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News | Jan. 20, 2016

Anger management classes are available, and not just as a commander-issued corrective tool

By Airman 1st Class Kyle Johnson JBER Public Affairs

The Family Advocacy Program on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is hosting its quarterly anger management classes this month at the Richardson Education Center.

The next set of classes is scheduled to begin April 26.

The classes occur weekly and consist of four two-hour, sessions.

"There's a quote in one of the books we use in this class that says - not word for word -  'Anger is a really good indicator of a problem, but a very poor solution,'" said Sarah Blanning, JBER Family Advocacy Program outreach manager. "The whole class is based around that concept. It's normal; don't feel guilty about being angry. When you try to use that anger to fix whatever is making you angry; that's when you run into problems."

Anger management classes are held quarterly and can prove valuable for anyone.

"Anger is a very normal human emotion, everybody experiences it," Blanning said. "What are some of the ways we can learn to take that anger and manage it when it is causing us harm or use it in a way that prompts us to do the right thing?"

Each session covers a different topic, provides a week for participants to apply what they've learned, and progressively acquire more skills the following week.

"The first session focuses primarily on identifying and recognizing anger," Blanning said. "How is your anger different from other people, and what does it look like for you?"

Throughout the class, students will be interacting with each other, and the instructor.

"In the second session, we do cognitive-behavioral therapy which is changing your thought process," Blanning said. "Your thoughts impact your feelings which impact your behaviors. Our thought is the first piece in the puzzle that we can make a change in and it will affect everything that follows."

The third session explains some calming and relaxing techniques which have a direct benefit to stress management, not just anger management, Blanning said. The last session ties it all together.

"It's a prevention-based class, so it's not run like a process group," Blanning said. "We're not discussing our emotions and whatnot, it's skills-based."

"The class is a lot different than I expected it to be," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Kyle Perry, an electrical power production technician with the 773rd Civil Engineering Squadron. "You expect a lot of negative energy from an anger management class, but it's been quite educational."

"Who in this world has not done something they regretted when they were angry?" Blanning said. "Nobody. Everybody has done that. This is an opportunity to learn some skills. It's not a bad thing to want to improve yourself."

For more information on JBER's anger management classes or any other Family Advocacy Programs, call 552-5858.