DBT for Anger
Introduction to mindfulness
Why practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness and anger
The three states of mind
Mindfulness skills for anger management
Practicing Wise Mind
Mindfulness ‘What’ Skills
Mindfulness ‘How’ Skills
Week 2 Action Plan
Introduction to emotion regulation
Aims of emotion regulation
Myths about emotions
Why do we have emotions?
Emotion regulation skills for anger management
Does your anger fit the facts?
Managing anger with opposite action
Reducing your vulnerability to anger
Build mastery and cope ahead
Week 3 Action Plan
Introduction to interpersonal effectiveness
Aims of interpersonal effectiveness
Things that get in the way of interpersonal effectiveness
Interpersonal myths related to anger
Interpersonal effectiveness skills for anger management
Using anger to assert yourself
Respecting yourself and others
Being mindful of others
Week 4 Action Plan
Introduction to tolerating distress
Aims of distress tolerance
Things that get in the way of tolerating distress
Distress tolerance and anger
Distress tolerance skills for anger management
Stop and pause
Change your body, change your mind
Week 5 Action Plan
Introduction to relapse prevention
Lapses versus relapses
Skills to maintain your gains
Learning from your lapses
Create your own staying well plan
Week 6 Action Plan
About This Course
Learn evidence-based DBT for Anger skills
This course is for people who want help managing their anger.
Dr. Joseph and Dr. Sal, between them they have held positions as Psychiatrists and University Academics in several institutions across Australia. Epsychonline is their effort to bring low-cost access to mental health care globally. Lofty ambitions! If you want to get to know them, visit our YouTube Channel.
About this course
Learn evidence-based DBT for Anger skills
This course is for people who want help managing their anger. As you complete this six-week course, you’ll learn dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) for anger skills and anger management therapy more broadly. We are confident that with the right skills and techniques, which we will teach you, you will be well on your way to conquering your anger.
By taking this psychology course, you’ll develop a foundation or toolbox of DBT for anger skills. Week 1 is an introduction before we dive into more advanced topics. We will cover biased thinking, misattributions, interpersonal effectiveness dealing with worry, crisis survival, radical acceptance, practical supports, and so much more.
Suppose you are tired of battling your anger or frustrations and want to learn about anger management therapy skills for real life. Read on to find out more.
Why we created this course
For some, anger is a problem when they have trouble controlling it. Anger can make people act or say things they later regret. Anger can cause harm, be costly, damage reputations, wear down relationships, and be a burden to live with.
For people wanting help with their anger, some psychology-based skills and techniques can be used. DBT is a type of psychological therapy. DBT is increasingly used in clinical practice. We have created a DBT for anger course, a collection of DBT skills, educational content, examples, worksheets and more to help people manage their anger.
We believe DBT for anger skills can be taught online. With the advances in technology and our experience, we’ve created a DBT for anger course, which we are offering online.
How this course is different
Each week of this course is divided into five parts:
- Educational lessons at the start
- Quiz to aid self-reflection
- Aided self-reflection questions to get you thinking more
- Tailored suggestions
- Action plans and worksheets
Depending on your quiz answers, you will get specific feedback and suggestions each week. The feedback and suggestions you take away from this course will be unique to you.
If two people were to do this course, the chances of getting the same feedback and suggestion would be over 1 in 120,000.
Our mental health clinicians and IT professionals have worked together to create a system that provides specific feedback and suggestions.
Why do we do this?
Everyone is unique. We want to give you answers and solutions that best suit you.
The reasons why you and someone else might want anger management therapy are different. The same tips and suggestions aren’t going to work for everyone, which is why we have gone to the extent of providing tailored anger management therapy suggestions.
Key aspects of this course
We brought key aspects of DBT to this online anger management therapy Course. Both “what” and “how” mindfulness skills and a host of others.
In the six weeks, we will cover the vicious cycle model of anger, propose a way to measure anger, three states of mind, use of opposite actions, check the facts, negotiating needs and interpersonal effectiveness. These are just some of the psychology skills we will teach.
Is that this course will help you with your anger. That it forms part of your anger management therapy plan and is a tool alongside other professional and informal supports you get. We want to get you thinking, understanding and questioning your anger. We want you to leave equipped with DBT for anger skills. Our hope is for you to experience lasting change when it comes to your emotional well-being.
