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 23, 2007

An Enlightened Public Discovers Anger Management

Author: George Anderson

In summary, the change in referral patterns indicates that the enlightened public is rapidly recognizing anger management as a positive opportunity to learn skills in managing stress and anger, improving communication skills and developing emotional intelligence.

An Enlightened Public Discovers Anger Management


The recent pattern of referrals to anger management classes shows a dramatic shift in the profiles of the clients enrolled. Over the last ten years, most referrals were from the Courts for misdemeanor offenses and infractions with aggressive behavior being the most common reason for the court order. Recently, I sat in on a class as a Guest Facilitator. When the group members were asked to introduce themselves and indicate their goals and reasons for seeking anger management, the majority of clients were volunteers who wanted to gain a better control of their expressions of anger and stress, enhance communication skills and learn to be more emotionally intelligent. Several clients were parents who were concerned over their own hurtful behavior towards their children.

Employer referrals

The second client group consisted of employees who were mandated by their employers to complete an anger management class, because of aggressive, rude or insensitive behavior at work. These clients were initially resistant to sharing information about themselves. However, when they had a chance to hear from the larger number of self-referrals who view the class as a positive experience to improve their interpersonal skills, they became much more comfortable with sharing. Most of the mandated clients were surprised that others were coming voluntarily. This realization quickly helped them see their mandated status as a blessing in disguise, since they were given an opportunity to learn important new skills at their employer’s expense. Those mandated by the courts responded similarly.

Court mandated referrals

The smaller group of clients who were ordered to attend between 10 to 52 weeks of anger management, as the result of road rage, simple battery, threats, harassment or some other person- directed aggression, were quickly influenced by the other clients to take the course seriously and actively participate.


The change in referral patterns indicates that the enlightened public is rapidly recognizing anger management as a positive opportunity to learn skills in managing stress, anger and improving communication skills and developing emotional intelligence.

Self-referrals and employer referrals are now the norm, which reflects the public’s acceptance of anger management as a legitimate intervention for anger. Their interest is in dealing with the type of anger that is too intense, lasts too long or leads to aggressive behavior or person-directed violence.

George Anderson, M.S.W, LCSW, BCD
Fellow, American Orthopsychiatric Association
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers.

About Author

George Anderson is the Director of training for Anderson & Anderson.
He is a Board Certified Diplomate in Psychotherapy
Fellow, American Orthopsychiatric Association


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