Cognitive-Behavioral TX Soothes Workplace Anger. (Attitude Adjustment)

By Splete, Heidi | Clinical Psychiatry News, March 2003 | Go to article overview

Cognitive-Behavioral TX Soothes Workplace Anger. (Attitude Adjustment)


Splete, Heidi, Clinical Psychiatry News


WASHINGTON -- Anger management training works in the workplace.

A four-session cognitive-behavioral management training program resulted in significant improvements on the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI), compared with baseline scores among the 46 participants who completed it, Capt. David J. Linkh, USAF, said at the annual conference of the Academy of Organizational and Occupational Psychiatry.

The study was conceived, not as a research project, but, rather, as an intervention in response to requests for anger management within the setting of a military base, said Capt. Linkh, a Ph.D. candidate in social work at Columbia University New York.

"We decided on a psychoeducational curriculum that involved well-proven behavioral interventions," he noted.

Capt. Linkh defined anger as a three-dimensional construct, with physiologic, cognitive, and affective components. Associated concepts include attributional style (hostile or negative) and appraisal. The appraisal process is situational. If someone feels safe and comfortable, the appraisal of a threat is going to decrease, and he or she is less likely to become angry, but if the perceived threat level is high, he or she is more likely to become angry.

As for the components of anger management training, Capt. Linkh noted that by calling the program a psychoeducation program--a treatment program targeting behavioral change--it could be called educational. This could make coding easier, depending on the setting, he said at the conference, cosponsored by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Cognitive restructuring lends itself to intervention. The goal of any anger management program is to include some sort of arousal mitigation--desensitization, stress inoculation, relaxation, visualization, or any method that seems to work.

* Session 1. This introductory session included defining anger, the physiology of anger, and the participants' subjective experiences.

The group leaders began by administering the STAXI since that was their outcome measure. They emphasized the three-dimensional model of how thoughts, feelings, and body sensations contribute to anger.

They suggested to participants that there might be different interpretations of the events happening around them that provoke them to anger.

It's important to get people in touch with their own experience of anger. …

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