy model that uses talk therapy to “talk out anger” or to be more “self-aware.” In this model, the premise is that participants can learn to recognize beforehand that they are about to “lose it.” Counselors also offer classes that draw on principals of meditation and relaxation techniques. Deep breathing is a wonderful way to relax. When angered, however, how do individuals start to breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth if all they want to do is scream?

Anger management is different because it is not a psychiatric problem. Thus, the symptoms cannot be managed with a pill or through counseling. Anger is a primitive emotion—a feeling of displeasure—and it is accompanied by physical changes in the body. We learn early to respond to anger unconsciously through the dynamics of our families. What we don’t learn is that anger is a secondary emotion, which means a certain feeling or feelings precede anger.

Anger Management Works

If management of anger can be learned, it also can be unlearned. Anger management is a systemic set of skills for re-socialization and deep transformation around the anger. Knowing the Anderson & Anderson methodology and incorporating it into a rich format offers participants a means to an end. It can work and does work. George Anderson discovered that an anger management program has certain components. If tightly woven together, the program offers participants the kernels of knowledge for true anger management.

Most of us know the risks of not getting help. Sometimes, however, we fool ourselves into believing that there won’t be that “next episode.” Anger can be a tricky emotion to manage. We can delude ourselves into thinking that the poor expression of anger was justified.

When It Is Time to Get Help

If it is time to do something about anger, then know the differences in the programs. First, ask questions and find out if your provider is trained, certified, and licensed in a mental health profession. Second, ask the provider if he or she is certified as a trained facilitator of anger management.

If your anger is getting the best of you, consider The 7 R’s of Managing Anger*:

Recognize that you are angry.
Release stress.
Remember to take care of yourself.
Recharge yourself by being around people who are positive and loving.
Reshape your perception about the situation that is causing anger.
Rectify your mistakes and forgive the mistakes of others.

* - Copyright pending

Sonia Brill, LCSW, located in Denver, Colorado, is developing what will be a significant Anderson & Anderson service program for the Rocky Mountain region. Ms. Brill is an Executive Coach and a Certified Anger Management Facilitator, who received graduate training from New York University and post-graduate training in Group and Family Work from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Group and Family Institute.

You can reach her by calling 303-267-2302 or visit her Web site at

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Look Back at Anger


Look Back at Anger
by Ariel Leve

From seething stars to peeved politicians, everyone’s doing anger management. Ariel Leve finds out why it’s all the rage

In the colossal list of things wrong with me, being an angry person has never ranked high. I am impatient, but I don’t lose my temper. I am volatile, but I don’t hit people. I get angry over something I have little control over, but quickly the anger turns into frustration. I’ll grind my teeth at night or develop a pain in my stomach, which means the frustration is immediately sidelined by worry that I might have given myself an ulcer. But then I remember I can’t afford to have an ulcer, so I am reminded that whatever I’m upset about isn’t worth it, and this, for reasons only a therapist could explain, is my form of anger management.
George Anderson has a different method. A Harvard-trained psychotherapist turned entrepreneur, he virtually invented the industry of anger management. Based in California, his clients include Hollywood studios that send their angry stars and executives to him, the Department of Defense and even the vice-president’s old company, Halliburton.

Anger is a booming business. Soon Anderson will begin selling franchises abroad. So why now? Anger has been around since the beginning of time, but behaviour that was once tolerated isn’t any more, by individuals, employers, courts and legislators.

Anderson & Anderson has become the world’s largest provider for anger-management certification and classes. When you hear about someone being ordered by the court, this is where they are sent. George Anderson also provides “executive coaching”, where he works privately with CEOs, law enforcement, movie stars — and now, me.

At the Los Angeles headquarters of Anderson & Anderson, I am given two questionnaires. One is called the “anger management map” and the second will determine my emotional intelligence. My scores will be tallied and I will meet Mr Anderson, privately, to discuss the results.

He is an affable man. He begins by making the point that anger is a secondary emotion. There is always something else that precedes the anger, and commonly it’s stress, frustration, disappointment, anxiety, shame, etc. “Anger is a normal human emotion,” he says. “Everyone experiences anger. It is only a problem when it is too intense, occurs too frequently, leads to harm of the self or others — if it leads to violence.” In other words, always?

“When you are tired, are you less patient than when you’re not?” he asks. I tell him yes. He asks if I’m more likely to be irritable. Yes. “What about when you’re hungry?” Yes, I become tense and would lean towards being less charitable to others. “So something came before the anger and it’s how you respond to it.”

This seems obvious. What came before the anger was not eating. How I responded to it? Having a sandwich. But what about a more complex emotional minefield? Rapidly, I fire off the what-ifs. “What if there is someone married to someone mentally ill? Or an alcoholic? What if there is a family member with a permanent disability?”

Anderson reiterates that you can’t change the feelings, you can only respond differently and change your behaviour. Part of this is common sense and part is emotional discipline. I have neither.

