Posted by: arijnovick | December 25, 2008

Anger Management Basics- How to better Manage Your Anger!

Anger management is one of the most common referrals we receive to our office. As a field of specialization, it is important to seek a professional trained in understand and teach effective skills in anger management vs. just a generic mental health professional.

First off, no one can teach someone how to not get angry, that is like trying to teach someone how to have a better sense of humor. What can be taught are ways to change behavior when one gets upset or angry. By changing the previous learned behavior to a more appropriate behavior the outcome will ultimately change as well.

While this article is not meant to be a lesson in teaching all of the skills necessary for proper anger management, it is meant to be a constructive overview.

Learning better communication skills is critical, and being taught the proper way to assert ones self is the essential. Assertive communication allows us to be express how we feel and what we need in a way that is clear, non offensive, and appropriate.

Empathy should be used to show the other person we understand how they feel and can relate to their internal experience. My learning skills in empathy we make better connections with others and in turn, improve our relationships.

Stress management is important to keep our impulse control and fight or flight trigger in check. Learning stress management skills will keep a cool head and will make thinking clearly easier

Managing expectations is also important in reducing the anger response. When we can manage expectations appropriately, we are better able to anticipate the outcome and not feel let down.

Changing our internal dialog or “self-talk” is also important for creating positive change in managing anger. What we say to ourselves is just as important as what we say to others. If the internal dialog is negative, surely the outcome will be too. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions.

Forgiveness is also important for well being. Lack of forgiveness leads to grudges and other negative feelings. It takes up space in our heart and mind to move on and feel good. Learning this skills helps to let go of negativity.

Time-outs are also important for staying under control and keeping a clear head. A time out is way to let you and the other person cool down from a heated situation. Time outs must follow certain rules which can be taught in a quality anger management class.

These skills are best learned from either taking an anger management class in person or a online anger management program from a reputable provider.

Dr. Ari Novick is a licensed marriage and family therapist and anger management expert. He is an adjunct professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and has published two books in the field of anger management. His parent company, AJ Novick Group, Inc ( offers a variety of anger management programs. His company also offers the nations leading online anger management classes available through


  1. How would one go about finding a qualified therapist in my area that deals with anger management issues? My so clearly needs this kind of treatment but I really have no idea where to begin to find someone who specializes in this kind of treatment for teens. Should I look on the internet or do you think that a general physician could make some referrals for me?

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