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Anger Management CBT Worksheets

Frustration, irritation, and anger are normal human emotions. We often feel angry when our goals are thwarted, or when we perceive that others are taking advantage of us. Anger can be a problem if it is experienced too frequently, too intensely, or if the modes through which an individual expresses their angry feelings include aggression or violence. Frameworks for understanding anger, and techniques for working with it effectively are an essential part of every clinician’s toolbox. This collection of resources has been designed to help your clients to recognize their anger, and to understand the thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that are precipitating or perpetuating their angry responses. There are also resources for acting assertively and forgiving oneself or others. Read more
Anger Management CBT Worksheets
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"Should" Statements

“Should” statements (sometimes referred to as ‘musturbation’, ‘necessitous thinking’, ‘self-commands’, and ‘injunctions’) are char ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/should-statements

A Guide To Emotions (Psychology Tools For Living Well)

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help your clients to live happier and more fulfilling lives. Psychology Tools for Living Well is a self-help course ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/a-guide-to-emotions-psychology-tools-for-living-well

Abandonment

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/abandonment

Anger - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/anger-self-monitoring-record

Anger Decision Sheet

Individuals who have a problem with anger can benefit from considering and rehearsing different responses to triggering situations. The Anger Decision ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/anger-decision-sheet

Anger Diary (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Anger – Self-Monitoring Record. Older versions of a resource may be archived in t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/anger-diary-archived

Anger Self-Monitoring Record (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Anger Self-Monitoring Record. Older versions of a resource may be archived in the event ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/anger-self-monitoring-record-archived

Anger Thought Challenging Record

Evaluating and disputing thoughts is a fundamental skill taught by cognitive therapists to their clients. The Anger Thought Challenging Record can hel ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/anger-thought-challenging-record

Approval-/Admiration-Seeking

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/approval-admiration-seeking

Arbitrary Inference

Arbitrary inference is one of the earliest and broadest cognitive disotortions described in CBT. Beck defines it as "the process of forming an interpr ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/arbitrary-inference

Assertive Communication

Communicating and acting assertively is an interpersonal skill that helps people to maintain healthy relationships, resolve interpersonal conflict, an ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/assertive-communication

Assertive Responses

Being able to communicate assertively is an essential skill for developing and maintaining healthy relationships and positive self-esteem. Individuals ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/assertive-responses

Audio Collection: Psychology Tools For Developing Self-Compassion

Psychology Tools For Developing Self-Compassion is an audio collection which guides clients through an empirically-supported programme of compassionat ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/psychology-tools-for-developing-self-compassion-audio-collection

Audio Collection: Psychology Tools For Mindfulness

The Psychology Tools For Mindfulness Audio Collection is the perfect way to introduce your clients to the practice of mindfulness. Developed by a clin ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/psychology-tools-for-mindfulness-audio-collection

Audio Collection: Psychology Tools For Relaxation

The Psychology Tools For Relaxation Audio Collection is designed to help anyone experiencing stress or heightened physiological arousal. The audio col ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/psychology-tools-for-relaxation-audio-collection

Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) automatically regulates the function of body systems outside of voluntary control. The Autonomic Nervous System han ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/autonomic-nervous-system

Behavioral Experiment

Behavioral experiments are planned experiential activities to test the validity of a belief. They are one of the most powerful techniques available to ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/behavioral-experiment

Behavioral Experiment (Portrait Format)

Behavioral experiments allow individuals to test the validity of their beliefs and assumptions. They are a core experiential technique for therapeutic ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/behavioral-experiment-portrait-format

Being With Difficulty (Audio)

Being With Difficulty is a mindfulness exercise which gently brings present-moment awareness to bear upon thoughts and feelings that are more difficul ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/being-with-difficulty-audio

Body Scan (Audio)

The Body Scan is a mindfulness exercise encouraging present-moment awareness, with the sensations of the body being used as an anchor for mindful atte ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/body-scan-audio

