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.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Assessment Component In Anger Management

The Conover Anger Management Assessment Consists of the following scales:

Interpersonal Assertion–this scale indicates how effectively individuals use direct, honest, and appropriate expression of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors when dealing with others. It indicates the degree to which one is able to be direct and honest in communicating with others without violating their rights.

Interpersonal Aggression–This scale assesses the degree to which communication styles violate, overpower, dominate, or discredit another person's rights, thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. High interpersonal aggression is related to personality characteristics of rebelliousness, resentment, and oversensitive response to real or imagined affronts.

Interpersonal Deference–this scale measures the degree to which communication style is indirect, self-inhibiting, self-denying, and ineffectual for the accurate expression of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. High interpersonal deference is related to the personality characteristics of apprehensiveness, shyness, and oversensitivity to threat or conflict.

Empathy/emotional intelligence–This scale indicates individuals’ abilities to sense, understand, and accept another person's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. A strong sense of others’ feelings and emotions is a key element to anger management. Empathy is a primary characteristic of skilled communicators. Persons with strong empathy tend to be sociable and outgoing.

Stress Management–this scale assesses perceived skill in managing stress and anxiety. Anger that results in violence is usually triggered by a stressful event that is not appropriately managed. Persons with skills in managing stress positively are competent managers of time and are flexible, self-assured, stable, and self-reliant.

Change Orientation/Motivation to change–this scale indicates the degree of motivation and readiness for change in the skills measured by The Anger Management Map. A high score indicates dissatisfaction with current skills and a strong conviction of the need to make personal changes.

Successful living requires skills and competencies essential to establishing and maintaining a variety of strong and healthy relationships. Effective communication is the key to positive and healthy relationships. Communication is especially difficult under stressful conditions. Stress is usually the trigger for anger. Empathy, the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes, is a key component in controlling ones anger. Research demonstrates that individuals who possess empathy are less likely to act out on their anger. Assertion is a powerful emotional skill that helps a person to communicate more effectively, honestly, and appropriately. It is the opposite of aggression or deference. Aggression and deference are patterns of communication that need to be altered by the emotional skills of anger control/management and fear control/management. Finally, change orientation is the indication of satisfaction and the magnitude of change perceived as desirable for developing personal and life effectiveness. Change orientation includes the degree to which a person is motivated and ready for change. Change orientation is a reflection of the satisfaction or dissatisfaction with current anger management skills and abilities. This scale is a reliable predictor of an individuals potential for success through training.

The Anderson & Anderson Anger Management Program utilizes the Conover assessment software (with a full audio option for the limited reader), client workbooks, DVDs, posters, and experiential exercises.

George Anderson, MSW,BCD,CAMF

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Provider Directory

Anderson & Anderson is pleased to announce that its long-awaited national Anger Management Resource Directory is now online. The Anger Management Resource Directory at is the first and only anger management directory that includes providers in each state, as well as Washington D.C.

The Anger Management Resource Directory is potentially the single most important development in anger management during the brief history of this area of specialization. Prior to the installation of this new directory, the well-respected Anderson & Anderson provider list has been the industry standard and the only avenue for consumers seeking resources in anger management and executive coaching.

This new directory is open to all anger management providers. Free ads are available as well as enhanced listing at a nominal monthly fee.

For more information about this incredible new internet marketing site, please visit or contact our office at 310-207-3591.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF

Friday, October 13, 2006

Improving operations by managing anger

By Sarah Etter, News Reporter Published: 10/09/2006

Article: Anger management is usually a hot topic for inmates who spend hours in classes learning to deal with their emotions. But when anger creeps through CO ranks, officials can find themselves confronted with unruly staff and unmanageable relationships between DOC departments.

That’s where John Shuford and George Anderson step in. Shuford, President of Conflict Resolution Services, Inc. spends his days working with CO’s in conflict. Meanwhile, Anderson offers his services as president of Anderson & Anderson, the world’s largest provider of Certified Anger Management Facilitator training.
These experts have different models when it comes to teaching anger management, but both Shuford and Anderson know how crucial it is to control emotions in a corrections setting. How did you get into anger management?

Shuford: I started out as a mental health therapist and healthcare administrator. Then I did social work for a home health agency. While I was doing that, I got involved with the Alternatives to Violence Project which works with inmates. That project has been going on since 1975 and it’s a very effective program at reducing recidivism and changing attitudes about anger for inmates. One of our studies showed that education about anger management reduced recidivism and behavioral write-ups dramatically for inmates. So I took that basic model and modified it to work with staff.

Whether you’re dealing with corrections staff, business employees, government agencies or inmates, people are basically people and anger management affects them. I have been doing that since 1994 as a full time profession and I’ve seen some pretty remarkable results.

Anderson: I’m trained in mental health. I have a license in clinical social work. My first interest has been, for forty years, in psychotherapy. About fifteen years ago, I wrote a book on domestic violence called A Ray of Hope and I quickly came to the conclusion that anger management and domestic violence were very different so I wrote a separate book on anger management.

