ANGER ON MY MIND

What is an anger management assessment?

Posted on: July 21, 2007

Licensed mental health clinicians including psychologists, clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors are all familiar with and are trained to perform assessments. The most common may be the psychosocial assessment. This assessment takes a global look at the individual’s history as well as current symptoms to come up with a mental health diagnosis.

Anger has not yet been categorized by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental health disorder, therefore in the process of having a mental health assessment one cannot be diagnosed as having “anger” as one is diagnosed as having bipolar or depression. Unlike a mental health diagnosis anger is considered a normal human emotion which only becomes a problem if it is too long lasting, too severe and too frequent.

An anger management assessment seeks to determine not the roots of the anger as with a psychosocial assessment, but the deficiencies that come together to create problematic anger. The assessment that I am most familiar with is called the anger management map or the Conover Assessment. This is a research validated assessment that is either done on computer or on paper. It provides information on an individual’s assertiveness skills, motivation to change, stress management skills, empathy, level or potential of interpersonal aggression and the ability to set boundaries and think independently of others. When an individual completes the test it prints out a graphical illustration of the results as well as several pages of interpretation. This information is used as a baseline to begin an anger management program.

I have found that clients are impressed with the graphical display of the core issues that drive their anger and often use the assessment as a conversation piece to share their struggles with spouses, sibling and parents. The assessment also can be used in each session to keep the client focused on the goals of treatment. At the end of the anger management course the assessment can be retaken to determine if any progress has been made.

The anger management assessment has special significance for couples who struggle with constant conflict. Each time I give this assessment to a couple the results are startling. The test reveals that as it relates to anger management, they are polar opposites. When one is very empathetic the other is not — when one is assertive the other is not — when one is good at managing stress the other is not. When I show both the husband and wife the results of the assessment it tends to really make sense to them.  In a visual format they see how their differences can be at the foundation of their conflicts. The couple can then begin the work of learning skills to state needs and communicate in ways that significantly reduce the anger.

The anger management assessment is appropriate for anyone who has to take an anger management class. It is also helpful for employers who want to assess the potential of an prospective employee to cause interpersonal conflict at work or whose anger will get in the way of their work. It has been noted most individuals who lose their jobs do not do so because they are incompetent; they do so because they have trouble getting along with peers. Human resource professionals can therefore benefit from having a certified anger management facilitator conduct an anger management assessment. In the long run it can save time, money, and the headache of hiring a potentiality disruptive employee. For a certified anger management facilitator in your area please visit www.anger-management-resources.org . To reach Carlos Todd directly please call 704-804-0841 or email him at todds@masteringanger.com

Carlos Todd, LPC, NCC, CAMF

President of the American Association of Anger Management Providers

Carlos Todd is the owner of Todd’s Anger Management Solutions in Charlotte, NC

www.masteringanger.com

www.angeronmymind.com

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1 Response to "What is an anger management assessment?"

Carlos, this is another great post. It is hard to believe, but there are many so called anger management experts who attempt to teach anger management without any type of assessment at all.

The assessment helps in defining the problems to be addressed.

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