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5 Evidence Based Anger Management Class Techniques that Really Work

by Dr. Ari Novick August 2, 2011

Is anger management just a bunch of hot air?  It's often hard to tell what is really effective these days and what is just a bunch of "advice" that is simply based on opinion.  Anger management class techniques can vary from program to program, so it's important to determine what is really going to be effective before you spend the time and energy trying to learn something new to better manage and control your temper.  Here is a quick list of some of the most trusted and proven interventions for better managing anger:

Anger Control Tip #1: Becoming more emotionally intelligent has its advantages.  Emotional intelligence is often associated with skills in empathy.  Those that have the ability to show more empathy towards others tend to feel better, get their needs met more of the time, and how more quality interactions with others.  More on this topic can be found my researching Daniel Goldman.

Anger Control Tip #2:
Get your Stress Under Control.  Anger and stress tend to go hand in hand.  The higher ones stress the easier it is to get upset.  Learning effective techniques in stress management will not only reduce your anger response, but it will also help create a healthier and more well balanced life.  Check out the research on stress management documented by the Occupational Safety and Health organization.

Anger Control Tip #3: Changing internal dialog and self-talk.  Anger management classes that teach this skill will almost always base the intervention on work done by Albert Ellis, R.C. Taft and others.  Their pioneering research has led to some amazing discoveries about how our thoughts effect our behavior and feelings.  Taking personal responsibility for our internal dialog and beliefs helps to change our current and future behaviors towards ourselves and others.

Anger Control Tip #4:
Better manage our Expectations.  Expectation management is often one very difficult skill to master.  Through the work of John Gottman, Elizabeth Loftun and William Calvin, we have recently discovered that both our memories and expectations are greatly impacted by our belief systems.  Anger management training should focus on this important concept.

Anger Control Tip #5: Becoming a more Assertive communicator.  As the saying goes, “Communication is king.  Anger management classes aimed at teaching these skills will help participants better express their feelings and needs more appropriately.  Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and frustration.  Much research on this topic has been done by the University of Wisconsin’s counseling center (among many others).

Getting help in mastering these skills can be done in a variety of ways including taking anger management classes online, or simply finding a local anger management class near you.

About the author

Ari Novick, Ph.D. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Anger Management Professional and trainer.

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