Anger Management the Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners

About This Program

Target Population: Adults with anger regulation problems; program has also been used with adolescents

Program Overview

Given the developing knowledge in the anger treatment area, the wide variability of client characteristics and the varied settings in which anger treatment is delivered the Anger Management the Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners program is organized according to a flexible menu-based approach. The treatment program has four stages: engagement and preparation, use of specific change strategies, learning to accept difficult life situations, and maintaining change and enhancing happiness.

Program Goals

The goals of the Anger Management the Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners program are:

  • Reduce reactivity to typical anger triggers experienced by clients
  • Reduce negative expressions of anger including aggression and verbally abusive comments
  • Foster increases in constructive problem solving and assertive communications
  • Achieve decreases in intensity (physical activation), frequency, and duration of anger episodes

Essential Components

The essential components of the Anger Management the Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners program include:

  • For each stage of the treatment process, several interventions are described in detail from which practitioners may choose:
    • Engagement and preparation:
      • Client-centered initial approach
      • Feedback on standardized tests
      • Anger episode interview
    • Specific change strategies:
      • Avoid and escape from aversive triggers
      • Reduce physical arousal and activation
      • Increase constructive social problem solving
      • Reduce reactivity through exposure to typical triggers
      • Develop assertive responding
    • Accepting, adapting, adjusting:
      • Learn to see the world realistically
      • Develop a flexible philosophy
      • Forgiveness interventions
    • Maintaining change and increasing happiness:
      • Relapse prevention
      • Enhance overall happiness
  • In addition, these components are also essential to the program:
    • Curriculum taught in groups of 10-12 members
    • Idiographic assessment using the Anger Episode Model (triggers, cognitive appraisals, internal anger experiences, external anger expressions, outcomes)
    • Developing new skills (relaxation, cognitive restructuring, behavioral responding)
    • New skills are practiced and reinforced through the use of exposure procedures
    • For easy reference by the client, a client version of the same program exists titled: Anger Management for Everyone: Seven Proven Ways to Control Anger and Live a Happier Life

Program Delivery

Adult Services

Anger Management the Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners directly provides services to adults (regardless of whether they are parents or caregivers) and addresses the following:

  • Difficulties with anger regulation and expression

Recommended Intensity:

50 to 60-minute weekly sessions

Recommended Duration:

Depends on the client's symptoms; a minimum of 3 months

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community Agency
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Residential Care Facility
  • School


Anger Management the Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners includes a homework component:

Self-monitoring of anger episodes, avoid and escape worksheet, progressive muscle relaxation practice, problem solving worksheet, assertiveness worksheet, imaginal and verbal barb exposure practice, change the way you think worksheets, self-assessment of progress, and between session reading of chapters (client version).


Anger Management the Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners has materials available in languages other than English:

Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish

For information on which materials are available in these languages, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Space that provides for confidentiality and that is free of distractions

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

An Master’s level degree in one of the behavioral fields preferred; though Bachelor’s level professionals who work in criminal justice environments may be eligible as well

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program , and there is training available for this program.

Training Contacts:
Training is obtained:

Usually onsite or at a training location

Number of days/hours:

Two full days of training are recommended to cover the full range of interventions

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

The following studies were not included in rating Anger Management the Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners on the Scientific Rating Scale...

Tafrate, R., & Kassinove, H. (1998). Anger control in men: Barb exposure with rational, irrational, and irrelevant self-statements. The Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 12, 187-211.

Note: This study examined only the exposure component of the program and cannot be considered for rating the program. The study explored the effectiveness of rehearsing rational self-statements based on rational-emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) to treat anger control problems. Subjects were randomized to one of three groups (rational, irrational, or irrelevant self-statements) and exposed to anger-provoking verbal barbs (in-vivo exposure) while they rehearsed the self-statements. Measures used included the Trait Anger Scale at intake, the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, Working Alliance Inventory (WAI), and the barb technique. Results indicated that although subjects who rehearsed the rational self-statements showed the greatest improvement, significant pre-to-posttest anger reduction was also observed for subjects in the other two groups. Since the study was designed to examine the effects of self-statement content, and the barb exposure was delivered across all conditions, it is not possible to directly evaluate the effects of the exposure component and determine whether the exposure component was an active therapeutic element. Study limitations include the lack of a no exposure control group.

Grodnitzky, G.R., & Tafrate, R. (2000). Imaginal exposure for anger reduction in adult outpatients: A pilot study. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 31, 259-279.

Note: This study examined only the exposure component of the program and cannot be considered for rating the program. The study evaluated the effectiveness of an anger treatment program in a small sample of adults. Participants completed the Trait Anger Scale at intake, the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory at pre- and post-test, the Daily Anger Exposure Record and Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition (BDI-II) throughout the intervention, and the Working Alliance Inventory (WAI) at post-test only. Results indicated that statistically significant change was found on most anger variables and the majority of patients met criteria for clinically significant improvement on indices of anger at post-test and 15-month follow-up. Study limitations include small sample size and the lack of randomization or control group.

Additional References

Kassinove, K., & Tafrate, R. (2011).  Application of a flexible, clinically driven approach for anger reduction in the case of Mr. P.  Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 18, 222-234.

Tafrate, R. & Kassinove, H.  (2006). Anger management for adults: A menu-driven cognitive-behavioral approach to the treatment of anger disorders.  In E. L. Feindler (ed.). Anger related disorders: A practitioner’s guide to comparative treatments.  New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Tafrate, R., Kassinove, H., & Dundin, L. (2002).  Anger episodes in high and low trait anger community adults.  Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 1573-1590.

Contact Information

Raymond Chip Tafrate, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Central Connecticut State University
Phone: (860) 832-3147

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: February 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2011