Anger Management

Over the years I have facilitated anger management groups. I use a variety of handouts and activities to have a process oriented group interaction. One of the hand outs I use is below. I use it in 1 of 2 ways. I have folks fill it out first and then we discuss or we go through it together and discuss. We explore as a group, learning from each other. anger-management.jpg
anger disgust grumpiness rage  aggravation dislike hate resentment  agitation envy hostility revulsion  annoyance exasperation irritation scorn  bitterness ferocity jealousy spite  contempt frustration loathing torment  cruelty fury mean-spiritedness vengefulness  destructiveness grouchiness outrage wrath
Prompting Events for Feeling Anger
Losing power.
Losing status.
Losing respect.
Being insulted.
Not having things turn out the way you expected.
Experiencing physical pain.
Experiencing emotional pain.
Being threatened with physical or emotional pain by someone or something.
Having an important or pleasurable activity interrupted, postponed, or stopped.
Not obtaining something you want (which another person has).
Interpretations That Prompt Feelings of Anger
Expecting pain.
Feeling that you have been treated unfairly.
Believing that things should be different.
Rigidly thinking “I’m right.”
Judging that the situation is illegitimate, wrong, or unfair.
Ruminating about the event that set off the anger in the first place, or in the past.
Experiencing the Emotion of Anger
Feeling incoherent.
Feeling out of control.
Feeling extremely emotional.
Feeling tightness or rigidity in your body.
Feeling your face flush or get hot.
Feeling nervous tension, anxiety or discomfort.
Feeling like you are going to explode.
Muscles tightening. .
Teeth clamping together, mouth tightening.
Crying; being unable to stop tears.
Wanting to hit, bang the wall, throw something, blow up.
Expressing and Acting on Anger
Frowning or not smiling; mean or unpleasant facial expression.
Gritting or showing your teeth in an unfriendly manner.
A red or flushed face.
Verbally attacking the cause of your anger; criticizing.
Physically attacking the cause of your anger.
Using obscenities or cursing.
U sing a loud voice, yelling, screaming, or shouting.
Complaining or bitching; talking about how lousy things are.
Clenching your hands or fists.
Making aggressive or threatening gestures.
Pounding on something, throwing things, breaking things.
Walking heavily or stomping; slamming doors, walking out.
Brooding or withdrawing from contract with others.
Aftereffects of Anger
Narrowing of attention.
Attending only to the situation making you angry.
Ruminating about the situation making you angry and not being able to think of anything else.
Remembering and ruminating about other situations that have made you angry in the past.
Imagining future situations that will make you angry.
Depersonalization, dissociative experience, numbness.
Intense shame, fear, or other negative emotions.

Relaxation to Reduce Stress, Anxiety, & Depression

Here is another handout that I often give to clients/patients. I should add that I do all of the ideas in my handouts. No point talking about something if you can walk it too.

The body’s natural relaxation response is a powerful antidote to stress. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and yoga can help you activate this relaxation response. When practiced regularly, these activities lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels and a boost in your feelings of joy and serenity. What’s more, they also serve a protective quality by teaching you how to stay calm and collected in the face of life’s curveballs.

The relaxation response is not: The relaxation response is:
laying on the couch


being lazy

a mentally active process that leaves the body relaxed

best done in an awake state

trainable and becomes more profound with practice

Starting a relaxation practice

A variety of relaxation techniques help you achieve the relaxation response. Those whose stress-busting benefits have been widely studied include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, visualization, yoga, and tai chi. f-202

Learning the basics of these relaxation techniques isn’t difficult. But it takes practice to truly harness their stress-relieving power: daily practice, in fact. Most stress experts recommend setting aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice. If you’d like to get even more stress relief, aim for 30 minutes to an hour.

Getting the most out of your relaxation practice

Set aside time in your daily schedule. The best way to start and maintain a relaxation practice is by incorporating it into your daily routine. Schedule a set time either once or twice a day for your practice. You may find that it’s easier to stick with your practice if you do it first thing in the morning, before other tasks and responsibilities get in the way.

Don’t practice when you’re sleepy. These techniques can relax you so much that they can make you very sleepy, especially if it’s close to bedtime. You will get the most out of these techniques if you practice when you’re fully awake and alert.

Choose a technique that appeals to you. There is no single relaxation technique that is best. When choosing a relaxation technique, consider your specific needs, preferences, and fitness level. The right relaxation technique is the one that resonates with you and fits your lifestyle.

Do you need alone time or social stimulation?

If you crave solitude, solo relaxation techniques such as meditation or progressive muscle relaxation will give you the power to quiet your mind and recharge your batteries. If you crave social interaction, a class setting will give you the stimulation and support you’re looking for. Practicing with others may also help you stay motivated.