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TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ANGER

An Anger Management Curriculum for High School Students

Signature Assignment: Six Week Small Group Counseling Curriculum


Project

Cristina Contreras
Brandman University
Overview
The topic of the curriculum is anger management for high school students. The purpose of the
curriculum is to inform students about anger and help them develop strategies to manage their
anger in a healthy and appropriate manner.

Students will learn:


To meet group objectives through peer collaboration.
To learn about the cycle of anger and how anger begins with a trigger, which leads to
negative thoughts, emotions, physical symptoms, and a behavioral response.
To learn about anger warning signs and fight-or-flight symptoms.
To learn about the importance of anger management techniques and practice techniques
to be utilized in future situations.
To learn how to evaluate ones progress and reflect on learning throughout group.

Group Size
6-8 Students

Group Time Per Session


40-60 Minutes

Grade Level
High School
9th -12th Grades

Number of Sessions
6 Sessions, 6 Weeks
Parent Permission Form for Participation in Small Group Counseling

Dear Parent,

Your son/daughter has been recommended or has shown interest to participate in an anger
management counseling group that I will have the honor of facilitating this school year. I have
met with your son/daughter and described the groups goals and the subjects that will be learned
throughout the 6 sessions/6 weeks. This group will meet once a week and he/she will miss a
different class each week. Constant communication with teachers will be done in order to ensure
that your son/daughter does not miss any classwork. Your child is aware that it will be his/her
responsibility to make-up work that is assigned by their teachers. The goal of the group is to
learn about the bodys natural response to unwelcomed situations, which is anger. Your
son/daughter will learn skills that will help he/she manage anger in a proactive manner. The
group will collaborate in order to achieve these counseling goals:

Recognize the feeling of anger


Learn about the cycle of anger and how anger begins with a trigger, which leads
to negative thoughts, emotions, physical symptoms, and a behavioral response.
Understand their own anger warning signs and fight-or-flight symptoms.
Understand the importance of anger management techniques and practice
techniques that they will utilize in future situations.
Practice self-evaluation and self-awareness.

Since counseling is based on a trusting relationship between the counselor and the student, all of
the information and experiences that are discussed by the group members will be kept
confidential. However, it is my ethical responsibility to limit confidentiality if the student
discloses information about causing harm to himself/herself or another person. In the case that
confidentiality is breached for ethical reasons, the parent will be informed.

Sincerely,

________________________________________________
School Psychologist

By signing this form, I give my informed consent for my child to participate in Take Control of
Your Anger: An Anger Management Curriculum for High School Students.

Parents Signature ___________________________________________ Date ______________

Students Signature __________________________________________ Date ______________


Take Control of Your Anger
Session 1, Week 1

Topic: Introduction
Activity: Group Norms

Domain: Personal/Social

Standard: A.2. Confidentiality


d. Explain the limits of confidentiality in developmentally appropriate terms through multiple methods such
as student hand- books, school counselor department websites, school counseling brochures, classroom
curriculum and/or verbal notification to individual students.

Materials Needed:
Poster Board 40 x 60
Scratch Paper
Markers
M & Ms
Anger Management Self- Assessment

Lesson Objective: To introduce students to each other, to the group topic, and to develop
group norms as a team.

Opening/Icebreaker:
Fun Facts (15 minutes)
o Assign each M & M color a category. Pour M & Ms in a bowl and pass the
bowl around the group so that each participant grabs one M & M. After
everyone has an M & M, explain the category for each color. If students have
Red, ask them to share a fact about their family. If students have Blue, ask
them to share a fact about their hobbies. If the students have green, ask them
to share a fact about their friends. If the students have yellow, ask the students
to share a random fact.

Instruction:
(10 minutes) The purpose of this group is to help you manage your anger. If you are
here, it does not mean that you are a bad person, nor does it mean that you are in
trouble. If you are here, it means that you are human and you get angry just like every
other person living on this planet. Do not worry if you have ever felt angry. Anger is
a normal reaction to situations that we want changed and it drives us to act for things
that we believe in. There is not a problem with feeling angry, the problem is not
knowing how to control or manage our anger. Throughout the six weeks, you will
learn about the cycle of anger, the fight-or-flight response, anger warning signs, and
practice anger management techniques. First, we will develop group norms or rules to
ensure that everything that we learn and discuss here is done in a respectful manner.

