Anger Management Training and People with Moderate to Severe Learning Disabilities


Heatherdene, 41 Detillens Lane, Limpsfield, Oxted, Surrey RH8 0DH


This paper outlines an Anger Management Programme specifically tailored for people with moderate to severe learning disabilities using the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in a group setting. The metaphor of a Traffic Light was used in which each light represents a different stage in the process of Anger Management: relaxation, self-instructional training and problem solving. Within the framework of an individualised Anger Management Traffic Light System, participants engaged in role-play with video feedback to develop an understanding of their own reactions to anger-arousing situations and learn new skills to manage their anger. This small, time-limited group seemed successful in demonstrating that people with moderate to severe learning disabilities are able to make use of a simplified Cognitive Behavioural approach to Anger Management, to monitor and modify their own thoughts and behaviour. Most progress took place where participants had a consistent, caring, high quality living environment, with carers committed to systematic support and follow-up.