Good News! We have opened access to Week 1 of the learning material
Topics Covered in this section
Introduction to this course
Welcome to the Epsychonline DBT for Anger course, a six-week self-help program for people struggling with anger issues and aggression.
Do you feel that your anger is out of control? Do you frequently hurt yourself or the ones you love by saying or do things that you later regret? Do even the smallest of problems lead you to overreact or send you into a rage? Or perhaps your anger is directed inwards, in the form of negative and highly critical self-talk, self-deprivation and punishment?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, problems with anger might well be getting in your way and reducing your quality of life. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you suffer from constant agitation, frequent anger outbursts or severe and debilitating rage, there are supports and effective treatment options available to you.
This anger management therapy course is a great place to start, and we commend you on making it this far in your journey towards self-empowerment. All you need to get started with this course are basic reading skills and access to the internet. A good dose of motivation and an open mind will also go a long way. For anyone under the age of 18 years, we suggest a trusted adult be present to guide you through the content. Good social supports are important in any mental health recovery program.
What to expect from this course?
This course will guide you through an evidence-based anger management therapy and skills package each week to help you combat your problems with anger. The aims of this course are to help you:
- Better understand anger and how it impacts you
- Set some realistic goals to help you better manage your anger
- Learn mindfulness skills to manage your anger
- Learn about anger and why it isn’t the enemy
- Learn how to reduce your anger by changing how you think and act
- Learn what feeds anger and how to communicate your feelings in helpful ways
- Learn skills to better manage distress, drop the struggle with reality and get the most out of your life
- Make a plan to maintain your gains and recover from setbacks
The course runs for 6-weeks in total, with each week broken down into three sections:
- Section 1 provides educational content and prompts to help you boost your knowledge of the topic and get you thinking about how the information applies to you. It also includes activities, or ‘action tasks’, to help you put the principles you’ve learned into practice
- Section 2 runs you through an aided self-reflection in the form of multiple-choice questions and tailored feedback, which goes a step further in helping you develop deep insight into the nature of your difficulties
- Section 3 uses your responses from Section 2 to provide you with additional self-help recommendations and resources that are targeted to your unique needs.
How to get the most from this course
Having a vision for life changing improvement is great, but it is also important to have realistic expectations for this course. Learning the skills in this course will take time and practice. The more effort you put in, the more you will get out of the course. You are likely to start noticing benefits as you make changes in your own life, however, your difficulties are unlikely to be ‘cured’ completely within a short timeframe. To get long lasting benefits, you will need to continue the hard work well into the future.
When addressing emotional issues, it is not uncommon for things to get worse before they get better. Growing as a human means stepping outside your comfort zone. With that said, feeling uncomfortable can actually be a sign of progress! We encourage you to redefine your view of success. Down the track, success might look like rarely feeling anger or, at least, being able to manage your anger with ease and confidence. But right now, success might look like simply engaging with the course content each week, gaining insight into your anger and making a series of small changes on a daily basis. You may not immediately feel better, but we encourage you not to make this your aim.
On the flip side, failure does not exist in this course. Every so-called ‘failure’ provides you with useful information about yourself. Remember, knowing what doesn’t work is just as valuable as knowing what does work. So, we encourage you to reframe failures as ‘opportunities for learning’. When things don’t work out as planned, reflect on what got in the way and make the necessary changes to your approach next time. As the saying ‘you must get back on the horse’ suggests, the most important thing is that you keep trying.
So, saddle up and let’s get ready for the ride!
What is anger?
Before we jump into the skills content for this course, we must first define what is meant by ‘anger’. Anger is a term that is often used in day-to-day life, so much so, that its meaning is commonly taken for granted. Despite this, there are many widely held misconceptions about anger. Before we share our views, we encourage you to take a moment to think about your own understanding of anger and what it means to you.
The first thing we need to point out about anger is that it is a universal human experience. Everyone feels angry at times – this is normal and to be expected. In fact, it would be a problem if we didn’t feel anger. Your aim should therefore be to understand and learn ways to manage your anger, rather than try to get rid of it altogether. To get rid of anger completely is simply unrealistic.
Anger is a common emotion, which can range from minor annoyance or frustration to extreme rage and fury. Anger is often triggered when people feel they have been treated unfairly or disrespected by someone, when their safety or status is threatened in some way, or when they believe that something unjust or unethical has occurred. People can also become annoyed or angered in response to other people’s beliefs, opinions, and actions, especially if they conflict with their own views.
