Choose the best

Anger Management Class For You

Your Complete 2020 Guide

What You Need To Know To Choose The Right Anger Class For You!

From dealing with deep anger addiction right through to seeking good ol’ self improvement, anger management programs can be wildly helpful. When you search for an anger class, you might find yourself drowning in options. I want to help. So, I’ve pulled together this guide to help you choose. 

There are lots of anger classes to choose from, I’m talking in-person one-day anger management, weekly group classes, hourly anger management classes, and online anger programs. As we start a whole new decade in 2020, let’s be honest… More and more people will be taking their anger management classes online. As the demand for online anger management classes goes up, more course providers will offer classes online. Online classes are today’s “distance learning” option. Taking classes online is a reality and must be considered. 

Anger Is Personal

Choosing an anger management course is kind of like choosing a tattoo artist. It’s such a personal experience. You need to work with someone who feels right. For lots of people taking anger management programs is even more personal than getting inked. Most people who take my class don’t tell anyone about it. Some folks are embarrassed, others might just want to get it over with and don’t want to risk talking about it again when a friend asks how it went. Whatever the reason, if you want to keep your anger management experience private, you’re not alone. 

Wanting to keep your search for an anger class secret is a bit of a challenge. It means you’re on your own. You can’t exactly ask your friends or coworkers for recommendations. Most of you will have to rely on a Google search. That’s how my anger management journey began. (More on that later.)

Why Consider Anger Management In The First Place?

There are a ton of reasons people take anger management courses. From road rage to domestic violence, or even just for self improvement, anger management is sort of a catch all for a lot of different situations. Over the years, many of my students have outright said to me, “I don’t belong here.” or “I don’t have an anger problem.” That may be true, but there may be a silver lining.

There are difficult people and difficult situations everywhere. Literally everywhere. No one teaches us how to handle things like annoyance and frustration, never mind highly stressful circumstances and hostile people. I’m a HUGE believer that everyone should take anger management classes!

Everyone Needs Anger Management Help

If we all had to learn anger management in school, imagine the stupid fights that would be avoided! Imagine how many people would never see the inside of a jail cell. Imagine how many marriages would make it through the tough times. Not only should we learn anger management skills in school, but we need a lifetime to practice these skills. Instead, most people who take any anger training do so as adults and because they have no choice.

Anger & Stress

Struggling with anger issues is stressful. Looking for an anger management class can add even more stress on top of it all. Gawd knows, stress and anger sure aren’t a winning combination. And if the process of finding an anger management seminar wipes you out, you might end up looking for a stress management class too. With so many options to consider, how do you even know where to start? Let’s see if we can help with that!

Where To Start

When you start thinking about buying an anger management class, you probably have some key questions. Factors to consider include things like cost, certificate requirements, and class quality. After all, spending 8 hours in a class isn’t exactly nothing, especially if you hate every minute of it. 

Only you can know what’s right for you. In my experience, it comes down to a feeling. Does the class (or instructor) feel right to you?!

Instead of sending you in blind, we want to help. We’ve made an easy reference anger management class checklist you can use to weigh your options. We hope this helps, but above all else, trust your gut!

Questions To Ask

When surfing through the endless options for anger classes online, you probably have a bunch of questions running through your head. Questions like…

• Are anger management classes free?
• How much do anger management classes cost?
• Does every class come with a certificate?
• How long is an anger management class?
• Are anger classes covered by insurance?
• What happens when I get there?
• Is it going to be awkward?

And, maybe the biggest one of all…
• Do anger management classes even work?

The First Class I Took Was... Not Great

I’ve been teaching anger management classes for over 10 years. I teach in-person classes, online classes and private one-on-one classes too. But, what’s more important is that I’ve taken anger management classes.

My anger management teaching journey began when I took my first anger management class. I have to say, that first anger management experience absolutely sucked. The truth is, I didn’t learn much. In fact, that horrible experience is what inspired me to crack the code on a great anger management class and start teaching classes that were actually good. 

So here are my thoughts after taking my first bad class, taking a bunch more so I could learn everything I could, and teaching anger management for over a decade now. These are the simple but important things I wish I knew when I searched for my first class. 

How Much Do Anger Management Classes Cost?

Anger management classes are available at a variety of price points. Prices range from free (for online or community-based classes) to $150 – $200 per hour (for private sessions with a licensed therapist).

Anger classes and therapy for anger management are different things. Classes are educational. Therapy is medical. So, mental health counseling through a licensed therapist is generally going to be pricier. Depending on your issues, therapy might be best. But, if you’re unsure and cost in an issue, you can always start with a class.

If you have zero money to invest in anger management classes, I’d suggest checking with local community centers and churches for free options. Most I’ve seen ask for a donation at least. 

Smart Self's Free Anger Management Class

The only free anger management class I know of to recommend is the online one I offer. You can check it out here. It’s completely free, no cost whatsoever. You’ll find it’s a great way to try your first class without any risk. Since it’s only a mini course and there’s no completion certificate, it might not be what you need. (We’ll cover certificates soon.)

Cheapest Classes

The cheapest anger management class I’ve seen costs $24.95. It’s only four hours long and comes with an online certificate. I don’t know anything about the quality or the company offering it, but my guess is that they sell a lot of this class. If price is your only consideration, this won’t break the bank. The cost of live classes in major cities varies. For example, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada an average live one day anger management class costs approximately $250 plus taxes. In Chicago, Illinois, for example, a search online shows live classes start at about $100. For prices in your local area, you’ll have to search online.

Most Expensive Classes

Private therapy with a medical professional are likely to be the most costly option. Through private sessions, a patient can expect to pay a therapist hourly, usually around $80 to $150 per session depending on location and needs. Of course, in the case of therapy, you’re looking at multiple sessions. If 10 sessions meet your needs, for example, an overall cost of $1000 is likely. 

Should Cost Really Matter?

While I hope this information helps, it is worth asking if cost really matters. You definitely don’t want to spend $1,000 on something you can get for free, but it’s hard to measure the effectiveness of a class or of therapy. If the class or therapy works for you, the anger management investment will save you thousands throughout your life. In my experience, the cost of anger management classes is nothing compared to legal fees and costs of living (when legal matters have you removed from your home). Many of my clients spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on legal fees alone. In terms of long terms costs, anger issues can lead to divorce and other emotionally and financially costly consequences.

In my opinion, you should consider cost, but not above other factors. If you are required to take anger management classes, or if you are choosing to voluntarily attend, it is far more important your time is spent well and you actually come out with stronger skills than you had going in.

Money Back Guarantees

Many classes offer a 100% moneyback guarantee. Be sure to check out the refund policy so you understand what you’re getting into.  Some anger courses with low acceptance rates might protect themselves by keeping your registration fee. In other words, if you request a refund you might not get all your money back. Be sure to understand the policy so you won’t have any surprises. 

For example, the Smart Self Anger Management Program promises you 100% of your money back if your letter or certificate is rejected by courts or employers. Not every class offers this kind of a refund policy.

How Long Are Anger Management Classes?

Traditionally, most anger management programs were built as hourly classes where you show up in-person. Convenience and technology are driving changes. So, with face-to-face in-person classes, online group classes, private one-on-one classes and more, there are many more ways to consume your anger management learning. 

In my experience working with clients across North America, courts are usually looking for individuals to take classes that last eight to 10 weeks, or at least eight hours. The eight hour length is based on the number of learning hours in an eight to 10 week course. The convenience factor here is that you can usually complete an eight hour class in one day if weekly session aren’t ideal. In city centers it’s fairly east to find weekly and one day classes. However, in less populated areas, you may not find anger classes and heading into a city further away is your best bet. If it’s a lot of travel to attend classes, one day and online classes start to have more appeal.  

In my experience with online classes, the curriculum can be consumed faster. This is because in a live group class time is taken up with participation from all students. Online classes might cover in four to six hours what is included in an eight hour in person class. 

A Note On Smart Self's Anger Classes

My online certificate classes have an online component and an interactive live component. Whether you are in a group class or a private class, there are live sessions where I have the chance to interact with you and ensure you’ve learned the material. So any online learning is accompanied by time invested in person too. In my classes, students usually spend one to two hours in an interactive assessment scenario.

Personally, I won’t write a letter on your behalf if I haven’t met you. There is just no way I have the information I need if I literally don’t know you. I believe taking my letters seriously is the most important thing I need to do to make sure courts will always respect the letters and certificates I give my students. I would be skeptical of certificates and letters issued without any live assessment. Sure, some online classes will have quizzes and such. Research shows that short term learning can be proven with a test or quiz but great test scores does not mean you’ll hold onto the knowledge in the long term. But, in my opinion, nothing can substitute for dynamic thinking in a live scenario.

screaming woman

Do Anger Management Classes Work?

Like most things in life, you’ll only get out of anger management classes what you put in. So if you aren’t invested and don’t open up to the self reflection and learning opportunity, anger classes likely won’t deliver for you. 

There is a lot of research into the effectiveness of anger management classes and the results aren’t all that positive. In most cases where anger management fails, it’s often because other issues such as anxiety, depression, mania and other mental health conditions also need to be addressed. The more complicated the anger, the more work is needed. Most importantly, taking a class on anger with an instructor won’t be enough if you’re suffering from lifelong struggles including trauma, alcoholism, etc. 

A Note On Smart Self's Anger Classes

I am very proud to say I don’t have record of any of my students re-offending, specifically as it relates to legal matters. This isn’t a perfect statistic because re-offences are self reported. Anyone can choose not to tell me if they get into trouble with the law because of their anger for a second or third time. 

I believe the reason my students have success with anger management is for a few reasons. 

1. Firstly, I make it very clear that my classes are not therapy and cannot be used in place of therapy. 
2. When I notice anything beyond the subject matter of the course, I recommend therapy. 
3. I do not issue certificates or letters to those who don’t meet the completion requirements. 
4. I invite all my class participants to stay in touch with me and reach out (free of charge) if they ever have more questions or concerns. I’m proud to say, I support my people.

As far as I’m concerned, anger management classes can NOT be completed with a rubber stamp approval. It’s not enough to sit in a room, or stare at a screen, for a certain number of hours. You MUST demonstrate new thinking and plan to apply new strategies going forward. 

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that putting in the time is enough. You have to put in the effort and prioritize building anger management skills. And, this isn’t a short term game. In order to achieve meaningful improvement, you have to practice and this will take time (moreso outside of the classroom or therapy session).

What Happens In An Anger Management Class?

When you step into your anger management classroom, you’ll soon discover that your classmates might be there for very different reasons. One person might be preemptively taking the anger program in hopes of getting on a judge’s good side. Another may have been asked to complete the seminar by their probation officer, and this class might not be their first anger class. While some students may share stories of domestic violence, others may explain that workplace violence led to an employer requirement. And, of course, there will be some individuals who are fully choosing to be there and have no requirements to meet. 

From court ordered anger management to a true desire to learn to control anger, you will find that people will behave differently. Some will be comfortable and others resentful. Regardless, everyone who earns a certificate should leave with an increased ability to deal with anger.

I think every instructor or therapist is going to do their best to make anger management classes as comfortable as possible. I can attest to the fact that in my classes we laugh, we get real, we’re respectful (and sometimes, there are tears). We’re human beings. 

Most importantly to me, we’re all approachable. There is no judgement whatsoever. We don’t compare skills or circumstances or suffering for that matter. We are there to learn, share and respect each other. Opinions are not shared unless a person outright acts for others to weigh in. When you come to my class, you absolutely will not have anyone telling you how you should behave. You’re a grown up and you will (have to) figure it out for yourself. You are capable and must own your progress. 

Anger Management Program Quality

Many anger management students enroll in a class only because they have been mandated by court. If your anger management course is a court requirement, it is crucial that you inquire about the classes rate of acceptance. First of all, there is no such thing as a certified anger management course. I have yet to see any national anger management standard. Perhaps the greatest indicator of quality is going to be the program’s court approval ratings. Not every anger management class is widely accepted by courts. In fact, some classes may be accepted by courts at low rates overall. Looking for classes with certificates is not enough. You don’t want to be taking a class that is accepted in court 30% or even 70% of the time. This is your life, after all!

One way to ensure your letter and certificate of completion are accepted in court is to request proof of enrollment from your program provider. They should provide you with an enrollment letter that provides an overview of the organization and the anger management curriculum. Also, it should be easy to find the organization’s contact information in case the court has any issues or questions about the anger program. 

A Note On Smart Self's Anger Classes

My anger management classes have a 100% acceptance rate in courts across the United States and Canada. I am very proud that Smart Self Anger Management Classes meet court requirements. That’s not necessarily easy to do. There isn’t a set of standards. Every judge can choose to accept or reject an anger management class certificate or letter. It is absolutely within a judge’s power to decide on his/her own.

I do take extra care to ensure our classes meet the highest quality. In our enrollment letter (as well as in the letter awarded upon completion), I include details about Smart Self, myself as the instructor, the curriculum (including our intense focus on improved communications), and the student’s level of participation and subject matter mastery. In order to award a certificate upon completion, I must be confident that my student has achieved a new level of understanding from the anger course. I must believe that my student has new tools and plans for managing angry feelings in the future.  

Other Classes To Consider

As you start your anger management journey you will discover that there are a wide variety of anger management options to consider. If you are truly committed to building anger management techniques that actually work, your journey shouldn’t stop with anger management training. Depending on your skills and the complexity of your situation, you may benefit from ongoing anger management therapy or group work. While therapy is an awesome investment, there are communities for anger management online for those looking for community support or something less formal.

As well, your learning can continue with other programs, like…
Domestic Violence Classes
 Stress Management Classes
 Emotional Intelligence Classes 

For an anger management online class or any other class, you will want to confirm the class offers a certificate. You can ask questions for specific courses to discover a class’s strategy to help you control your anger. You can ask to see anger management class reviews. And, if you’re trying to decide between a live face-to-face class and an online class, you can ask the instructor about the advantages and disadvantage of each.

How Do You Know If It's The Right Anger Class For You?

My greatest tip on how to find the right anger management class for you is to assess the instructor. Here are some questions to consider…
• Do I feel comfortable with this instructor / therapist?
• Can I be honest with this person?
• Do I trust that this person can help me?
• Will this person respect me?

I believe the MOST IMPORTANT consideration is the person you’re working with. Whether you’re taking group, private or online classes, if the instructor / therapist doesn’t work for you, you are wasting your money. 

The fact is, you either have to, or are choosing to, invest your time. Make the most out of it. You can’t make the most out of something that feels uncomfortable or brings you shame. You can’t make the most out of something you can’t stand to be in. So find the person you think is most likely to teach you something of value. Choose someone you would actually enjoy having a coffee with. Just like getting a tattoo, an anger management class can be a highly personal experience. Choose carefully!

How Can Anger Management Help You?

Learn about our Anger Management Classes here.

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