The initial research that impressed me the most came from the Canadian Bureau of Prisons. They did a ten year study on incarcerated defendants who have anger management issues. I borrowed as much as I could from the Canadians. One of the things they touched on was that in order for anger management to be successful was that clients must have a workbook, so I use that in my model. They also said the goals must be clear, and the content must be clear so I focused on that in my model as well.

CC: How do CO’s respond to your classes and training?

Shuford: I’ve seen some pretty remarkable results with corrections staff in terms of changing attitudes. People with anger management problems really just need that attention. I’ve taken someone with anger management problems and turned them into the Employee of the Year.

The thing about my model is not so much that it comes in and does the changing for you, because it doesn’t. But it allows people to develop trust and respect among themselves, as a staff. When CO’s do that, they can stop looking at things defensively and start looking at solutions. On the outside, I don’t know what the specific problems are, so I’d be fooling myself to try and change a system. What I do change is people’s attitudes and how they approach each other and that’s a permanent change.

With this training, CO’s begin to see each other as human beings. They develop empathy for each other; that’s something corrections staff don’t typically develop well. They often don’t have it because they think they have to protect themselves all the time because they are in a high risk profession. But they need to protect themselves from the inmates, not each other. When they connect with each other, they begin to understand they are on the same page. They want to resolve conflict. They want a better atmosphere in the work place among the staff and they work towards changing that.

The thing with the anger training, particularly, I’ve developed a model that literally changes how people relate to their own anger and other people’s anger. Anger doesn’t become a weapon to be used. It doesn’t become something that uses you. You can use your anger to better the work place.

Anderson: When I developed my model, I did it with an assessment component and a workbook. We started off with an assessment to determine how someone works in: managing anger, managing stress, communication and emotional intelligence, and their ability to change. Most researchers will agree that it does not matter what the program is. If the person doesn’t want to change, nothing will happen. There is no success if there is no motivation to change.
In a setting in which people are obligated to take an anger management class, like corrections, you provide the service but you have to back up and spend a good deal of time on motivational interviewing. That means getting CO’s to buy-in to whatever the intervention is. You have to get them to agree they want to change. When you get past that hurdle, you can really start to see a difference in their attitudes.

CC: How does anger affect the workplace?

Shuford: Anger is to us emotionally as physical pain is to us physically, as conflict is to us interpersonally. Anger, if used positively, gives us the awareness and motivation to change something. Often the thing that needs to change is us, how we see things and react. When you have empathy, you develop compassion for other people. Empathy is a crucial part of managing anger, especially in corrections.

On the negative side, anger causes breaches between departments and horrible communication among staff. It adds stress to the daily operation of a facility and takes a huge toll on COs.

CC: What are your anger management models like?

Shuford: It’s a pretty simple model. We use a number of content areas. But it’s not just about paperwork for us. It’s how to motivate, how to get employees to work as a team. We offer anger management, stress management, conflict resolution, and mediation skills in the work place.

But our model stands out because it creates a sense of community and trust among the participants. It does that in a morning and part of an afternoon and it’s always worked. I’ve never ran a session where this model hasn’t worked.
One thing we talk about is transforming power. We have the power to transform these hostile situations into more healthy interactions. One of the things about transforming power is that before you look at the other person you have to look at yourself. We look at ourselves first and see how we are contributing to daily situations. When that happens, people are more likely to work together and collaborate. They are more likely to contribute to a positive culture.
We also have games. Sometimes they are games with lessons, sometimes they are just for fun. They keep the energy up because the mind can only absorb what the butt can endure. Traditional training is a lecture model, but it only works for left brain thinkers. If someone is a right brain thinker, you’re speaking a foreign language to them. This presents material and experiences in a way that addresses all learning types. This training uses all different modalities of learning. We keep the energy up, the sense of community.

Anderson: We are a little bit different because we are a large organization. We train anger management facilitators all over the country. We start with the assumption that anger is a secondary emotion and a learned behavior.
Since these behaviors are learned, they can be unlearned. The goal is to teach alternatives to violence. We do that by first having an assessment. You don’t want to offer an intervention if it’s not needed. This would determine the level of functioning. This is a book and it teaches skills in those areas. It’s very based on the involvement of participants. When you discuss this skill, you show it on a video so they can see it. You show another video, and point out its aggressive communication. Surprisingly, most people think passive communication is a good thing but it’s not. If the passive communicator is attempting to get something for himself and the other person doesn’t know this, it’s useless. Then, we have these individuals who keep a log outside of the class. They spend their free time working on assignments and then review to what extent they did them. There are quizzes throughout. Since we started out with a formal assessment, we do post-testing to track the results.

CC: What kind of results have you seen?

Shuford: When you change someone’s attitude, or when they change their attitude, the world is totally different for them. They see things in a different way. We’ve trained the Philadelphia prison system staff, seventy percent of them. Probably seventy-five percent didn’t want to be in the training and twenty-five percent were openly hostile when we started the session. They were mandated to take this training. They came in with attitudes.
But at the end of the three-day training, seventy percent said it was excellent and twenty percent said it was good. Only one percent said it was poor.