Description of Activity & Purpose:


Group Norms (20 minutes)
o For this activity, everyone will be given a marker and scratch paper. The
students will be prompted to generate group rules or norms that they will all
need to abide by during the 6 weeks. If the students do not include
confidentiality, then the counselor should explain it and add it to the rules.
After the discussion, the final norms will be written on a poster board and will
be placed where it is visible. Limit the rules to no more than 6. The purpose
of the activity is to ensure that the group is aware of the norms/rules that will
need to be followed without exceptions. In addition, students will learn how to
express feelings and thoughts and will make themselves known to the group
members (Initial Stage).

Connection/Closing Statement:
(5 minutes) Ask students to share in pairs what they are looking forward to learning
in the group. Preview what will be discussed in the second meeting.

Student outcomes/Evaluation component:


Anger Management Self-Assessment (5 minutes)
The assessment consists of 10 questions pertaining to their own anger, warning signs,
and behavioral responses. Students are to rate themselves using a Likert scale.
Take Control of Your Anger
Session 2, Week 2

Topic: Cycle of Anger


Activity: The Trigger

Domain: Personal/Social

Standard: B.2. Responsibilities to the School


b. Design and deliver comprehensive school counseling programs that are integral to the schools academic
mission; driven by student data; based on standards for academic, career and social/emotional development;
and promote and enhance the learning process for all students.

Materials Needed:
Blank Paper
Tape
Pens/Pencils
Cycle of Anger Worksheet
Self-Evaluation Form

Lesson Objective: To learn about the cycle of anger and how anger begins with a trigger,
which leads to negative thoughts, emotions, physical symptoms, and a behavioral
response. Students will evaluate a recent trigger and will learn how to be more aware of
their thoughts, emotions, physical symptoms, and responses.

Opening/Icebreaker:
Its What I Like About You (10 minutes)
Each person will tape a piece of paper on their back. The students will go around and
write strengths or a compliment on others paper. Make sure that students know that
only nice and appropriate comments are allowed. After everyone has written at least 4
comments, have them take the paper off from their back and read the uplifting
comments that were said about them.

Instruction: (15 minutes) Anger is often triggered by an event or a situation. Examples


of triggering events are feeling disrespected, getting cut off in a conversation, and having
a bad day. Due to these triggering events, we develop negative or irrational thoughts,
such as thinking that someone is the worst person ever or thinking that someone is the
biggest jerk that ever existed. Do you see how those thoughts are somewhat negative and
do not make sense? When we develop negative thoughts, we often feel negative
emotions. We can feel various emotions, such as rage, shame, or guilt. Since we are
feeling these strong emotions, our body naturally responds and we feel several physical
symptoms, such as a racing heart, clenched fists, sweating, and shaking. Because of these
thoughts, feelings, and symptoms, we often have unhealthy responses, such as fighting,
yelling, arguing, and criticizing. Thus, the cycle is: Triggering Event Negative
Thoughts Emotional Response Physical Symptoms Behavioral Response.

Description of Activity & Purpose:


The Trigger (20 minutes) For this activity, ask the large group to form small groups
of 2 or 3. Given a paper with the cycle of anger, ask students to discuss a recent
triggering event that caused them to have a behavioral response. Ask students to
discuss each item on the cycle and identify what the trigger, thoughts, emotions,
symptoms, and responses were. After the small groups have discussed, have them
come back to the large group and share some of their experiences. The purpose of the
activity is to help students become self-aware of their emotions, thoughts, physical
symptoms, and responses related to their triggering events. The students will work
together in order to build group cohesion and learn to deal with others reactions and
experiences (Transition Stage). Discuss/share with large group.

Connection/Closing Statement:
(5 minutes) Review the lessons objective. Ask students to share something they
learned about the group. Preview the third meeting.

Student outcomes/Evaluation component: Self-Evaluation Form (5 minutes)


Students will answer questions about what they have learned, what they want to
improve, the goals they have set for themselves, and the progress they have made.
Take Control of Your Anger
Session 3, Week 3

Topic: Anger Warning Signs & The Fight-or Flight Response


Activity: Anger Thermometer

Domain: Personal/Social

Standard: A.7. Group Work


g. Facilitate groups from the framework of evidence-based or research-based practices.
h. Practice within their competence level and develop profession- al competence through training and
supervision.

Materials Needed:
3x5 cards
Lined Paper
Pens/Pencils
Anger Thermometer Worksheet
Feelings Journal Worksheet
Self-Evaluation Form

Lesson Objective: Students will learn about their anger warning signs and fight-or-flight
symptoms.