Challenging Your Negative Thinking (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Evaluating Unhelpful Automatic Thoughts. Older versions of a resource may be archived in ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/challenging-your-negative-thinking

Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Extended)

Cognitive distortions (or ‘unhelpful thinking styles’) are ways that our thoughts become biased. Different cognitive biases are associated with di ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-distortions-unhelpful-thinking-styles-extended

Combined Relaxation Exercise (Audio)

The Combined Relaxation Exercise is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Relaxation Audio Collection. It is designed to help anyone experienci ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/combined-relaxation-exercise-audio

Compassionate Thought Challenging Record

Thought challenging records are commonly used in CBT to help people to evaluate their negative automatic thoughts for accuracy and bias. This Compassi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/compassionate-thought-challenging-record

Court Trial Thought Challenging Record (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Thought Record - Courtroom Trial. Older versions of a resource may be archived in the ev ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/court-trial-thought-challenging-record

Emotional Deprivation

Schema therapy posits that psychological difficulties stem from early maladaptive schemas (EMS) and clients’ characteristic responses to them, refer ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/emotional-deprivation

Emotions Motivate Actions

Many clients find it helpful to recognize the range of actions that are motivated by different emotional states. This worksheet encourages clients to ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/emotions-motivate-actions

Evaluating Unhelpful Automatic Thoughts

The Evaluating Unhelpful Automatic Thoughts guide is written for clients who struggle with negative automatic thoughts. It provides a comprehensive in ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/evaluating-unhelpful-automatic-thoughts

Externalizing

The Externalizing information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effectively ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/externalizing

Fair Fighting Rules For Resolving Conflict

Fair fighting is a collection of rules that individuals can use to manage conflict effectively, so that it is ‘fair’ and works towards a resolutio ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fair-fighting-rules-for-resolving-conflict

Fight or Flight (CYP)

The Fight Or Flight (CYP) information handout has been specifically designed for younger children and includes carefully simplified language. The prof ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fight-or-flight-cyp

Fight Or Flight Response

The fight or flight response is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. The perception of threa ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fight-or-flight-response

Forgiveness Is

Forgiveness is an effective treatment for anger and relieving hurt. Sadly, many people dismiss forgiveness due to misconceptions regarding its nature. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/forgiveness-is

Forgiveness Methods

Forgiveness is an effective treatment for anger and the relief of hurt. This information handout describes techniques for forgiveness and the steps in ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/forgiveness-methods

Forgiveness Quotes

Forgiveness takes courage and strength. Clients often struggle with the concept of forgiveness because of unhelpful misconceptions. The Forgiveness Qu ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/forgiveness-quotes

Functional Analysis With Intervention Planning

This classic A-B-C functional analysis worksheet can be used to collect information about what came before a behavior (antecedents), the behavior itse ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/functional-analysis-with-intervention-planning

Grounding Statements (Audio)

The Grounding Statements exercise is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. This audio track is designed for p ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/grounding-statements-audio

Grounding Techniques

Individuals who have experienced trama often find it difficult to stay within the 'window of tolerance'. Grounding techniques (which can be sensory/pe ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/grounding-techniques

Grounding Techniques Menu

Dissociation can be described as a shift of a person’s attention away from the present moment. When working with traumatized clients, this shift oft ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/grounding-techniques-menu

How Breathing Affects Feelings

Normal, anxious, and exercise breathing have significant effects upon our physiology and our emotions. This information handout explains the physiolog ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-breathing-affects-feelings

How Your Body Responds To Stress

Many clients identify with the concept of ‘stress’ more readily than ‘threat’ and the The How Your Body Responds To Stress information handou ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-your-body-responds-to-stress

Interpersonal Beliefs And Styles

Interpersonal issues and relationship problems form an important part of what clients bring to therapy: they might present as clients’ current conce ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/interpersonal-beliefs-and-styles

Intrusive Memory Record

Intrusive (unwanted, involuntary) memories are a common feature of PTSD, but also depression and other conditions. This Intrusive Memory Record is des ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/intrusive-memory-record