But what happens later? What happens in six months? Are they using the skills?

We did a six month follow-up in Philadelphia. Seventy-nine percent of CO’s said they were using anger management with inmates. Eighty-two percent said they were using it with co-workers and eight-four said they were using it off the job. When you consider that the life expectancy in corrections is 59 years, I don’t think that is because of problems with just inmates. It’s because of stress on the job, stress with coworkers and supervisors. But we can change that if we give CO’s the tools they need to handle their emotions.

Anderson: I have absolutely not experienced anyone who was not pleased. You don’t have disappointed people. If we see in the first or second week that you aren’t changing, we take you aside and ask if you really want to change, because that’s the only thing holding you back. Other than that, anger management tools can really make a difference in staff relationships, efficient departments and healthy lifestyles.

Note: For more on Anderson’s book, go to the Anderson & Anderson website.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rapid Response to Anger Gets Soccer Player Suspended

by Ben Arntz

This week, Major League Soccer officials suspended and fined Clint Mathis, of the Colorado Rapids, for “violent conduct” during last weekend’s game. Mathis was shown a red card in the sixty-fifth minute of the match for an elbow to the head of New England’s Avery John.

The elbow occurred just seconds after a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge from John sent Mathis to the ground. Mathis sprang to his feet and chased after John. As Mathis caught up, John passed the ball, and Mathis elbowed him in the jaw. It was unnecessary, malicious, retaliatory, and entirely appalling.

Although sports have long been an arena for acts of instant and violent retribution, such actions are harmful to the offender, his team, and the league. In this case, Mathis was suspended for two games and fined $1000. His team is in a close race for the playoffs, and his absence on the field could (arguably) diminish the Rapids’ chances of seeing the post-season. It’s a sore jaw for Avery John and a black eye for the league.

The fact remains that athletic contests are a veritable breeding ground for violent conduct. Thus, it is imperative that players and coaches proactively educate themselves in less destructive ways to respond to the feelings of anger that arise instantaneously on the field. Outbursts, such as Mathis’, are too costly for the player and the team.

The Anderson & Anderson model of anger management teaches skills for recognizing and managing anger and stress. If players can learn to identify the warning signs of anger before they reach their boiling-over points, then perhaps some of these violent events can be prevented.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Top anger management researchers, trainers and providers worldwide

As anger management rapidly gains prevalence around the world as an intervention for person - directed aggression, it is worthwhile to identify the leaders, trend setters, gurus, and researchers who are defining the scope of professional anger management practice. This is not an exhaustive attempt to explain the theoretical and intervention approaches of those mentioned on this list. Rather, it is suggested that anybody who is interested in learning more about the subject should contact any or all of the following innovators to get more firsthand information regarding anger management.

Dr. Raymond Novaco, Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Irvine was one of the first researchers to use the term, anger management. He is responsible for developing an assessment scale for inappropriate anger.

Dr. Jerry Deffenbacher, Professor of Psychology at the Colorado State University is identified as an expert on road rage. He is a panel member of an American Psychological Association task force charged with developing a proposed new DSM category for anger as a pathological condition.

Williams LifeSkills was founded by renowned researcher and physician Redford Williams, MD and educator/historian Virginia Williams. PhD. Dr. Redford Williams is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Virginia Williams, President of Williams LifeSkills, is a cultural historian and writer.

Psychologist Howard Kassinove, PhD, of Hofstra University.

R. Chip Titrate, PhD. is a colleague and co-researcher with Dr. Kassinove.

Dr. Tony Fiore, one of the principles of Century Anger Management, was trained in the Anderson & Anderson model of anger management and has recently developed a different model along with his partner Ari Novick. Both are Certified Anger Management Facilitators in the Anderson & Anderson model of anger management.

Dr. Leonard Ingram was trained in Chicago at the Alfred Adler Institute and maintains the award winning website:

Mike Fisher is director of the British Association of Anger Management and major provider of anger management in the U.K.

I, George Anderson, was trained in Child Psychotherapy at the Harvard University School of Medicine. After spending many years in private practice and as a University Professor and Psychotherapist, I developed a curriculum in batterer’s intervention 15 years ago and a curriculum in anger management three years later.
I am currently working with Mike Fisher to co-sponsor an international conference on anger management. I have partnered with Leonard Ingram in the mutual marketing of our respective training products. Tony Fiore and Ari Novick are active members of the American Association of Anger Management Providers and are working collaboratively to develop standards for facilitators of anger management. Jerry Deffenbacher and I have appeared jointly on NPR, national radio. I have read research conducted by the Williams as well as Dr. Titrate and Dr. Kassinove.

I strongly recommend that all students and providers who wish to develop competency in anger management to carefully study the writings of all of the anger management leaders listed above. These are some of the prominent movers and shakers in anger management.
For more information regarding trends in anger management click here:

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF
Fellow, American Orthopsychiatric Association
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers