What Can I Expect From Anger Management Class?
Warning Signs of Anger Management Issues
If you have committed a crime that signals a struggle with anger issues, the court might decide that you could have a more positive impact on society if you learned healthy coping mechanisms and had better outlets for your frustrations. Most people who have anger management issues do not realize they struggle with the issue until it impacts their lives in a negative and catastrophic way, leading to a life-changing issue like an arrest. Some common experiences of those who have difficulty with anger management and run into legal troubles as a result include:
- Becoming angry or violent after consuming alcohol
- Struggling to compromise without becoming angry
- Experiencing difficulties expressing emotions in a calm way
- Ignoring people and refusing to communicate with them when encountering an issue
- Exhibiting signs of isolation or self-harm
- Demonstrating outward aggression such as shouting, swearing, threatening, and physical violence
- Struggling with addiction or substance abuse
- Cycling through patterns of bad behavior that negatively impacts relationships
What Happens in Anger Management Class?
It is common for the court to order an individual to take anger management for crimes like disturbing the peace, physical altercations, destruction of property, and battery charges. If you are being faced with similar charges and would like to avoid jail time, the criminal defense team at The Clark Law Firm can help present your case in a favorable way so the court will order anger management classes instead of jail time.
When the court agrees to reduce a sentence from jail time to mandatory classes, there are a few possibilities. One of them is court-ordered anger management classes and the other is domestic violence or batterer’s intervention class. In some cases, if you are convicted of a domestic violence related offense and placed on probation by court, the judge will order a 52-week batterers’ program called the Batterers’ Intervention Program (BIP).
This program is designed to help convicted defendants of domestic violence to realize and change their behavior. On the other hand, anger management classes are mandated as a result of more general crimes rather than specific domestic violence crimes. There are many situations where crimes occur due to lack of anger management that are not concerned with domestic violence, such as road rage, bar fights, aggressive neighbor disputes, and property destruction.
Being required to take an anger management class is not such a bad fate. After all, anger management classes can teach skills that help to improve interpersonal relationships. Anger management classes give those who take them the tools to explore and apply management and stress management skills. These classes also increase empathy, improve judgment, manage impulses, develop boundaries, understand triggers, remain calm in stressful situations, and utilize healthy self-talk. For all of these reasons and more, anger management classes can be a life-enriching experience.
Court-ordered anger management classes often take 26 weeks of 26 sessions, or another number as specified by the court. They usually take place in a group of ten individuals or less. At the beginning of class, a counselor will typically communicate the fact that everyone experiences anger at times, but that the way you respond to anger can make a life-changing difference. It can mean the difference between keeping your life in order and engaging in activities that can harm people and result in criminal charges.
Anger management classes often work to uncover underlying symptoms of deeper issues in relationships or with the individual’s mental health. Sometimes, an overly angry reaction to a situation can be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, a personality disorder, or childhood abuse. Understanding the reasons behind your actions can help prevent you from making the same mistakes in the future, and help prevent you from participating in a vicious cycle.
As far as specific techniques that can be implemented in anger management class, some of them might include deep breathing exercises, slowing down the speed of a conversation, and learning how to remove yourself from situations that can trigger fits of anger. Another helpful technique that might be taught in class is keeping an anger journal that documents specific anger management techniques, which ones work well, and which ones do not. Everybody’s triggers and effective techniques will be different, and the focus of anger management class is to learn what works best for you and stick to that method in the future.
How Successful Is Anger Management Therapy?
Anger management courses will teach you how to communicate your needs in a healthy way and will improve your health overall. They will help you stay out of the court system in the future and help you avoid turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs and alcohol. Anger management therapy is certainly not the worst punishment. It can work to your benefit, and the research is there to back it up. Hundreds of research studies have looked into the effectiveness of therapies for treating anger. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 75% of those receiving anger management improved as a result.
According to a systematic review published in 2015 by the Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology, Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, “Overall, anger management appeared to be effective in reducing the risk of recidivism, especially violent recidivism.” When we refer to recidivism, we are referring to the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend.
An earlier study published in the Clinical Psychology Science and Practice found that there were measurable improvements in anger and aggression in individuals who had participated in anger management classes in comparison to those who had not. Specifically, the study found that anger management created reductions in the affect of anger, reductions in aggressive behaviors, and increases in positive behaviors.
If you are facing criminal charges as a result of an anger management issue, you might be able to avoid jail time by taking court-ordered anger management classes. Call The Clark Law Firm at (817) 435-4970 or contact us online to find out how we can help produce the most favorable outcome for your case.