Posted by: arijnovick | November 11, 2011

Anger Management Classes: Understand What Makes them Work

I’ve made many observations over the years as a licensed clinician and anger management instructor.  I would estimate that I have seen thousands of anger management students over the last 9 years.  I’ll estimate that it’s about 5000 clients that I have personally seen in my office either in a group setting or individually.  I’ve had the unique opportunity to work with a broad range of clients all with varying backgrounds, education, life experience, religion, work experience, socio economic levels, etc.  I’ve also been able to utilize an approach that has allowed me to refine my skills and really hone in on what works.

Working in the field of anger management does come with it’s challenges.  Many approach anger as if it is something that should be removed, like an exorcism, while others just want to better control it through learning new skills.  Anger is like any human emotion.  It plays a powerful role in how we feel, think and behave.  Anger should not be judged as either good or bad, but rather it is the behavior that results from feeling angry that may be judged.  Anger is normal, and it is powerful.  Anger can help us get through emergencies and it can trigger our brains to act quickly.  Anger can also be dangerous because it often affects our ability for good judgement and impulse control.  When we get too angry, there is a part of our brain called the amygdala which gets “high jacked”.  When this high-jacking occurs, we often say and do things we later regret.

The key in anger management is to learn how to keep our anger levels low enough so that we can think clearly and make good decisions.  Part of keeping our anger levels lower is possessing the skills needed in order to do so.  Skill enhancement is really what anger management classes are all about.  We teach evidence based interventions that help clients better think, feel and behave.  Students will learn skills such as assertive communication, stress management, forgiveness, empathy and emotional awareness, improving internal dialog and self-talk, expectation management, and staying calm in difficult situations.

Anger management classes are often a great first line intervention when seeking help for behavior problems that are damaging a relationship.  Words are only meaningful if the behavior that follows is congruent with what is being said.  Learning to skills in anger management will not only help improve relationships, but also make you feel better as a person too.  If you think you don’t have time for class, think again.  These classes can also be taken as an Anger Class Online

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