The Practitioner’s Guide to Anger Management

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 Practitioner’s Guide to Anger Management: Customizable Interventions, Treatments, and Tools for Clients with Problem Anger program is organized according to a modular, customizable, menu-based approach. The treatment program has eight parts:

  • Basic knowledge for practitioners
  • Case formulation and treatment planning
  • Preparing clients for change
  • Interventions to alter anger triggers
  • Interventions to change thoughts
  • Interventions to alter internal experiences and urges
  • Interventions to alter anger expression
  • Enhancing happiness

Program Goals

The goals of the The Practitioner’s Guide to Anger Management: Customizable Interventions, Treatments, and Tools for Clients with Problem Anger program are:

  • Identify and alter anger triggers
  • Enhance motivation and awareness
  • Overcome impulsive urges
  • Alter lifestyle habits such as nutrition and sleep to make anger reactions less likely
  • Foster rational, nonangry thinking in day-to-day life
  • Build distress tolerance
  • Improve communication
  • Develop life skills for happiness

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for The Practitioner’s Guide to Anger Management.

Essential Components

The essential components of The Practitioner’s Guide to Anger Management: Customizable Interventions, Treatments, and Tools for Clients with Problem Anger program include:

  • Anger fundamentals and basics
  • The initial sessions: Engagement
  • Understanding anger episodes: The anger episode model
  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Enhancing awareness and motivation
  • Conveying accurate knowledge: Psychoeducation
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Sidestepping provocations
  • Social and personal problem solving
  • Promoting realistic thoughts and an accepting philosophy
  • Perspective taking, compassion, and forgiveness as an antidote to anger and resentment
  • Overcoming impulsive urges and increasing distress tolerance
  • Tolerating negative words and thoughts
  • Social and interpersonal skills
  • Assertiveness training: Awareness, actions, and words
  • Happiness
  • Links to downloadable handouts, worksheets, and sample scripts that can be incorporated into real-world sessions
  • For easy reference by the client, an updated client manual of the same program exists titled: Anger Management for Everyone: 10 Proven Strategies to Help You Control Anger and Live a Happier Life (2nd ed.)
  • Comprehensive and updated reference list for further reading

Program Delivery

Adult Services

The Practitioner’s Guide to Anger Management 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):

  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care
  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)

Homework

The Practitioner’s Guide to Anger Management includes a homework component:

The homework consists of self-monitoring of anger episodes, an avoid and escape worksheet, progressive muscle relaxation practice, a problem solving worksheet, an assertiveness worksheet, imaginal and verbal barb exposure practice, a change your angry thinking worksheet, and between session reading of chapters (client manual).

Languages

The Practitioner’s Guide to Anger Management has materials available in a language other than English:

Spanish

For information on which materials are available in this language, 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

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

A Masters-level degree in one of the behavioral fields preferred; though Bachelors-level professionals who work in other environments (e.g., criminal justice, education, housing) may be eligible as well

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

Practitioner Manual -

Client Manual -

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contacts:
Training Type/Location:

Usually onsite, at a training location, or virtual

Number of days/hours:

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

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

The following studies were not included in rating The Practitioner’s Guide to Anger Management 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

DiGiuseppe, R., & Tafrate, R. C. (2003). Anger treatment for adults: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, 70-84. https://doi.org/10.1093/clipsy.10.1.70

DiGiuseppe, R., & Tafrate, R. C. (2007). Understanding anger disorders. Oxford University Press.

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpra.2009.08.008

Contact Information

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

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2020

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2011