Does Anger Management really work? That is a question asked by many with fairly limited data to support a non-subjective answer. Yes, there are numerous studies on anger management where the research has been published in a scientific journals and reviewed by peers. Most of these reports have looked at segments of our culture that are incarcerated or who have committed violent crimes.
The problem with those studies is most people who take anger control courses are not violent offenders and lead non-criminal lives. There are other studies which can be found on the web but only offer data from their own clinical setting, which doesn't carry much weight. This is mostly due to the fact that there is no way to prove the validity of it. Most anger management professionals, no matter how great or successful their practices are, don't have the funds or staff to conduct proper research.
That being said, much can be ascertained from what hundreds or even thousands of previous patients have reported. After providing thousands of pre and post tests and interviewing untold numbers of students of anger management, the number one predictor of success in anger management is achieved from a clients overall level of motivation. That is to say, does the client want to change? Think about it, if one doesn't want to change, change will likely not occur. Those who are highly motivated to learn, tend to do better and hold on to the material being taught longer.
The second predictor of success in anger management is a class that focuses on proven tools. Anger classes should include skills in the following:
- How to handle stress
- Gaining skills in Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
- Learning to respond instead of React
- Changing ones internal dialog from negative to positive
- Gaining Good Communication and Listening Skills
- Expectation management
- Forgive but don't forget
- Taking time outs and cool downs
The type of the anger management class is less important then the content or delivery method. Clients report the same or similar results from attending live anger management classes they do from individual coaching for anger management or online anger management classes
. The delivery method is a personal choice. Some prefer the face to face interaction, while other prefer to take programs at their own pace on their own time.
Anger management is not something that happens overnight. Gaining skills and maintaining change takes time. Those who are working on their own anger control need to manage their own expectations that learning new skills and perfecting them is a journey.