Anger Management 3:
Structured Programs and Interventions
ERIC Identifier: ED482768
Publication Date: 2003-12-00
Author: Hogan, Eileen K.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services Greensboro NC.
Numerous structured programs exist for helping clients learn to manage their anger
more effectively. These programs vary in intended audience, theoretical basis, teaching
method, and actual skills and techniques used. A review of several structured programs
It is important to remember that prior to selecting an intervention, one must
assess the expression, function, source, and resulting problems of a client's anger
(see Anger Management 1: An Overview for Counselors
(ERIC Digest # EDO-CG-03-xx)).
In addition, one must consider the client's cultural needs, the ability of the client to transfer
new skills to their daily environments, and the client's readiness and skill level for
dealing with the problem in order to select interventions that will be effective
(see Anger Management 2:
Counseling Strategies and Skills).
- "25 Ways to Help Children Control Their Anger"
"25 Ways to Help Children Control Their Anger," developed by Lawrence E. Shapiro of
Childswork/Childsplay, is geared toward children and is designed to be used with
individuals. It is based on cognitive behavioral theory and focuses on relaxation,
recognition of feelings and emotions, and awareness of behavioral triggers (Jahnke,
- "The Anger Control Kit"
"The Anger Control Kit," developed by Lawrence E. Shapiro of Childswork/Childsplay, is
geared toward children. It covers six modalities: affective, behavioral, cognitive,
developmental, educational, and social. It is composed of 38 techniques and focuses on
teaching self-regulation, expression of feelings, stress management, and peer
mediation skills (Jahnke, 1998).
- "How I Learned to Control My Temper"
"How I Learned to Control My Temper," developed by Debbie Pincus of Childswork/Childsplay, is geared toward children and is designed to be used with
individuals. It is based on cognitive behavioral theory and utilizes worksheets to help
children recognize feelings and emotions, control their temper, be assertive, and
develop empathy (Jahnke, 1998).
- "Aggression Replacement Training (ART)"
"Aggression Replacement Training (ART)," developed by A.P. Goldstein and B. Glick (1987), geared toward adolescents, is unique in its design because it has a behavioral
component (structured learning), an affective component (anger control training), and a
cognitive component (moral reasoning). The Anger Control Training (ACT) component
is based on the earlier work of Novaco (cognitive preparation, skill acquisition,
application training) and Feindler (triggers, cues, reminders, reducers, self-evaluation).
The objectives are to teach adolescents to understand what causes them to feel angry
and act aggressively and then to teach techniques they can use to reduce their anger
and aggression. Often adolescents feel they do not have a choice in many situations:
they feel their only choice is aggression. The goal of training is to give them skills
necessary to make a choice.
The general format of the Anger Control Training involves modeling by trainers, role
playing by trainees, and feedback. The ABC model provides the foundation of the anger
A is the trigger (what triggered the problem),
Since it is important to know one is angry before one uses self-control
to reduce anger or to impact one's reaction, adolescents also learn about triggers (both
external and internal), cues (physical signs that let one know he/she is angry) and anger
reducers (e.g., deep breathing, backward counting, pleasant imagery).
B is the behavioral response (what one did in response to A), and
C is the consequences (to oneself and to the other person).
The program teaches adolescents to choose their response in a conflict situation and to
think ahead about short- and long-term consequences, internal and external
consequences, and social consequences of their potential actions. The program makes
use of self-evaluation in which an adolescent judges for himself how well he has
handled a conflict, self-rewards himself based on handling a situation well, and coaches
himself based on how he could have handled it better.
The program also addresses the concept of an Angry Behavior Cycle in which
participants are encouraged to consider what they might be doing to make others angry
versus just dealing with what others do to make them angry. Finally, since the Anger
Control Training (ACT) teaches what not to do (be aggressive) and how not to do it
(anger control technique), ART includes a component of learning what to do in place of
being aggressive. This behavioral component of learning and using new behaviors is
incorporated through structured learning skills.
- ACE Model
Taylor (as cited in Besley, 1999) developed a cognitive anger management approach
for adolescents that focuses on the boundaries of angry situations, the consequences
that could develop from certain choices, and appropriate positive responses. The
positive response model is known as ACE and it provides three responses for any given
A is for Adapt: when one cannot change the circumstances, one can choose to
accept the situation and change one's behavior.
It is important to learn how to identify an angry situation as needing an A or C or E response
and then consider consequences that might occur with each response. Finally, it is
important to focus on one's own responses to the problem versus on the intent of
C is for Confront in a productive and calm manner.
E is for Escape: for varied reasons, there are times when one cannot
adapt nor confront the situation, so one must retreat physically or emotionally.
