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:
- 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.