Anger management is a psycho-education intervention. How an individual learns to express their anger is learned. Anger management interventions are therefore designed to unlearn old skills and teach new skills. Anger management is neither counseling nor psychotherapy. Through the use of structured anger management classes clients learn new skills that can reverse years of poor anger management.
Over the last decade anger management has been gaining prominence, however the notion that anger management is for the raving mad may need to be re-conceptualized. It may be more helpful to conceptualize anger management as a preventative or early intervention for those who struggle with anger. Therefore the anger management facilitator is also seen as a first responder whose aim is to avert or prevent the escalation of angry outbursts.
At the core of poor anger management is an unmet emotional need. The goal of a well trained anger management facilitator is to teach not only anger management but communication skills, emotional intelligence and stress management. Those appropriate for anger management may include a couple who frequently argue, a executive who is argumentative, an employee who seem not to be able to get along with co-workers, a adolescent who displays frequent angry outbursts or a nurse whose level of stress drives him or her to anger. Anger management is not appropriate for the paranoid client, psychotic or sociopaths, suicidal client, the extreme narcissist, brain damaged clients or actively using drug addicts. This distinction is important in the light of incidences like the Virginia Tech shootings where some may insinuate that anger management may have been needed. However, the news reports suggest that the shooter was an individual who had a history of severe mental health problems. If this account proves accurate anger management alone could never have been appropriate.
This brings me to an emerging trend which the anger management community welcomes. Psychiatrist, other medical doctors and mental health clinicians have begun to collaborative with anger facilitators in the care of the mentally ill. While the anger management facilitator is not trained to either diagnose or treat the mentally ill they have been working collaboratively with clinicians so that patients continue to receive therapy as well as learning effective skills to manage their anger. Such collaboration holds the promise of improved client care. The anger management facilitator is a first responder on anger management issues. He or she is trained to asses the areas of deficit in the angry and teach new skills to improve their communication skills, emotional intelligence, stress management and anger management.
The respect of anger management as a field continues to grow and stationed throughout the country are hundreds of trained facilitators who are the public’s first responders on anger management. They are there to assist you. To find a facilitator in your area visit angermanagement-resources.com
Carlos Todd is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a certified anger management provider. He has close to a decade experience in the mental health field. He also owns and operated Todd's Anger Management Solution (TAMS) in North Carolina. Mr. Todd was recently appointed president of the American Association of Anger Management providers.
Carlos Todd, LPC, CAMF