Thursday, April 30, 2009

How I Gained Skills in Anger Management

By Ari Novick, Ph.D.

The issue of credentials is an important one when seeking professional help. I often get asked this question by consumers, prospective clients, as well as the media when contacted about our programs, products and services. Anger management is a specialized field and requires additional training. It can be a stand alone certification process for some or a specialization for a licensed and trained psychotherapist.

As for my journey, after finishing my first post graduate degree in clinical psychology at Pepperdine University, I began the long and rigorous road of becoming a licensed and trained psychotherapist. This process took several years beyond completing my Masters degree working in a variety of internships and mental health placements until all the requirements were met to sit for two very difficult licensing exams. I had amazing supervisors and a sound academic and clinical foundation. I knew in addition to my general education as a psychotherapist, I needed specialized training and education in a niche.

In the process of all of this, I started by taking several workshops in the field of anger management, which was a topic of interest to me, from a prominent and competent psychotherapist who offered training in the field of anger management. This was an amazing start, to a much longer journey. I then began to take as many other workshops and trainings related to anger management and aggression that I could find all over the country, but I still yearned to learn more.

In little time, I realized anger management was an area of specialization that I wanted explore thoroughly and better understand. I continued in academia and entered a Ph.D. program at the California Graduate Institute (A Professional School in Psychology) and spend 4 more years of school broadening my understanding of clinical psychology. For two and a half years I focused all my efforts researching anger management and anger management inventions, and everything I could find that was published in the field. It took me a little over a year and a half of research until I had finally completed a full literature review on the topic of anger management that was accepted for use in my dissertation. In the final year of completing my Ph.D. degree I worked diligently to write a well focused dissertation in the field of anger management. This included an original pilot study, testing interventions and developing a methodology that could then be further expanded. It was a lot of work and took perhaps thousands of hours of research and writing. During this time I was blessed and fortunate enough to become friends with one of the greatest anger management mentors of all time, Raymond Novaco, Ph.D., who is a professor at UCI. Dr. Novaco was kind enough to help give guidance and support during this difficult process as well as necessary feedback. There are only a handful of groundbreaking researchers in the field of anger management, and I was lucky enough to gain insight and guidance from one of the best.

In 2006 my formal training was complete and I was now able to represent myself as a both a well trained psychotherapist, and also an expert in the field of anger management. With the use of my research and then the help of my friend and psychologist, Tony Fiore, Ph.D., we were able to co-write one of the most complete and professional anger management curiculums and training programs available. Our program has received numerous approvals and has been accepted for use throughout the county in probation departments, courts, businesses, religious organizations, governmental agencies and much more. Most recently we were asked to train 20 employees who will be providing anger management training in all 33 California state prisons. Our curriculum is currently used in 5 countries and is available in both English and Spanish.

I maintain a thriving private practice as a licensed psychotherapist and anger management provider. I also am the co-founder of Century Anger Management, a leading national provider of anger management certification. In 2006, I launched one of the most innovative online anger management courses available in the nation, and in 2007, I was asked to come on board as an adjunct Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

For information about our corporation and programs, visit our website at AJ Novick Group, Inc.

Ari Novick, Ph.D., LMFT
AJ Novick Group, Inc. - Anger Management
949 715-2694

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