Learning To Relax (CYP)

Stress and tension are prevalent complaints amongst children and young people. Teaching relaxation exercises can engender a beneficial sense of contro ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/learning-to-relax-cyp

Magnification And Minimization

The Magnification And Minimization information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/magnification-and-minimization

Mindful Attention (Audio)

The Mindful Attention exercise is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. This audio track was originally recor ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/mindful-attention-audio

Mindfulness In Everyday Life (Audio)

Mindfulness In Everyday Life is a short mindfulness exercise which guides clients how to bring present-moment awareness into everyday life. This audio ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/mindfulness-in-everyday-life-audio

Mindfulness Of Breath (Long Version) (Audio)

Mindfulness Of Breath (Long version) is a mindfulness exercise encouraging present-moment awareness, using the breath as an anchor for the attention. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/mindfulness-of-breath-long-version-audio

Mindfulness Of Breath (Short Version) (Audio)

Mindfulness Of Breath (Short version) is a mindfulness exercise encouraging present-moment awareness, using the breath as an anchor for the attention. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/mindfulness-of-breath-short-version-audio

Mindfulness Of Sounds And Thoughts (Audio)

Mindfulness Of Sounds And Thoughts is a mindfulness practice exercise that encourages relating to thoughts as ‘just thoughts’ that come and go in ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/mindfulness-of-sounds-and-thoughts-audio

Motivation and Ambivalence

Motivation is a necessary precursor to change, yet many clients are ambivalent about the process of change. The Motivation And Ambivalence worksheets ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/motivation-and-ambivalence

Overgeneralization

The Overgeneralization information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effect ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/overgeneralization

Peaceful Place (Audio)

The Peaceful Place exercise guides the listener through a short imagery exercise designed to facilitate the visualization of soothing imagery and noti ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/peaceful-place-audio

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive relaxation training originated in the 1930’s as a treatment for tension and anxiety. Edmund Jacobsen developed a systematic and lengthy ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/progressive-muscle-relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Older versions of a resource may be archived in the event ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/progressive-muscle-relaxation-edition-1

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Audio)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is an audio exercise from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. It is designed to help anyone exper ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/progressive-muscle-relaxation-audio

Raisin Exercise (Audio)

The Raisin Exercise is a short mindfulness exercise encouraging present-moment awareness of the senses, connecting with taste, touch and smell while y ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/raisin-exercise-audio

Relaxed Breathing

Practising Relaxed Breathing serves to reduce physiological arousal and can be an excellent grounding technique. This client information handout descr ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 1 (Audio)

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 1 is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. The aim of this breathing exercise is t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing-exercise-1-audio

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 2 (Audio)

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 2 is an audio track taken from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. The aim of this breathing exercis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing-exercise-2-audio

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 3 (Audio)

Breathing Exercise 3 uses the imagery of breathing air of different colours to help the listener make their breathing slower, deeper, and more regular ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing-exercise-3-audio

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 4 (Audio)

Relaxed Breathing Exercise 4 is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. Slow, relaxed, diaphragmatic breathing ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing-exercise-4-audio

Relaxed Breathing Record Form

Practicing relaxed breathing serves to reduce physiological arousal and can be an excellent grounding technique. This record form helps clients to mon ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/relaxed-breathing-record-form

Responses To Threat: Freeze, Appease, Flight, Fight

Human beings are programmed to respond automatically in a variety of ways to a threat including freezing, escaping, and dissociation. Traumatized indi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/responses-to-threat-freeze-appease-flight-fight

Sensory Grounding Using Smells (Audio)

The Sensory Grounding Using Smells exercise is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. It is designed to teach ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/sensory-grounding-using-smells-audio

Sensory Grounding Using Your Five Senses (Audio)

The Sensory Grounding Using Your Five Senses exercise is an audio track from the Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection. It is designed ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/sensory-grounding-using-your-five-senses-audio

Therapy Blueprint (Universal)

