Learn to constructively manage anger
Whilst we tend to construe anger as a bad thing, anger involves both positive and negative aspects. The negative aspects are all too familiar i.e. thinking becomes clouded, you may become overly defensive, and you might act on your anger in a violent or aggressive way. The positive aspects which are often overlooked are that we often express our feelings when we otherwise might repress them, we have heightened energy levels due to physiological arousal, and we can often solve problems and take control whilst we are in this elevated state. The idea behind anger management is not to remove all anger, but to manage it by channelling it into the positive aspects and away from the negative aspects. If anger is expressed in acceptable and appropriate ways then it can be productive rather than destructive.
We all experience anger, though some people might be considered more bad tempered than others. Given that anger is a strong emotion, it can become too strong and over-bearing. When this happens, people may over-react. At such times it is possible to draw other people in and so the anger escalates. Anger management seeks to control exaggerated anger and channel it into constructive areas.
There are many anger management techniques ranging from relaxation exercises to changing thought patterns, learning how to communicate better to reducing stress levels.
This course provides the student with a deeper understanding about what anger is, the causes of anger, and how to effectively manage anger for the best possible outcome.
- the workplace
- professional contexts - counselling clients, mediation, conflict resolution, negotiations etc
- personal relationships
- helping people you love
- managing your own anger
- sports teams ... and more!!
There are 9 lessons in this course:
- Nature and Scope of Anger
- Managing Anger with Counselling
- Managing Anger with Cognitive Behavioural Counselling (CBT)
- Anger Management Techniques: Violence
- Anger Management for People with Mental Health Issues
- Managing Anger in Children and Adolescents
- Anger Management for People with Special Difficulties
- Anger Management Support Services
- Deciding on a Course of Action PBL Project
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
What is in each of the nine lessons?
1. Nature and Scope of Anger
- The autonomic nervous system
- Anger and arousal
- Galvanic skin resistance
- Voice stress analyser
- Degrees of arousal
- Difficulties of arousal theories
- Theories of emotion
- James Lange theory
- Cannon Bard theory
- Schachter's theory
- Lazarus's appraisal theory
- Weiner's attribution
- Averill's social construction theory
- Facial feedback theory
2. Managing Anger with Counselling
- Causes of anger
- Breaking personal rules
- Self defence
- Expression of anger
- Counselling strategies
- Empty chair technique
- Recognising psychological arousal
- Thought stopping
- Relaxation exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Time out
- Assertiveness training
- Three steps in assertiveness training
- Five stage assertiveness training interview
- Mental blocks to assertiveness
3. Managing Anger with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Identifying antecendents
- Assessment of anger
- Beginning therapy
- Teaching CBT
- Disputing inferences and evaluations
- Independence and blocks to change
- Use of imagery
- Emotional insight Exposure
- Working with anger problems in CBT
- Problems with CBT for anger management
4. Anger Management Techniques for Violence
- Anger and violence
- Causes of violence
- Cold violence
- Hot violence
- Reactive violence
- Tips for dealing with a violent client
- Strategies for violence prevention
- Action after violence
- Managing violence against others
- Mental disorders and violence
5. Anger Management for People with Mental Health Issues
- DSM dimensions to diagnose mental illness
- Dementia and anger
- Supporting clients with dementia
- Stages of grief
- Tasks of mourning
6. Managing Anger in Children and Adolescents
- Temper tantrums
- Older children and anger
- Psychological changes in girls
- Psychological changes in boys
- Eating problems
- Adults sharing anger
7. Anger Management for People with Special Difficulties
- People with personality disorders
- Borderline personality disorders and treatment
- Psychopath and treatment
- Road rage, symptoms and abuse
8. Anger Management Services
- Anger management clinics
- Courses and workshops
- Group and individual work
- Conflict management
- Conflict handling techniques
- Life coaching
- Setting up an anger management consultancy
9. Deciding on a Course of Action
- PBL Project to create and present a plan of anger management to support an individual experiencing serious anger difficulties.
- Discuss the nature and scope of anger including psychological and physiological manifestations.
- Explain the biological, social and psychological causes of anger and the strategies used by counsellors to deal with the underlying causes in an effort to diffuse the build up of anger in people
- Explain how anger problems can be addressed through the application of cognitive behavioural counselling
- Discuss anger management techniques to diffuse violent outbursts and manage violence
- Consider anger management issues for people with specific mental health issues.
- Explain the causes of anger in children and adolescents, and review a wide range of techniques for addressing those issues.
- Determine the nature and scope of anger management services in society.
- Identify ways to support clients seeking anger management services
- Evaluate a situation where anger is becoming a problem and determine an appropriate course to follow in response to the problem.
CAUSES OF ANGER
There are a number of different causes of anger.
This happens when we are prevented from achieving a valuable goal, though it can also occur when we get something we do not want. Frustration can be something relatively small such as when someone jumps the queue in front of us, or it can be a major event such as losing out on your dream home. The cause of the frustration might be another person, a situation, an organisation or indeed, yourself. Nevertheless, frustration need not develop into problematic anger and can be adaptive if we were to consider that we simply wished that the frustration had not happened.
However, according to Wessler and Wessler (1980) it does become problematic when we demand that the frustrating situation should absolutely have not happened and that it is a tragedy that we have not got what we wanted, and we curse the cause of the frustration.
2) Breaking Personal Rules
Beck (1976) suggested that another common source of anger is when personal rules are broken. Personal rules might include such things as expecting to be treated with respect, with equity, in a reasonable way, with politeness, consideration and so on. Someone who holds such rules would expect that they be observed at all times and so if someone treated them rudely, with indifference, or unfairly, they would be likely to become angry. Nevertheless, it is not realistic to expect that everyone they meet will treat them in their prescribed way. It is more realistic and adaptive to prefer to be treated in this way but not to always expect it, and to come to terms with the fact that there will sometimes be exceptions to these personal rules.
Dryden (1987) described another cause of anger which he called ‘self-defence’ anger. This occurs when an individual’s self-esteem is challenged by the responses of an organisation or another individual. Their anger serves as a self-defence mechanism to protect them from a negative evaluation of themselves.
If you imagine that a team of football players are told by their manager that they are not putting enough effort in but one of the players comes forward to angrily claim that he is. In this case, the player’s response serves to protect him from the other possible thought that he was failing which is unthinkable. If he held the belief that failing in his role as a player meant he was a failure, then he might think that the manager was actually saying that he was a failure as a person and so no wonder he becomes angry. Such a person would find criticism very hard to take.
People who express this type of anger are often considered to be ‘touchy’ or ‘defensive’. They will often shirk responsibility and point the blame at others. They cannot accept responsibility for mistakes or poor performance since that would mean accepting that they were failures or somehow worthless.
Expression of Anger
Often someone who becomes angry will retaliate or lash out against the perceived source of frustration. This expression of anger may be physical or verbal, or it may sometimes be expressed indirectly such as by being unhelpful or deliberately awkward.
Someone who has a very damning or demanding thought pattern is likely to express their anger in destructive or aggressive ways. Long-term anger can overwhelm a person so that they do, in fact, feel as if they were consumed by it. It can interfere with enjoying life and may contribute towards high blood pressure and associated pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases.