Monday, June 20, 2011

Evidence Based Anger Management: Does it Exist?

How do you know if you have an anger management condition?  It's often hard to tell what exactly is a "problem" which out having a DSM that has been established.  In psychology, all nervous and mental disorders are listed in the DSM-IV-TR which is put out by the American Psychological Association.  Unfortunately, anger is not listed as a disorder; however, it is a symptom of many other disorders.  The good news is, problem anger can be helped regardless of whether or not there is a diagnosis for it.

One way to explore if you have an anger issue to to simply take an anger management assessment.  There are numerous assessments in anger management that can be provided by either a licensed mental health professional and/or a certified anger management professional.  The outcome of the assessment will then show either skill deficiencies or state trait anger outcome depending on the type of assessment used.

Now your on your way to finding an anger management course that is the best fit.  Here is the real issue.  While most quality anger management programs use empirically validated interventions, most do not have scientific evidence to support their usefulness.  This is mostly due to the fact that developing studies that can be peer-reviewed and scientifically proven take a lot of time, and money, which most private for profit organizations do not have.  Recently the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare listed the Century Anger Management model of intervention to it's list of programs.  It is this authors view that programs which utilize the Century Anger Management model of intervention would be a well thought out choice for those seeking to improve in skills related to anger and stress management.  This model uses two primary evidence based theories in all of its interventions.  The use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Behavior Therapy (BT).  There are so many studies available on these two approaches, it would be laborious to try and list them in this entry.

With a solid model of intervention in mind, the next step is to find a provider who can offer these programs.  Anger management is not hard to find.  A simple Yahoo! search of the word "anger management" will yield a staggering 18,700,000 results!  It is best to refine your search to terms like "anger management classes in (your city)".  You will then likely find some local resources that might be a nice fit for what you are looking for.  Another resource would be to take the anger management class online from a reputable and trusted provider.  Again, look for a online class that has a proven track record and model of intervention that is well established and recognized.  The advantage to an online course is that you don't have to miss time away from other life obligations and the course can be completed when it is best for you. 

There is simply no reason not to start anger management classes if you feel you need them.  Remember, anger ruins the relationships we love the most.  Don't let it happen to you!

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