Opening/Icebreaker:
Who Am I? (10 minutes)
Give each student a 3x5 card and a writing utensil. Have them write their name on the
card and 3 things about themselves that no one in the group knows. Collect the cards
and give each student a piece of lined paper and have the students number each line.
Read the 3x5 cards one at a time and have the students write down who they think the
card is referring to. When you have finished reading the 3x5 cards to the students,
share the answers.

Instruction: (20 minutes) So what is the point of knowing the warning signs of anger?
Knowing the warning signs is important because you need to know the thoughts, feelings,
and behaviors that make you angry in order to be able to manage or control your anger
next time something makes you upset. Being aware of the warning signs will help you to
stop and think next time you want to act out in an unhealthy manner. Lets discuss these
warning signs:
Mind goes blank
Body or hands shake
Heavy or fast breathing
Insult other person
Punch walls
Argue
Pace around room
Start sweating
Stare at other person aggressively or make angry face
Clench fists
Feel hot
Shut down
Headaches
Throw things
Cry
Cannot stop thinking about the problem
Out of the warning signs discussed, which ones have you experienced?
The fight-or flight response is our bodys natural reaction to threat or harm, the emotional
or physical responses prepare us to either confront or escape from the threat. This
response is natural and healthy; however, the response can also be unhealthy because it
can lead us to act out in excessive anger. Lets discuss the fight-or-flight symptoms:
Increased heart rate
Racing thoughts
Difficulty concentrating
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Nausea/butterflies
Rapid breathing
Shaking
Sweating
Tense muscles
Notice how the fight-or-flight symptoms are also warning signs and we feel them before
we act out in an unhealthy manner.

Description of Activity & Purpose:


Anger Thermometer (15 minutes)
For this activity, give each student an anger thermometer worksheet. Ask students to
get in pairs or triads and to rank their anger and their warning signs on a scale from 1
to 10. A 1 means that you are calm and a 10 means that you fight, yell, throw items,
etc. Ask students to be descriptive and include scenarios. Discuss how each of the
levels are different. The purpose of the anger thermometer activity is to help students
understand their personal warning signs and to be able to visualize how their anger
escalates. This activity can be challenging and bring forth guilt; however, discussing
warning signs in pairs or triads will help feel a sense of comfort, belonging,
unconditional acceptance, and students will not feel alone (Transition Stage).
Discuss/share with large group.

Connection/Closing Statement:
(5 minutes) Review the lessons objective. Ask students to share something they
learned about the group. Preview the fourth meeting.

Outside Practice: Feelings Journal Worksheet (5 minutes)


Ask students to record their feelings or moments of anger daily for a week and rate
their feelings or moments of anger using the anger thermometer.
Student outcomes/Evaluation component: Self-Evaluation Form (5 minutes)
Students will answer questions about what they have learned, what they want to
improve, the goals they have set for themselves, and the progress they have made.
Take Control of Your Anger
Session 4, Week 4

Topic: Anger Management Techniques Part 1


Activity: Timeout, Deep Breathing, Exercise

Domain: Personal/Social

Standard: A.1. Supporting Student Development


a. Have a primary obligation to the students, who are to be treated with dignity and respect as unique
individuals.
h. Provide effective, responsive interventions to address student needs.

Materials Needed:
Paper
Pens/Pencils
Yoga Mats
Calming Music
Scenario Worksheet
Self-Evaluation Form

Lesson Objective: Students will learn about the importance of anger management
techniques and will practice techniques for future reference.

Opening/Icebreaker:
The Magic Wand (8-10 minutes)
Explain to students that you have a magic wand, which allows one to change any
situation that is related to their personal or school life. For example, they can change
something about themselves, their friends, or their home environment. Remind
students to abide by group norms/rules and to avoid saying disrespectful comments.
Pass the invisible magic wand around to the all of the group members and have them
discuss the changes they would make and a brief statement explaining why.

Instruction: (8-10 minutes) Now that you have learned how to catch your anger early,
you will need to know various skills to manage your behavioral response in a healthy
manner. It is important to know that your anger will not deescalate from 10 to 1 with a
snap of your fingers, it takes work. There are skills that need to be learned and practiced.
Do you have techniques that you currently do to help calm your anger? If you do not, we
will learn and practice skills today.

