The trouble with other anger management classes
Anger management classes can be a great tool in helping people deal with rising tempers, out-of-control moods and hostile work environments. But like any good tool, an anger management class only works if used properly, or rather, if the lessons are truly suited to the needs of the attendees. Some anger programs do little more than simply tell people to repress or ignore their feelings in volatile situations. Not only is this kind of advice too simple to be worth paying for, it’s also unhealthy, unhelpful and ultimately misses the point of what anger management is supposed to be.
Steven Berglas, who has worked with the Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry and the McClean Hospital for 25 years, writes that the trouble with most anger management programs is that they preach erasing feelings like anger, sadness, stress and frustration by telling people to just not feel them. The problem with that approach is that it always comes too late – telling someone not to act out of anger after they’ve already done so – but also always backfires because it forces people to do the exact opposite.
“You can never legislate ‘good behavior’ long term since all that does, at best, is achieve behavioral compliance with rules,” Berglas writes, “[…] at worst it intensifies a pending outburst of natural/normal emotions.”
The key to effective anger management is to not force people to bury their feelings, but teach them social skills that help them make better use of their emotions. This can be done, according to Berglas, by “providing resources to help them resolve ‘antisocial’ feelings” and offering “skills training for coping with stressful circumstances.”
If you have anger issues and are looking for a program that will help you address those feelings in a constructive manner, consider the online anger management classes of Conflict Coaching & Consulting.