A therapy blueprint is CBT tool which summarizes the work a therapist and patient have completed together. It represents the past (the problems, what ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/therapy-blueprint-universal

Thinking Versus Sensing (Audio)

Thinking Versus Sensing is a short mindfulness exercise to demonstrate the difference between thinking about our experience and sensing it directly. E ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thinking-versus-sensing-audio

Thought Record – Courtroom Trial

Thought records are commonly used in CBT to help people to evaluate their negative automatic thoughts for accuracy and bias. The Thought Record – Co ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-record-courtroom-trial

Thought Record (Evidence For And Against)

CBT Thought Records exist in multiple variants, depending on the needs and abilities of the client. This Thought Record (Evidence For And Against) is ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-record-evidence-for-and-against

Unforgiveness – The Hook

Everyone experiences hurts and transgressions. When an offence occurs, people often react with anger, fear, or sadness. When these responses persist, ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unforgiveness-the-hook

Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Archived)

NOTE: Two improved versions of this resource are available here: Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Common) and Cognitive Disto ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unhelpful-thinking-styles-archived

Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (Second Edition): Client Workbook

The Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (Second Edition) comes in two volumes. This page is for the Client Workbook. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unified-protocol-for-transdiagnostic-treatment-of-emotional-disorders-second-edition-client-workbook

Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (Second Edition): Therapist Guide

The Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (Second Edition) comes in two volumes. This page is for the Therapist Guide. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unified-protocol-for-transdiagnostic-treatment-of-emotional-disorders-second-edition-therapist-guide

VAS Scale

Visual analogue scales (VAS's) can be used for subjective ratings of emotion or other sensations such as pain. This is a handy VAS scale in the style ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/vas-scale

What Does The Brain Do? (Lobes and Regions)

The human brain is the center of the body’s nervous system and the seat of cognition. It is responsible for everything that we do, feel and perceive ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-does-the-brain-do-lobes-and-regions

What Does The Brain Do? (Lobes)

The human brain is the centre of the body’s nervous system and the seat of cognition. It is responsible for everything that we do, feel, and perceiv ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-does-the-brain-do-lobes

Window Of Tolerance

The window of tolerance concept was coined by Dan Siegel in his 1999 book The Developing Mind. Siegel proposes that everyone has a range of intensitie ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/window-of-tolerance

Links to external resources

Psychology Tools makes every effort to check external links and review their content. However, we are not responsible for the quality or content of external links and cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time.

Assessment

  • Aggression Questionnaire | Buss, Perry | 1992
    • Buss, A.H., & Perry, M. (1992). The Aggression Questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 452-459.
    • Scale
  • Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes, Behaviors, and Influences Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools, 2nd ed. | National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Dahlberg, Toal, Swahn, Behrens | 2005
  • Clinical Anger Scale | Snell, Gum, Shuck, Mosley, Hite | 1995
    • Snell, W. E., Jr., Gum, S., Shuck, R. L., Mosley, J. A., & Hite, T. L.. (1995).  The Clinical Anger Scale: Preliminary reliability and validity. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51, 215-226
    • Scale

Guides and workbooks

  • Anger management workbook
  • Anger And Irritability Self-Help Booklet | Wellbeing Services South Glasgow
  • A guide to controlling anger | S Black, R Donald, M Henderson | 2005

Information Handouts

Presentations

  • Anger, Compassion, and What It Means To Be Strong | Russell Kolts
  • Anger management and coping skills | Eastridge | 2013

Self-Help Programmes

Treatment Guide

  • Understanding and reducing angry feelings | Bartholomew, Simpson | 2005
  • Anger management instructor guide | VA | 2008
  • Working with anger – some powerful practical tips | Russ Harris
  • Anger management for substance use and mental health clients: A cognitive behavioral therapy manual | SAMHSA | 2019
  • Getting along & keeping cool: A group programme for aggression control | Center For Clinical Interventions | 2001
  • True strength: a compassion-focused therapy approach for working with anger | Russel Kolts | 2016