Description of Activity & Purpose:


Timeout (10 minutes)
o Taking timeouts are an easy and effective way to manage our anger. Timeouts
can be as simple as walking away from the trigger or asking a loved one to
give us a second so that we can cool down. Taking a timeout can be useful at
home and at school. It is important to establish a timeout plan with your
parents, friends, teachers, or significant other if they are associated with a
common triggering event. Activity: Ask students to get into pairs or triads.
Give pairs/triads a Scenario Worksheet. Ask students to evaluate the scenario
given to them in order to determine when it is appropriate to take a timeout.
Plan how the individual in the scenario should go about taking the break.
Discuss/share with large group.
Deep Breathing (5-8 minutes)
o Deep breathing is a simple and therapeutic way to manage our anger. Deep
breathing exercises help us counteract our fight-or-flight symptoms and also
disturbs our negative thoughts. Activity: Ask students to sit comfortably in
their seat and place their hand on their stomach, so they are able to feel their
diaphragm move as they breathe. Take a deep breath through your nose and
breathe in slowly, make sure the breath is 5 seconds long. Hold breath for 5
seconds. Release the air slowly (5 seconds). Repeat this process for 5 minutes.
Exercise (10 minutes)
o Provide each participant with a yoga mat. Play relaxing music, such as music
with the sound of the ocean. Guide students to do the easy pose, childs pose,
corpse pose, puppy pose, easy pose, and dolphin pose. Use caution while
instructing students to do these poses, only an adult who is experienced should
incorporate this activity. Explain that exercise helps release feel-good
chemicals in our brain. Thus, when we exercise, the chemicals are released
and we feel happy and relaxed.

**After the activities, discuss how they felt about the techniques, use open-ended
questions in order to encourage open communication and authentic expression
(Working Stage).

Connection/Closing Statement:
(5 minutes) Review the lessons objective. Ask students to share something they
learned about the group. Preview the fifth meeting.

Student outcomes/Evaluation component: Self-Evaluation Form (5 minutes)


Students will answer questions about what they have learned, what they want to
improve, the goals they have set for themselves, and the progress they have made.
Take Control of Your Anger
Session 5, Week 5

Topic: Anger Management Techniques Part 2


Activity: Consequences, Visualization, Expressing Anger

Domain: Personal/Social

Standard: A.1. Supporting Student Development


a. Have a primary obligation to the students, who are to be treated with dignity and respect as unique
individuals.
h. Provide effective, responsive interventions to address student needs.

Materials Needed:
Calming Music
Self-Evaluation Form

Lesson Objective: Students will learn about the importance of anger management
techniques and will practice techniques for future reference.

Opening/Icebreaker:
Feelings Journal Worksheet from Session 3, Week 3 (15 minutes)
Ask students to share a journal entry from their Feelings Journal Worksheet where
they were asked to record their feelings or moments of anger daily for a week and rate
their feelings or moments of anger using the anger thermometer.

Instruction: (8-10 minutes) Last week we talked about the importance of learning and
practicing anger management techniques. Remember that I told you that it is normal to
feel angry because we are all human and we all have feelings. However, it is important to
know how to manage our anger so that we can think about our behavioral responses to
anger and respond in a way that is healthy for us and others. We will learn and practice 3
techniques today. Does anyone remember what the 3 techniques we learned and practiced
last session were? Have any of you utilized any of the techniques from last session at
home or school?

Description of Activity & Purpose:


Consequences (5 minutes)
o Next time you feel anger, stop and think about the possible consequences of
an unhealthy behavioral response, such as yelling, arguing, hitting, or
throwing an object. Ask yourself what the outcomes of your anger-fueled
response(s) will be. Will your anger-fueled response make you feel happy or
will it make you a better person? Activity: Ask students to get in pairs or
triads, have them discuss a time when they had an anger-fueled response. How
did their anger-fueled response make them feel? Do they regret it? Have them
brainstorm alternative and healthy responses to the triggering event.
Encourage students to practice thinking about consequences next time they are
angry.
Visualization (8 minutes)
o Play relaxing music, specifically music with the sound of the ocean. Ask
students to close their eyes. Say: Image that you are at the most relaxing beach
on Earth. There is sand between your toes and the sound of the waves
crashing is putting you to sleep. What do you smell? Hear? Taste? Feel? See?
Spend some time imagining every detail about the beach.
Expressing Anger (15 minutes)
o Expressing our anger in an assertive way is a healthy behavioral response.
After we have cooled down and used some of the anger management
techniques we have learned here, such as deep breathing or visualization, talk
to the person who triggered your anger. Tell the person how the situation
made you feel. Practice saying I statements. For instance, I felt sad
when or I felt angry when. The importance of expressing our anger to
the person(s) is that it will help prevent the same triggering event from
occurring in the future. If the triggering event was not a specific person, talk
to a loved one about your triggering event. For instance, maybe you ruined
your favorite shoes or your favorite video game. Talk to someone who you are
close with about how you felt. Activity: Ask students to get into pairs or
triads. Say: Pretend that your partner has just made you very angry. Your
partner just said some really mean things about you to another friend. You
already took a moment to deep breath and think about possible consequences
to an unhealthy behavioral response. You are now ready to express your
anger. Practice expressing your anger to your partner using I statements.
Take turns roleplaying.