- "The Anger Coping Program"
"The Anger Coping Program," developed by Jonh E. Lochman, Susanne Dunn and
Bonnie Klimes-Dougan is geared toward aggressive adolescents and is designed to be
utilized in groups. It is based on Dodge's model of perceiving and deciding how to react
to problematic social situations. It is composed of 18 sessions with a focus on
physiological awareness, perspective taking, social problem solving, and self-instruction
to inhibit impulsive responding (Jahnke, 1998).
- "Anger Control Training for Adolescents in Residential Treatment"
"Anger Control Training for Adolescents in Residential Treatment," developed by R.F. Dangel, J.P.
Descher, and R.R. Rasp, is geared toward adolescent groups. It is based on cognitive
behavioral theory and is composed of 6 sessions with a focus on thought stopping and
relaxation (Jahnke, 1998).
- "Anger Control Training for Children and Teens"
"Anger Control Training for Children and Teens," developed by Dr. John F. Taylor, is
geared toward both children and adolescents; it is designed to be used individually or in
groups. It is based on cognitive theory and focuses on defining, expressing, and
managing anger. It is available from Mar*co Products, Inc. (Jahnke, 1998).
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS
- "Anger Management for Youth: Stemming Aggression and Violence"
"Anger Management for Youth: Stemming Aggression and Violence," developed by Dr.
Leona Eggert, is geared toward high school students and is designed to be utilized in
groups. It is based on cognitive behavioral theory and focuses on linking thoughts,
feelings, and behavior; discovering consequences of angry outbursts; and thought
stopping (Jahnke, 1998).
- "ThinkFirst Curriculum"
The "ThinkFirst Curriculum," developed by Dr. James Larson and Dr. Judith McBride of
the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, is geared toward aggressive adolescent and
high school students; it is designed to be utilized in groups. It is based on cognitive
behavioral theory and focuses on the ABC model, physiological cues, direct and indirect
provocations, assertion techniques, problem solving, and self-evaluation (Jahnke,
ADULT AND ADOLESCENT PROGRAMS
The "Rethink" curriculum, developed by R.J. Fetsch and C.J. Schultz in conjunction with
Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences
(Fetsch & Schultz, & Wahler, 1999), is designed for parents and teens and is unique in
that it incorporates information about normal childhood development issues and about
normal parenting issues. The objectives are to increase participants' knowledge about
parenting, child development, and anger management; assist participants in improving
attitudes about parenting and anger management; assist participants in making positive
behavioral changes; increase participants' anger control levels; decrease participants'
unrealistic expectations of their children; and decrease participants' family conflict,
anger, and violence. The program is built around the following concepts:
R = RECOGNIZE anger in yourself and others
E = EMPATHIZE with the other person
T = THINK about the situation differently
H = HEAR what is being said
I = INTEGRATE respect and love when expressing anger
N = NOTICE your body's reactions to anger
K = KEEP your attention on the present problem
- "The Anger Workbook"
"The Anger Workbook," developed by Dr. Less Carter and Dr. Frank Minirth, is geared
toward high school and adult individuals but it can be incorporated into a group format.
It is based on cognitive theory and is composed of 13 steps that focus on self-reflection,
understanding how emotions feed anger, and identifying learned patterns of relating,
thinking and behaving that influence anger. It is available from Thomas Nelson
Publishers (ISBN # 0-0-8407-4574-5) (Jahnke, 1998).
- "Anger Management Program"
The "Anger Management Program," developed by Linda Panaccione, LISW, is geared
toward adolescents and adults and can be utilized in individual work or in group work. It
is based on cognitive behavioral theory and is composed on 10 steps with a focus on
recognizing triggers and determining replacement behavior (Jahnke, 1998).
This is a brief sample of the wide variety of anger management interventions available
to counselors and other mental health practitioners. Many other interventions can be
found by reviewing professional literature and searching the Internet. But not all
interventions are will work for all clients so remember to find one that will effectively
meet a clients' needs and abilities.
This publication was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational
Research and Improvement, Contract No. ED-99-CO-0014. Opinions expressed in this
report do not necessarily reflect the positions of the U.S. Department of Education,
OERI, or ERIC/CASS. ERIC Digests are in the public domain and may be freely reproduced.
Besley, K. R. (1999). Anger management: Immediate intervention by counselor coach.
Professional School Counseling, 3(2), pp. 81-90.
Fetsch, R. J., Schultz, C. J., Wahler, J. J. (1999). A preliminary evaluation of the
Colorado Rethink parenting and anger management program. Child Abuse and Neglect,
23(4), pp. 353-360.
Goldstein, A. P. & Glick, B. (1987). Aggression replacement training: A comprehensive intervention for aggressive youth. Champaign, IL: Research Press.
Jahnke, K. (1998, April). Anger management programs for children and teens: A review
of eleven anger management programs. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
National Association of School Psychologists, Orlando, FL.
Taylor, J. F. (1991). Anger control training for children and teens. Doylestown, PA: Mar*co.
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