I have been teaching anger management groups for a while using a combination of psycho-educational and process oriented techniques. For recovery groups anger is often listed in the top 5 reasons people report relapsing. One of the successful techniques of managing anger and other emotions is to identify you go to mode of thinking. Below is 1 hand out I often use. We go over the and out, and I ask folks to chose their one or two go to thinking styles and give examples in relation to anger. 1510499_10152095399702618_1945865276_n


All or nothing thinking

  • Be specific, focus on the behavior only and describe it with precision

Jumping to conclusions

  • Pay attention and catch yourself making the assumptions
  • Keep an open mind to other possibilities

Should statements

  • Describe what you want or would like. Then if it doesn’t happen you

can be frustrated/disappointed but less likely to feel righteous anger


  • Forget the other person, they’re not going to do anything different


  • Don’t make judgments about the other person


  • Make a conscious effort to look for exceptions


  • How bad is it really? Look at the whole picture
  • Be very accurate & precise in your answermsclip-010.jpg


Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. – Edward de Bono


Rough Road/Path photos

I have been involved in facilitating groups for decades. One of the tools I use for groups of adults, teens, or children are photos. I use photos as a way for folks to become familiar and used to talking and sharing in a group. As a way to indirectly share something of themselves by talking about an image/photo. As a way to begin a conversation about larger issues or deeper issues.

One set of photos I use are Rough Road/Path photos with alcohol addicts and heroin addicts in the beginning of recovery. I spread the photos out on a table and ask the group (usually 10 to 15 men) to pick out one photo that represents their journey in the week or weeks before they came into rehab. Once everyone has chosen a photo I ask them to (one at a time) hold up the photo, describe the photo and why they chose it. The descriptions and stories they tell come from them, their experiences and begin the process of revealing a bit about their lives.

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