**After the activities, discuss how they felt about the techniques, use open-ended
questions in order to encourage open communication and authentic expression
(Working Stage).

Connection/Closing Statement: (5 minutes) Review the lessons objective. Ask students


to share something they learned about the group. Preview the sixth meeting.

Student outcomes/Evaluation component: Self-Evaluation Form (5 minutes)


Students will answer questions about what they have learned, what they want to
improve, the goals they have set for themselves, and the progress they have made.
Take Control of Your Anger
Session 6, Week 6

Topic: Closing and Evaluation


Activity: Reflections

Domain: Personal/Social

Standard: A.7. Group Work


i. Measure the outcomes of group participation (process, perception and outcome data).

A.13. Evaluation, Assessment and Interpretation


i. Conduct school counseling program evaluations to determine the effectiveness of activities supporting
students academic, career and social/emotional development through accountability measures, especially
examining efforts to close information, opportunity and attainment gaps.

Materials Needed:
Anger Management Self-Assessment
Group Evaluation

Lesson Objective: Students will evaluate and reflect on their progress throughout the 6
sessions.

Opening/Icebreaker:
Life Highlights (15 minutes)
Ask students to close their eyes. Say: Think of the best memories you have. They can
be moments with friends, a significant other, family, or by yourself. Share about one
of your best memories. Now, pretend that you only have 5 minutes left to live. Close
your eyes again and relive one of your best memories for 5 minutes. Share about the
memory that you would relive.

Instruction and Activity: (25 minutes)


Review objectives from Sessions 1-6 and specific concepts and skills that were
learned/practiced.
Ask students to share what they learned, what they liked the most, and what they
disliked the most.
Return copies of students Self-Evaluation forms from Sessions 1-5 and their Anger
Management Self-Assessment from Session 1. Ask students to reflect on their
responses for both evaluations. Ask students to share their reflections.
Ask students to share their conclusions. What did they gain from the group? What
areas will they continue to work on?
Prepare students for separation and validate expressed feelings of fear, hope, and
concern (Final Stage).

Connection/Closing Statement: (10 minutes)


Express gratitude to students for their commitment and participation.
Reassure students that you are available to meet with them one-on-one on campus
and that you will send out emails once a month to check on their progress.
Prompt students to complete student outcomes and evaluation forms. Remind
students that the purpose of evaluations is to evaluate their progress, as well as to
provide feedback to the group and future groups. Remind students of confidentiality.

Student outcomes/Evaluation component:


Anger Management Self-Assessment (5 minutes)
o The assessment consists of 10 questions pertaining to their own anger,
warning signs, and behavioral responses. Students are to rate themselves using
a Likert scale.
Group Evaluation (5 minutes)
o The evaluation consists of questions regarding how helpful the group was,
how they left participating in the group, what changes need to be made in
order to improve the group, and if they would recommend the group to their
friends or loved ones.
References

American School Counselor Association (2016). ASCA ethical standards for school counselors.

Retrieved June 12, 2017,

from https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/Ethics/EthicalStandards2016.pdf

Brigman, G., & Goodman, B. E. (2008). Group counseling for school counselors: A practical

guide. Portland, ME: J. Weston Walch.

Therapist Aid. (2017). Anger worksheets for adolescents. Retrieved June 10, 2017, from

http://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheets/anger/adolescents

Icebreaker Ideas (2017). Icebreakers for high school students. Retrieved June 10, 2017, from

https://icebreakerideas.com/icebreakers-high-school-students/