Anger is often thought of and labelled as a ‘negative’ emotion. However, anger can become a positive force in our lives by helping us to survive difficult situations and motivating us to address wrongdoings that have occurred. Anger can also bring passion into our lives, drive us to stand up for ourselves, and help us find solutions to difficult problems. Many of history’s greatest victories have come about because of anger. For example, if people didn’t feel anger in response to the mistreatment and oppression of black people, then the movement towards racial equality would not have occurred.
Anger can be expressed in many ways. People may shout, swear, and make unreasonable demands when they’re angry. In severe cases, anger can escalate to the point of being physically aggressive towards people (themselves or others) or property (e.g., punching walls, smashing plates). Anger can also be less obvious, like when someone withdraws, is dismissive, holds a grudge and makes snide remarks. There are, however, healthy ways to express your anger. These include use of things like assertive communication, problem solving, journaling, talking to friends and blowing off steam through exercise.
When is anger a problem?
Anger can become a problem when it starts to impact a person’s daily life, wellbeing, and relationships. If your anger is frequent, overwhelming, hard to control, and leads you to act out, then it might be causing significant harm in your life. Similarly, if you hold on to anger or bottle things up, it can become all-consuming and detract from your quality of life. Common problems caused by intense and unhealthy anger include problems at work, relationship breakdown, health concerns (e.g., high blood pressure) and issues with the law. So, if anger is impacting your life, it’s a problem that should not be ignored.
Whilst there is no ‘anger diagnosis’ as such, anger is a feature of many mental health disorders. For example, anger is common in disorders like conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder. People with borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression can also experience significant anger. This raises an important point, which is that anger can sometimes ‘mask’ (or be secondary to) other emotions. Anger is often easier and more socially acceptable to express than other emotions, like anxiety, jealousy, and shame.
Whether or not you have a diagnosis, problems with anger can be life limiting in many ways. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware that our enjoyment in life is reduced when we struggle to control our anger and, instead, feel like anger controls us. We live in fear of the next time we will be overcome with rage and regret our mishandling of anger in the past. The consequences of poor anger management therapy (e.g., conflict with loved ones, problems with the law) can also get us down. So, whether you are one to fear anger or hold on to it, learning ways to better manage your anger will likely be a step in the right direction to achieving your goals in life.
Anger vs aggression
When you think of anger, what comes to mind? Some people report the feeling of anger, whilst others refer to angry behaviours like shouting, yelling, or throwing things. Whilst anger is often associated with certain behaviours or actions, anger itself is a feeling state. Anger is often confused with aggression and violence, which are both actions that involve hostility, confrontation, or an attack of some kind.
Anger is an emotion, whereas aggression is an action. Examples of aggression include physical assault, throwing things, damaging property, acts of self-harm, or verbally insulting someone. People can act aggressively, without feeling angry (for example, in sporting matches). Importantly, people can also feel extremely angry and not act aggressively.
As we mentioned above, anger itself is not ‘bad’. When coupled with aggression, however, it can lead to some negative consequences. For example, frequent aggression towards loved ones is likely to lead to relationship breakdown, whilst property damage can have serious legal implications. The takeaway point here is that your anger does not have to lead to aggression. This means you are free to learn healthier ways of managing your anger, rather than responding to it in a harmful and destructive manner.
The causes of problem anger
As we have discussed, all humans experience the emotion of anger at times. Anger is thought to be protective in that it drives us to change bad situations, defend what’s ours, and protect ourselves and others in the face of threat. With that said, people do experience anger differently and some people are quicker to anger than others. These people may be described as ‘short’ or ‘hot’ tempered. But what causes some people to be more prone to anger?
