Anger Management and Skills Development Program

Date endorsed

Contact details:
Kerrie Keeley
Address Marymead Child and Family Centre
255 Goyder St,

Suburb Narrabundah ACT 2604
Postcode 2604
Phone 02 6162 5800
Program developer
Terry Norman
Facilitator requirements The delivery of the module requires two facilitators. While there are a number of advantages to using two facilitators, the main reason is that if a client becomes upset and needs to withdraw from the group for a period, one facilitator can be with the client, while the other can continue with the group.

Facilitators need a tertiary qualification in counselling, psychology, case work or a related area. They would also need formal group work training from a recognised training institution, such as the 6-day course offered by the Institute of Group Leaders (IGL) – see

At least one of the facilitators must have significant experience in group facilitation, that is, at least 50 hours supervised practice in delivering anger management or men’s domestic violence behaviour change group programs.

In addition, group facilitators need to have appropriate knowledge and formal training concerning the impact of domestic and family violence on women and children:
1. Formal training which must include knowledge of the gendered nature of domestic and family violence, the dynamics of domestic and family violence and its effects on women and children. It also needs to include recognising and responding to domestic and family violence.
2. Knowledge of the criminal justice system and extensive knowledge of apprehended domestic violence orders and how they operate.

All modules of this program are to be facilitated by either two males, or a male and a female. Both facilitators must undertake formal, individual, clinical supervision in order to develop further their skills, to be able to apply knowledge to practice, and to challenge their ideas and practice. The clinical supervisor must have tertiary qualifications in a relevant discipline.
Target group Given that this is an Anger Management program, facilitators can expect that the group will contain a number of men of a volatile nature. However, in the interests of the safety of other group members and the facilitators, care should be taken to exclude any men who may be disruptive in a group situation, and hence prevent other participants from benefitting from the course.

Before a potential group member is accepted into the course, the lead facilitator interviews the client to ensure his suitability for the course. Appendix 1 contains suggested examples of forms for this purpose.

Who cannot attend?
Given that this is an Anger Management course rather than specifically a Domestic Violence and Behaviour Change program, perpetrators of domestic violence, and those deemed likely to cause a disturbance in a group, and hence to affect the ability of other group members to derive benefit from the group situation, are to be referred elsewhere. Deciding on a cut-off point is always a difficult task, but it is probably more a function of the group facilitators concerned than the actual course description. Further details of the process for selection of clients into the course are contained in the Client Risk Assessment Form in Appendix 1, on pages 80, 81.
While it is acknowledged that this is an Anger Management course rather than a Domestic Violence and Behaviour Change Program, and that the term “behaviour change” has become inextricably linked to domestic violence, never-the-less one overt aim of this program is to change the beliefs and behaviour in a positive manner of those clients who undertake the program.
Is this program available for purchase?

Module Title: Anger Management and Skills Development Program

The course described in this document is the fourth and final module in a sequence of four anger management modules for men currently offered at Marymead in Canberra, the agency where this program was designed.Rather than offer a more extensive course of 8 to 12 sessions, as is done by some agencies, Marymead has designed a sequence of four modules, the present document covering the fourth module which concentrates on recognising and acknowledging anger and violence and making positive changes in the behaviour of clients.

The reason for this somewhat unusual structure is that experience has demonstrated that men are far more likely to commit to a four-session course and then subsequently commit to further four-session courses, than they are to commit to a much longer course at the outset.

The first three courses are four sessions long, running on four successive Tuesdays (or Wednesdays, or Thursdays) from 6 to 9 pm.The fourth and final course is five sessions long. This gives a total contact time of 51 hours.

The full Anger Management Program is comprised of the following modules:

  • 1.Introduction to Anger Management - 4 x 3 hour sessions
  • 2.Accepting and Valuing Strong Emotions – 4 x 3 hour sessions
  • 3.Strong Emotions and Family Relationships – 4 x 3 hour sessions
  • 4.Anger Management and Skills Development – 5 x 3 hour sessions

Clients are required to complete all four modules to complete the program. This means clients attend 17 sessions (51 hours), resulting in an in-depth approach to emotional regulation. It is recommended that organisations that facilitate this program offer all four courses no more than twice yearly.

The program is arranged sequentially. It is recommended that clients attend the four modules in the above order as they will appreciate the gradual development of ideas.However in our experience, at any course there may be clients who have been mandated to attend, and since they may only attend that one module, the core ideas and principles are repeated across more than one course.No apology is made for this repetition of material, since clients who come into repetitive contact with the same ideas are more likely to remember them, absorb the learning, and modify their behaviour.

At the conclusion of each module, clients receive an “Interim Certificate” recording the fact that they have completed one module in the total anger management program.When a client has successfully completed all four modules, they receive a “Certificate of Completion”. (See Appendix 4 pp. 106 and 107 for examples of certificates).

This module builds on the first three modules Introduction to Anger Management, Accepting and Valuing Strong Emotions, and Strong Emotions and Family Relationships.While the course as a whole repeatedly uses the terminology strong emotions, it primarily focuses on anger, which is the emotion that tends to get people into trouble, and therefore the reason why most participants will have come.

It has been noted that some people object to the term ‘anger management’.It is used in this document since it means that the course title is readily understood by a variety of stakeholders, especially potential clients.However note that in all four modules, a variety of emotions are discussed, while tending to emphasise anger as being the emotion that tends to get people into trouble.

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