We go over my results on the emotional intelligence scoring grid. I did well in self-awareness, emotional awareness of others and creativity. But I scored abysmally low — as in the bottom range of “CAUTION” — for resilience (defined as an ability to bounce back and retain a hopefulness about the future); trust radius (the degree to which I expect people to be inherently “good” and an inclination to trust until there is reason not to) and personal power (the degree to which I believe I can meet life’s challenges). Anderson tells me the opposite of personal power is hopelessness and helplessness, and based on the results of my tests, anger is the least of my problems.

This makes sense. If I have no reason to trust, and no reason to be hopeful, then no wonder I’m not angry — I’m always prepared to be disappointed. And if anger is the result of unrealistic expectations, my expectations are so low to begin with I have nowhere to go but up. So, as I see it, scoring low in these areas is a good thing.

But Anderson isn’t convinced. As I defend my hopeless existence, I can see him begin to squirm. Hopelessness is not exactly the control mechanism that he’s advocating. The more he tries to improve my trust radius, the more sceptical I become. Just then, something occurs to me. Have I succeeded in making the guru of anger management… angry? There is a moment of silence while he stares at me. Speechless. But then he laughs. “Well, you’re from New York,” he says.

There is no scientific proof that Anderson’s anger-management training and classes work. But they can’t hurt. The real question is whether there is any long-term and significant change, since these classes are not treating the deeper issues. Shame, fear, mental illness, pathologies — all of this must be addressed in psychotherapy and counselling.

Having experienced a few hours of the executive coaching, I am invited to sit in on one of the classes. A semicircle of strangers are seated in a small room. They are breathing deeply and following instructions from a relaxation tape. It’s making me jittery. I am the only one whose eyes are not shut, so I look around. Five men, one woman.

Jessica, 21, dressed in black with dark wavy hair and blue eyes, punched a police officer. Karl needs tools to manage his stress. Richard, a soft-spoken middle-aged dad in khaki trousers and a variety of pens in his shirt pocket, was ordered to attend for 52 weeks by the court for being verbally abusive to his ex-wife. He is in week 51. Each person has brought their “anger log”, where incidents that occurred during the week are recorded and then discussed.

In this room, there are two posters on the wall. The Wheel of Destructive Interactions, and the Wheel of Constructive Interactions.

For the next two hours, one by one, episodes where anger was displayed during the week are candidly shared, and people are asked to identify the hostility, rage, avoidance, manipulation, etc, on the negative wheel, and then refer to the constructive wheel (expressing feelings, seeking compromise, stating needs, etc) to pinpoint what they would have done differently. Nobody is being told not to be angry, they are being taught skills to manage anger.

Anderson & Anderson calls the shots because there are no laws regarding anger management. The courts rely on the company to set the standards — 26 weeks is the average. For the client to gain something, he or she has to do the exercises. The stress log and anger log must be completed every day, so they learn to know in advance the situations that would stress them out — and then do something about it.

Sean Coffey, a Brit, met George Anderson after reading an article on him. His background was in psychology and he’s had various jobs, such as caddying, coaching football and running a promotion agency. He plans to open an Anderson clinic in London.

But will the British be able to speak as candidly as Americans? He tells me: “They do find it difficult to express their emotions, unless they feel aggrieved about something in particular. Ironically, the higher up the social scale one goes, and the more eloquent one would expect them to be — the less likely they are to verbalise their emotions and so it stays bottled up.”

And just as it took years for the benefits of psychology and psychiatry to filter through to Britain, Coffey fears it may be the same for anger management. “I’m not sure that British people are ready to pay for this service,” he says. “Also, admitting that one requires psychiatric or psychological assistance is seen as a sign of weakness.”

The difference between the types of anger displayed and experienced by people in Britain and in the United States has mainly to do with alcohol-related violence (the UK beats the US) and weapon-related violence (the US is the winner by far). The common ground is car-related violence, where both nations have unrealistic expectations when it comes to traffic and journey times.

Back in my hotel room and unable to sleep, I turn on the television. There is yet another form of anger management. It’s called Star Wars. And the wisdom of Yoda is undeniable. “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” That’s 52 weeks of class right there.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Linda Losi to Serve as Anderson & Anderson Liaison for Florida

Linda Losi, R.N., L.C.S.W., C.A.M.F., has been in the mental health field for 30 years. She received her nursing degree at City University in New York, Bachelor's of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University and her Master's Degree in Social Work at Barry University in Miami. Linda is also a Certified Anger Management Facilitator, using the internationally utilized Anderson and Anderson method of teaching/coaching. She is currently the President of the Florida Chapter of anger management providers.

Linda has 30 years of experience in various modalities of therapeutic intervention. She uses an integrated approach in her practice, including but not limited to psychodynamics, cognitive behavioral and brief solution focused therapy. Linda works with dually diagnosed patients who have both psychiatric, eating disorders and/or substance abuse related illnesses. She specializes in the above, as well as in anger management, trauma, sexual abuse and anxiety related issues.