Video

  • Compassion, anger, strength, and moral indignation | Russel Kolts | 2020

Recommended Reading

  • Novaco, R. W. (1977). Stress inoculation: A cognitive therapy for anger and its application to a case of depression.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,45(4), 600.
  • Novaco, R. W. (1976). The functions and regulation of the arousal of anger.American Journal of Psychiatry,133(10), 1124-1128.
  • Mackintosh, M. A., Morland, L. A., Frueh, B. C., Greene, C. J., & Rosen, C. S. (2014). Peeking into the black box: mechanisms of action for anger management treatment.Journal of anxiety disorders,28(7), 687-695.
  • Henwood, K. S., Chou, S., & Browne, K. D. (2015). A systematic review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of CBT informed anger management.Aggression and violent behavior,25, 280-292.
  • Deffenbacher, J. L. (2011). Cognitive-behavioral conceptualization and treatment of anger. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 18(2), 212-221.
  • Day, A., Howells, K., Mohr, P., Schall, E., & Gerace, A. (2008). The development of CBT programmes for anger: The role of interventions to promote perspective-taking skills.Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy,36(3), 299-312.
  • How to trick ‘angry’: Narrative therapy for people with an intellectual disability | Hoole, Morgan | 2008

What Is Anger?

Signs and Symptoms of Anger

Anger is an emotional response that is associated with a spectrum of other physiological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reactions. Physical signs associated with anger include muscle tension, including a clenched jaw, increased heart rate, sweating, headache, or dizziness. Emotions associated with anger may include frustration, irritation, anxiety, guilt, or shame. Behaviors associated with anger can span a spectrum from expressive (e.g., raising your voice, being sarcastic or abrasive) to inhibitory (e.g., withdrawing, focusing internally).

Psychological Models and Theory of Anger

In 1975 Raymond Novaco published an influential analysis of the functions and regulation of anger. He described anger as having the following functions:

  • an energizing function which increases the vigor with which we act;
  • allowing for the expression of frustrations;
  • a self-promotional function;
  • a defense against feelings of vulnerability, whereby an anger response appears as secondary to a situation that has aroused anxiety.

Evidence-Based Psychological Approaches for Working with Anger

Cognitive behavioral interventions are the most studied treatments of anger (Lee & DiGiuseppe, 2018).

Anger Management

Anger management is a structured treatment designed to foster the self-regulation of anger and aggressive behavior. Anger management teaches clients to become aware of signs and symptoms associated with their anger. Anger management is intended to reduce the frequency, intensity, duration, and specific modes of expression of anger. Intervention techniques include:

Forgiveness Therapy

Forgiveness therapy is an evidence-based treatment for anger (Enright & Fitzgibbons, 2000, 2015). Enright and Fitzgibbons have published extensively regarding forgiveness therapy. Their approach views forgiveness as a process involving stages of uncovering, decision, work, and deepening.

Resources for Working with Anger

Psychology Tools resources available for working therapeutically with anger may include:

  • psychological models of anger
  • information handouts for anger management
  • exercises for anger management
  • CBT worksheets for anger management
  • self-help programs for anger management

References

  • Enright, R. D., & Fitzgibbons, R. P. (2000). Helping clients forgive: An empirical guide for resolving anger and restoring hope. American Psychological Association.
  • Enright, R. D., & Fitzgibbons, R. P. (2015). Forgiveness therapy: An empirical guide for resolving anger and restoring hope. American Psychological Association.
  • Lee, A. H., & DiGiuseppe, R. (2018). Anger and aggression treatments: A review of meta-analyses. Current Opinion in Psychology, 19, 65–74.
  • Novaco, R. W. (1975). Anger control: The development and evaluation of an experimental treatment. Lexington.
  • Novaco, R. W., & Renwick, S. J. (2019). Anger management. Common Language for Psychotherapy (CLP) Procedures Retrieved from: https://www.commonlanguagepsychotherapy.org/assets/accepted_procedures/anger.pdf