Anger management as a method of treating offenders

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Anger management as a method of treating offenders

Anger management is a cognitive-behavioural technique based on a model by Ray Novaco (1975). Novaco describes anger as a strong emotion with physiological behavioural and cognitive elements. Anger management teaches relaxation techniques to deal with physiological response to anger e.g. increased heart rate) cognitive restructuring to retain thought patterns and time out or assertiveness training to deal with the behavioural element of anger.

There are three steps:

  1. Cognitive preparation

Offenders identify situations that provoke anger so they can recognise when an aggressive outburst is likely to occur. Thought pattern are challenged, for example, if they become angry when lauged at, they might work through alternative conclusions such as people are laughing at the behaviour not them. They also consider the negative consequence of their anger on others.

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2. Skill acquisition

New coping skills are learnt to help deal with anger-provoking situations, such as “stop and think” or counting. Relaxation techniques are also learnt to help calm the physiological response. Assertiveness training can help deal with the issue constructively rather than violently.

3. Application practise

Offenders role-play a variety of scenarios to practise new skills to control anger. These are conducted in controlled environments so that the offenders feel safe and untrained individuals are not exposed to risk of harm.

Evaluation of anger management programs as method of treating offenders

Weakness- Some offender are ...

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