Is anger management really effective? That is a question asked by many with fairly limited information to support a non-subjective answer. Yes, there are numerous studies on anger management where the research has been published in a scientific journals and reviewed by peers. Most of these reports have looked at segments of our culture that are incarcerated or who have committed violent crimes.

The problem with those reports is most people who take anger management courses are not violent offenders and lead normal lives. There are other studies which can be found on the Internet but only offer research from their own private practice business, which really isn't valid. This is mostly due to the fact that there is no way to prove the validity of it. The reality is that most out-patient anger management programs don't have the type of research results that would stand the test of what a major University's or the APA would require for substantial data.

That being said, much can be ascertained from what hundreds or even thousands of previous customers have said. After providing thousands of pre and post assessments and interviewing untold numbers of students of anger management, the number one predictor of success in anger management comes from client motivation. That is to say, does the client want to change? Those that are highly motivated to change see the best results. Those who are highly motivated to learn, tend to do better and hold on to the material being taught longer.

The second predictor of success in anger management is a course that focuses on proven tools. Anger classes should cover skills in the following:

1. Skills in Stress Management
2. Becoming Empathic and Socially Alert
3. Less Reactive and More Logical
4. Changing ones internal dialog from negative to positive
5. Learning skills in Assertive Communication
6. Learning to better Manage Expectations
7. Skill in Forgiving others and self
8. Learning to Retreat and take Time out

The type of the anger management class is less important then the content or delivery method. Clients report the same or similar results from attending live anger management classes as they do from one/one classes for anger management or online anger management classes. The type of class is a personal choice. Some prefer the face to face interaction, while other like to take classes at their own pace on their own time.

Anger management is not something that happens instantly. Learning skills and maintaining change takes time. Those who are working on their own anger management need to adjust their own expectations that learning new skills and perfecting them is a timeless road.

Author's Bio: 

Ari Novick, Ph.D. is Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a certified anger management provider for both adults and adolescents. Dr. Novick is also an adjunct professor of psychology at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. His innovative online anger management class is available at and corporate website is