As with all mental health problems, there is no single causal factor here. Instead, research suggests that there are several factors that might interact to cause problems with anger. People often develop habits in how they experience and express anger over time. We discuss some of the possible causes for anger problems below:
- Genetic vulnerability
- Family history of aggression
- In severe cases, there may be possible differences in the structure, function, and chemistry of the brain
- High baseline level of physical arousal (tension, irritation, and agitation)
- A history of other mental health problems (e.g., BPD, ADHD, PTSD)
- Insecure attachment style (influenced by inattentive or inconsistent caregivers in early life)
- External locus of control – the belief that what happens to us is determined by external, rather than internal, things
- Tendency to distort information when interpreting social situations
- Higher scores on neuroticism (a personality trait with involves negative feelings, including anxiety, depression, and anger)
- ‘Psychological rigidity’ (fixed ways of viewing the world and difficulty appreciating others’ views and emotions)
- Higher ‘threat perception’ (more likely to view something or someone as dangerous)
- Higher ‘sensitivity to punishment’ (more likely to be aware of and respond negatively to punishment)
- Lower levels of assertive communication and effective problem-solving skills
- A history of physical abuse and other traumatic events as a child
- Being exposed to aggression, physical and verbal abuse, and poor conflict management by others (particularly caregivers during the early years)
- Lack of modelling of appropriate anger management therapy skills
- Family and cultural environments that normalise aggression
- High levels of stress, including problems with work, finances, and relationships
Do any of the above factors ring true for you? Can you trace your difficulties with anger back to a specific time in your life? Often, people can link their problems with anger back to their childhood or teenage years. Take a moment to think about when anger first became an issue for you and ask yourself what was going on for you at the time (or in the years prior).
Anger and its parts
To really understand anger, it is helpful to break it down into smaller components. As with any emotion, anger can be divided into its physical (sensations in the body), cognitive (thoughts) and behavioural (actions) parts. As we discuss each of these parts below, have a think about your own experience of anger and how it fits under each heading.
Physical feelings and sensations often form the earliest warning signs that we are beginning to get angry. Anger tends to have an energizing effect on the body – it activates the ‘fight’ component of our fight-flight-freeze (FFF) response. This system aims to prepare our bodies to fight (move towards and conquer) whatever is posing a threat to our safety. This is one of the reasons why anger is so often linked to aggression.
Many of the physical changes that occur in response to anger result in noticeable (and uncomfortable) signs and symptoms in the body, including:
- Muscle tension
- Increased and rapid heart rate
- Feeling hot in the neck and face
- Clenched jaw and fists
- Dry mouth
- Feeling like you’re going to explode
What types of thoughts do you have when you’re feeling angry? Most likely, if you’re feeling angry, you are also having angry types of thoughts. Anger is associated with certain unhelpful styles or ways of thinking. Some examples include:
- Taking things personally – you take criticism or feedback to mean that there’s something wrong with you or that someone is attacking you. You might also blame yourself and direct your anger inwards
- Ignoring the positives – you tend to focus on the negatives and discount the positives
- Unrealistic expectations – you have unrealistically high expectations for yourself and others and therefore constantly find yourself feeling hurt and let down. You believe that people should act a certain way
- Black and white thinking – you have an inflexible way of viewing the world and tend to see things in ‘all or nothing’ terms (e.g., right/wrong, or good/bad)
- Overthinking – you spend a lot of time ruminating (reflecting) about something bad that has happened or something that you feel is ‘wrong’ or unfair
- Jumping to conclusions – you assume that you know what will happen in the future and what someone else’s thoughts and intentions are, when in fact, this is not possible.
Some specific examples of thoughts that often come along with anger include:
- “I hate them/it”
- “This person is having a go at me”
- “This person or situation is wrong/unfair”
- “They shouldn’t be doing that!”
- “This person is being rude”
- “It’s their/my fault”
- “Things should be different”
We talked a bit about ways of acting in response to anger in the sections above. Often, feeling angry is associated with behaviours that aim to express that feeling in some way. This can be through body language, verbal communication, or specific behaviours. Expressing how we feel is an important part of communicating our needs, wants and preferences, to both ourselves and others.
The way we express anger can impact the quality of our relationships – effective expression can strengthen our interpersonal bonds, whilst ineffective or aggressive expression can damage them. Have a think about how you usually respond to feeling angry…
Below are some common examples of actions that are associated with anger:
- Arguing or disagreeing
- Raising your voice
- Criticizing or mocking others
- Becoming sarcastic or losing your sense of humour
- Acting in an abusive or abrasive manner
- Frowning or glaring
- Pacing and use of exaggerated gestures
- Stiff or rigid body posture
- Becoming withdrawn and quiet
Importantly, each of these parts of anger interact with each other. For example, if you have angry thoughts, you are more likely to experience the physical sensations and actions associated with anger. Similarly, if you act angrily, this is likely to fuel physical arousal response (the ‘fight’ response) and the thoughts that drive anger. In the next section, we look more closely at how these parts fit together to create a model of anger.
A model of anger (the vicious cycle)
Have you ever been overwhelmed by something, only to learn more about it and realise it isn’t as big and challenging as you first thought? Better managing your anger is no different. Once we understand how something works, we are in a much better position to do something about it.
Here, we discuss a model of anger, which explains how anger is triggered and maintained. As you’ll see, by helping us to understand the vicious cycle that occurs, this model gives us plenty of ideas for intervening to break this cycle and put a stop to harmful ways of responding to anger.
Let’s walk you through the model step by step.
We often start with a specific situation or event that triggers or ‘sets off’ our anger. This might be a person wrongly accusing you of something, a rude gesture made towards you, a driver cutting you off in traffic, or being disrespected by someone. The triggering situation can also be internal, such as reflecting on a past event that you feel is unfair or unjust.
Unhelpful thoughts and beliefs
The triggering situation leads to an unhelpful (aka ‘negative’ and sometimes irrational) thought or a chain of unhelpful thoughts. Some examples are:
- “That’s so not true, he’s wrong”
- “How dare you speak to me like that!”
- “That’s so unfair, he shouldn’t have done that”
- “What an idiot, she doesn’t care about anyone but herself”
- “I didn’t deserve that; I did nothing wrong”
Our unhelpful thoughts often stem from the deeper beliefs we hold about ourselves, others and the world around us. For example, ‘people are untrustworthy’, ‘the world is unfair’, ‘I’m helpless”, or ‘I’m inadequate”.
The nature of our unhelpful thoughts is that they are often biased, that is, they tend to miss important pieces of information and be inflexible. As such, we assign negative meaning to the situation, other people, or ourselves, and end up feeling angry.
Our unhelpful thoughts and beliefs often lead us to feel an uncomfortable emotion, even if the thoughts themselves are irrational and unfounded. Here, we are focused on the emotional response of anger. Anger lies on a continuum and can be felt as minor irritation or frustration, right up to extreme rage and fury.
Situations might also lead to other emotional responses that are later covered up by (secondary) anger, for example:
- Fear and anxiety
- Shame and guilt
When anger is triggered, whether it be the primary or secondary emotion, we experience the common physical symptoms of our FFF response (see the section above on physical sensations). This can include things like a flushed face, rapid breathing, sweating and clenched fists, all of which are designed to ready us for action. People may also feel a sense of impending danger, panic and a strong urge to ‘fight’ against the perceived threat or injustice.
Here, the person reacts to the triggering event based on their unhelpful thoughts/beliefs, feelings (anger), and physical sensations. We have covered some examples of actions or behaviours that are commonly associated with anger in the sections above. This can include acts of aggression, like fighting, criticizing, and throwing things. It can also include withdrawal behaviour, like going quiet, plotting revenge, or refusing to communicate with someone.
When we act in these ways, we often perpetuate or worsen our unhelpful thoughts/beliefs, which keeps our anger, physical symptoms, and angry ways of responding going. In this way, we get stuck in a negative cycle of anger. Our behaviour can also worsen existing or create new triggering events. For example, say someone criticizes you and you respond by threatening them back. They may then respond with further hurtful remarks that send your anger into overdrive.
Factors that keep anger alive
The model (negative cycle) of anger gives us some insight into how we might reverse this cycle. Each of the parts in this model offers a target for intervention. However, often we don’t have direct control over whether we are exposed to triggering events. No matter how hard we try, there will always be a risk that something in our environment will set the cycle off. Similarly, our emotional response (anger) can also be difficult to change directly.
The main focus in learning how to reverse this cycle is therefore to 1) examine and change your thinking styles, 2) reduce your overall vulnerability to anger, 3) manage the physical sensations, and 4) change your behavioural response to anger. This is good news, now that you know what is keeping you stuck, you can take action to make improvements. In the weeks to come, you will learn skills that aim to target (and reverse) each of the factors that currently keep your problems with anger going.
Understanding anger in your own life
We have talked a lot about anger in general terms. In this section, we want you to apply what you’ve learned so far to your own life. Take a moment to think about how anger rears its head for you. Below are some questions to get you started:
When I feel angry:
– Where am I usually? What types of situations/people/scenarios does it show up in?
– What are my unhelpful beliefs? What am I telling myself in these situations?
– How do I feel? What sensations do I notice in my body?
– How do I usually respond/act? Do I use any of the behaviours above (aggression, arguing, giving the ‘silent treatment’ etc.)?
Great job on getting this far! In the next section, we briefly discuss Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), which forms the foundation for the remainder of this course.
What is DBT
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapy approach, which was developed by Marsha Linehan in the early 1990’s. DBT is effective at helping people live more in the present, better manage difficult emotions, and build healthy, lasting relationships. Whilst DBT was originally designed to treat a condition known as borderline personality disorder, it is increasingly being adapted and applied to help with several aspects of mental health (including anger).
The ultimate aim of DBT for Anger is to help you end destructive behaviour patterns and build the life you want to live. In the context of problematic anger, this may look like feeling less rage, regaining control over your response to difficult situations, and pursuing your goals with confidence. To get you there, DBT teaches skills across four broad areas, including 1) being in the present moment, 2) tolerating distress, 3) regulating emotions, and 4) building interpersonal skills. We will learn more about each of these skill sets and how they can benefit you in the weeks to come.
DBT is traditionally delivered in structured, face to face settings, and often includes a combination of group and individual work. This is where most of the research has been done, however, access to this kind of therapy is not always convenient or available to everyone. Our online courses aim to make support more available to those who need it, however, they are not intended to be a substitute for therapy with a qualified health practitioner. This course offers an introduction to the foundational DBT for anger skills, which you will likely benefit from. You may, however, need to seek professional support on top of this work.
DBT for anger is based on several key principles or assumptions, each of which are important to know and remember throughout this course. These principles can help you give yourself more encouragement and compassion when things get hard.
DBT assumes that:
- You are doing your best
- You want to improve (and are capable of doing so!)
- You need to commit to hard work to achieve the improvement you are capable of
- You must practice new skills across all contexts for them to be effective and ‘stick’
- You are responsible for your own life
- Your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are always caused by something
- Working out and altering the cause of your actions always trumps judgement and blame
How can DBT for anger help?
As we have seen, there are several factors that keep anger going. DBT offers a range of skills that can address each of these factors and help you gain control over your anger.
These skills include:
- Harnessing the power of now (mindfulness)
- Sitting with discomfort and distress
- Regulating your emotions
- Building strong interpersonal skills
As you may have experienced first-hand, anger can cloud your world with bitterness, negativity, and regret. You find yourself feeling overwhelmed and acting in ways that are life limiting and inauthentic to your true self. Mindfulness skills can help you learn how to refocus your attention, separate yourself from your mind’s erroneous assumptions, notice your early warning signs and reduce your physical reactivity. Mindfulness can also help us uncover and begin to address the reasons why we are feeling angry.
Learning how to sit with your discomfort and distress can help you overcome the urge to lash out, act impulsively, and damage important relationships. Emotion regulation skills help you become less vulnerable to intense anger and challenge the negative beliefs that keep you stuck in the vicious cycle. Lastly, by strengthening your interpersonal skills, you gain alternative tools to help you express your anger in healthier ways.
Making a commitment to change
Change is hard. As outlined above, DBT for anger assumes that people must commit to change if they are to achieve real improvement. This section is about helping you do just that.
To give yourself the best chance of success in this course, you will need to make sure your motivation levels stay high. One way to maintain your motivation for change is to be clear on the reasons why you want to change. These reasons are a good reference point to come back to when things get tough.
Exercise: Reasons for change
Take a moment to think about your reasons for change. We have provided you with some examples to get you started. We also encourage you to come up with your own reasons.
For example, I want to:
- Feel better about myself/feel more in control
- Improve or protect my relationships
- Stop hurting the ones I love (myself included)
- Reduce the costs of anger in my life (legal, work, personal, relationships)
- Improve my mood and general wellbeing
- Gain a sense of freedom in my life
Exercise: Pros and cons of change
Hopefully, you have had a think about your reasons for change. We now encourage you to think about the potential benefits and costs of working on managing your anger better.
Use the downloadable form to record the pros and cons of trying the skills you’ll learn here versus not trying the skills and staying the same. Once you have done this, weigh up the list of pros and cons and ask yourself which option will allow you to reach your goals in the long run.
Exercise: Self-contract and goal setting
If you’ve decided to commit to change, well done! Let’s formalise (and celebrate) this commitment by making a contract with yourself.
We encourage you to complete the downloadable self-contract, which prompts you to set a goal or goals (e.g., reduce the number of anger outbursts I have per week), consider the steps you’ll need to take to achieve this goal, and set a reward for following through. You may also wish to enlist the support of friends and family on this journey, as they can help keep you accountable and on track towards success.