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Does anyone have experience with anger management classes/seminars? Have they worked? How do you find out about them? Etc., etc, etc.?

My dad was an abusive/very angry/raging person, and although I keep my anger in check MOST days, about every two months or so I have a blow up
: . I don't ever hit my DS, but I do yell/scream (well, more like super-scream). It's not how I want to be, and I end up hating myself, feeling very guilty and ashamed afterward.

I'm naturally kind of loud, but that's not what I'm talking about. I don't feel comfortable with HOW angry I get and how out of control I feel. I've been to therapy in the past for other issues, but money is really tight and we can't afford it right now. I've gotten some great tips from these boards, but I thought an anger management class/seminar might be helpful to help control the intensity of my feelings and their (occasional) rapid-fire onset.

Anyone with experience/knowlege? TIA!
 

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I used to work for a domestic violence agency that, among other things, provided the kinds of seminars you are talking about. The men's groups and women's groups were separate.

I worked as the children's coordinator, so I saw first-hand the effects of domestic violence and child abuse. So often the adults who most needed what the classes provided had the most difficulty seeing their need.

Congrats to you on working on your issues. I would recommend looking around in your area for available classes. Maybe ask if you can sit in on a class or speak to a leader about how it works. Find one that is a good fit for you and your particular goals.

One of the most eye-opening things folks learned in those classes was that the cycle of violence always begins with belief - the belief that at some point violence (emotional and/or physical) is the appropriate way to handle one's anger. The key to breaking the cycle of violence is acknowledging one's belief about the anger/violence connection, and finding practical ways to break it in real life situations.

I would also like to say that I really respect people who go through this learning process, it can be absolutely life-changing. I remember having a discussion with a men's anger group leader, a man who describes himself as recovering from his anger/domestic violence. We were disagreeing on how a certain room would be used at a certain time of day (the old problem in a small non-profit, too many people to help and too little space). Anyway, he was totally calm and all of a sudden turned around and walked away. He came back about 10 minutes later contented and with a solution that worked for both of us. I realized that he had just had a moment where he would have blown up and hit me, but I hadn't even felt scared at all. He gave himself a time out, did whatever he does to cool off, and rethought the situation. It worked out great and he has my undying respect and admiration.

So I say go for it! There's always a lot to learn and you'll definitely find you're not alone. Those classes are full of people looking for help and answers.

Good luck, you can do it!
 
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