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What Does An Anger Management Class Entail?

by Dr. Ari Novick November 6, 2015

On a daily basis we get phone calls from potential clients asking us what our anger management classes are all about? In some cases, the individual is looking for help because of a rocky situation at home or work. He or she lost their temper one too many times and a spouse, family member, friend or employer has asked them to take classes or else face consequences. In other scenarios, the client had a few too many cocktails and lost control at a restaurant, bar, or party and it’s a one-time incident that they are forever regretful for. Or, many times it’s a result of getting into it with a police officer, and now they have been court mandated to take a 4, 8, 10, 16, 26 or even 52 session program. Whatever the story is, the individual has to move forward to get their life back on track, and is not sure what they are about to get into. What exactly does this entail?

Anger is a natural reaction that we all experience just like happiness, excitement, fear or sadness. We all get angry, but it’s how we respond to the emotion that can determine the end result. Anger management is NOT about shelving this feeling, suppressing it and never getting angry. It’s about gaining new ways to better channel your feelings resulting in stronger, safer and more effective relationships.

Learning to identify what triggers you to get so angry is one of the first steps in getting it under control. Students start by asking themselves what types of people or events make them angry and take a look at how they have been responding. Are these reactions rational? How are they affecting those around you? In many cases, the way someone is handling their anger is the way they saw their parents’ role model it. If your dad or mom would fly off the handle whenever there was a bit of adversity, it’s understandable that you might have replicated the behavior.

However, there is no reason to live like this and we can retrain the brain by learning how to manage the triggers in a more effective manner. Students who take anger management classes learn skills in stress management, empathy, conflict resolution and assertive (not aggressive) communication. With motivation, adults can change at any age by learning techniques to relax and calm down in the eye of the storm. Anger Management techniques help us to think more clearly to find a reasonable solution to a problem, rather than losing control in a way that continuously causes negative repercussions.

In a group class, students can expect to come 1 or 2 times a week until they have attended about 10 – 12 sessions or the number they have been mandated by court. It’s a comfortable environment with about 6 -10 students per session. Each student has a workbook and the certified instructor will go through it from start to finish over these sessions, rotating through topics, having meaningful discussions and answering questions. Students can come to class whenever they can and when they have met their requirement, a Certificate of Completion is issued to show the court.

Our online classes are also designed for self-improvement purposes and to fulfill court requirements. We suggest that all our clients get prior approval from their judge, probation officer or social work, to take a distance-learning course for their particular court mandate. It’s perfect for people who can’t make it to the weekly classes due to work schedules, health issues, transportation or financial restraints. The online classes cover the same topics that we cover in our group classes, but the student takes it privately, on their own schedule. A Certificate of Completion is instantly available to download at the end of the class and we put the hard copy on the mail to you. Either way you to choose, you will learn new skills that you can employ for a more positive and successful outcome in every aspect of your life!

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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