Linda has been involved in other aspects of Psychiatric Nursing and Social Work, such as:
• An Affiliate for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for the county of Palm Beach School System
• Certified Clinical Supervisor for interns and other mental health professionals
• Certified Anger Management Facilitator
• Consult for treatment programs in preparation for the JCAHO Accreditation and Department of Children and Families Licensure
• Facilitator of closed 8-10 week groups dealing with women's interpersonal relationships
• Consult for Utilization Review in working with Managed Care - assisting in providing a high quality of care that is cost effective for the client
• Designing and Composing Treatment programs for inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient, including composing policy and procedure manuals for each type of program

Linda is a Professional Member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a member of the American Red Cross, a founding member of the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama, a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, (ACLU), and a Diplomate member of the American Association of Anger Management Providers. (AAAMP)

The Headbutt Seen Around The World

July 16, 2006
By GeorgeAnd

George Anderson Interviewed on Primetime Sports Podcast

George Anderson and William Glassman, Professor of psychology at Ryerson University discuss the recent "headbutting" incident at the final game of the 2006 World Cup Soccer competition. The Fan Radio Network (FAN590.COM) asks George Anderson about the recent confrontation between French midfielder, Zinedine Zidane and Italian defender Marci Materazzi. To listen to the complete interview, The fan 590, the Toronto Sports Radio click here to hear this interview.
Note: You will need to have an MP3 player installed to listen to this interview.
George Anderson,MSW,BCD,CAMF
--- George Anderson is the Clinical Director of Anderson & Anderson

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Manage Anger Before it Manages You

Manage anger before it manages you
Jul. 11, 2006. 01:00 AM
Toronto Star

Athletes are not the only people in the public eye who lose it spectacularly.

Even Canadians who aren't hockey players do it from time to time and Hollywood celebrities do it all the time.

"My office is in Brentwood," said anger management therapist George Anderson, "so I wind up seeing a lot of these people."

He said the paparazzi pressure is so great it's difficult for his celebrity clients to be relaxed anywhere but their own homes.

"It's really pretty bad," he said. "They're under enormous stress and anger is a secondary emotion. A person is suddenly victim of their own success. Their response has to do with primarily feeling powerless."

Anderson cited Lindsay Lohan, about whom he talked recently to People magazine.

"She got kicked off the set of a movie she's making and when she goes to a restaurant, she's so extremely rude that people just expect she's going to behave badly."

Anderson advises his celebrity clients — and the rest of us — that getting angry is not the problem, but the resulting behaviour can damage yourself, your reputation or someone else.

Anger is a problem when it's too intense, lasts too long, occurs too frequently, is damaging or hurtful to the individual or to someone else, or leads to violence.

"A person should always be in control of his or her behaviour," he said, "because then you have options. You can choose to respond how you wish."

Among those who have lost it:

Russell Crowe: Pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, admitting that he threw a phone that hit a Manhattan hotel concierge in June 2005.

Naomi Campbell: Pleaded guilty to assaulting her personal assistant in September 1998.

Roberto Alomar: Spit in the face of home plate umpire John Hirschbeck in September 1996.

Sean Penn: Punched photographers, jailed for assault in 1987 and charged with domestic assault.

Sondra Gotlieb: Struck her social secretary across the face just before acting as hostess, as wife of the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., of a dinner for Brian Mulroney in March 1986.

Pierre Trudeau: Gave the finger to B.C. government workers in response to their protest signs in August 1982.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Anderson & Anderson Launches Extraordinary Marketing Strategy

At the suggestion of the Vice President of Human Resource Management for a major automobile manufacturer based in Los Angeles, Anderson & Anderson recently launched an incredible marketing strategy that is resulting in an unprecedented number of referrals of both executive coaching clients, as well as line staff to our anger management groups and those of our providers.

This new strategy is simple but powerful. We sent out letters to 50 Human Resource managers of Hospitals, Banks, Manufacturing Companies, New Car Distributors, City, State, County and local governmental agencies. Along with this introductory letter, we sent copies of “When it’s Time for Anger Management” (which can be found at: and “The Storm’s Quiet Eye” ( Both of these publications clearly explain what anger management is and how the Anderson & Anderson model works. Finally, we included a complimentary copy of “Gaining Control of Ourselves”, the new Anderson & Anderson DVD. This DVD explains the Conover Assessment used in our model and gives a sample of nine lessons for executive coaching and anger management clients.

Given the remarkable success of this effort, Anderson & Anderson will assist any of our providers in purchasing these DVDs for the discounted price of $20 each when purchased in multiples of 20 or more. We will also provide you with a copy of the actual letter we sent to these H. R. Managers. The two articles can easily be downloaded from our website at

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF