What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Anger management classes or counseling for anger management can be done one-on-one; with your partner, child or other family members; or in a group setting. The setting, length of sessions and how many sessions you'll need to attend can vary depending on the program or therapist and your needs. Typically, anger management courses or psychological counseling for anger lasts for a period of weeks up to a few months.

Generally, counseling for anger management focuses on learning specific skills and ways of thinking to cope with anger. If you have any other mental health conditions, such as depression or addiction, you may need to work on these other issues for anger management techniques to be effective.

The aim of counseling and anger management classes is to teach you to:

  • Identify situations that are likely to set you off and respond in nonaggressive ways before you get mad
  • Learn specific skills to use in situations likely to trigger your anger
  • Recognize when you aren't thinking logically about a situation, and correct your thinking
  • Calm yourself down when you begin to feel upset
  • Express your feelings and needs assertively (but not aggressively) in situations that make you feel angry
  • Focus on problem solving in frustrating situations — instead of using energy to be angry, you'll learn how to redirect your energy to resolve the situation
  • Communicate effectively to defuse anger and resolve conflicts
Jun. 23, 2011