Anger Management for Substance Misuse Clients

This Anger Management for Substance Misuse Clients group is for those who have a diagnosis of Substance Dependence Syndrome and who are abstinent from all mood-altering substances for at least 90 days. The context of the group will be relapse prevention and an improvement in mental and emotional well-being as well as improved interpersonal, family and social interactions.

Sessions Overview

  • Session 1: Overview of Group Anger Management Treatment.
  • Session 2: Events and Cues: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Anger
  • Session 3: Anger Control Plans: Helping Group Members Develop a Plan for Controlling Anger
  • Session 4: The Aggression Cycle: How To Change the Cycle
  • Session 5: Cognitive Restructuring: The A-B-C-D Model and Thought Stopping
  • Session 6 : Review Session #1: Reinforcing Learned Concepts
  • Sessions 7 & 8: Assertiveness Training and the Conflict Resolution Model: Alternatives for Expressing Anger
  • Sessions 9 & 10: Anger and the Family: How Past Learning Can Influence Present Behavior.
  • Session 11: Review Session #2: Reinforcing Learned Concepts
  • Session 12: Closing and Graduation: Closing Exercise and Awarding of Certificates

This Anger Management for Substance Misuse Clients programme consists of a 12-week cognitive behavioural anger management group treatment as well as interpersonal group psychotherapy.

Each of the 12 90-minute weekly sessions Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatments have been found to be effective, time-limited treatments for anger problems (Beck & Fernandez, 1998; Deffenbacher, 1996; Trafate, 1995).

Four types of CBT intervention:

  1. Relaxation interventions, which target emotional and physiological components of anger
  1. Cognitive interventions, which target cognitive processes such as hostile appraisals and attributions, irrational beliefs, and inflammatory thinking
  1. Communication skills interventions, which target deficits in assertiveness and conflict resolution skills
  1. Combined interventions, which integrate two or more CBT interventions and target multiple response domains

This combined approach presents the participants with options that draw on these different interventions and then encourages them to develop individualised anger control plans using as many of the techniques as possible. Not all the participants use all the techniques and interventions presented in the treatment (e.g., cognitive restructuring), but almost all finish the treatment with more than one technique or intervention on their anger control plans.

Theoretically, the more techniques and interventions an individual has on his or her anger control plan, the better equipped he or she will be to manage anger in response to anger provoking events or triggers.

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