SDS Seminars Online

The Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Anger Disorders with Ray DiGiuseppe



Professor Ray DiGiuseppe’s Masterclass on Anger

This Masterclass explores anger as a clinical problem and reviews latest research on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatments of patients with anger problems.

This Masterclass explores anger as a clinical problem and reviews research on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatments of patients with anger problems.

Clinical models of anger often borrow from the models of other emotional disorders and fail to identify how anger differs from fear, anxiety, and depressive disorders. This course will focus on the characteristics of anger and anger disorders.

Research on the comorbidity of anger in psychiatric samples reveals that anger is not a depression, manic, impulse, or personality disorders as suggested by many theorists but remains a separate clinical entity. This course will review how anger symptoms are comorbid with other disorders and how this comorbidity negatively influences the clinical presentation and prognosis of the primary disorders. Attention will focus on how anger is portrayed in the present taxonomic systems, e.g., DSM-5 and ICD- ICD-10-CM. It will also specify how anger can be conceptualised as an independent syndrome and what categories of anger patients have been derived from latent class analysis.

The lack of clear definitions for what constitutes clinically dysfunctional anger has also led to disagreement in how anger is represented in psychological tests. We will review the common problems in anger assessment instruments and structured interviews. A model for assessing anger that can be used to individualise treatment will be presented.

Research on effective anger treatment models will be presented. Anger treatments usually employ one manual for all participants. Most researchers fail to identify different types of anger problems that may require various interventions. Such models do not help clinicians assess essential aspects of the anger experience and use their assessment to construct an individualised case conceptualisation.

Most anger treatments rely on Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies. However, we have little research identifying which CBT constructs are most related to anger and should be targeted in treatment. Data on the attitudes that most likely lead to clinical anger are reviewed, along with suggestions for targeting them. This Masterclass will propose a model of anger characteristics that informs assessment that will help clinicians build case conceptualisations and individual treatment plans based on empirically based interventions.

Implication for everyday clinical practice

Participants will learn how to best assess anger problems and how and when to implement the following interventions:

  • motivational enhancement strategies,
  • strategies for establishing a therapeutic alliance with angry patients,
  • strategies for challenging anger eliciting cognitions,
  • exposure interventions,
  • the rehearsal of new assertive behaviours,
  • relevant homework assignments.

Key learning objectives:

Participants who attend this workshop will be able to:

  • Describe how anger symptoms are presented in DSM 5 & ICD-11-CM.
  • Explain how excessive anger a harmful and dysfunctional form of psychopathology is.
  • Explain how anger and aggressive symptoms are comorbid with other disorders.
  • Describe what characteristics of anger leads to resistance to change.
  • Design assessment strategies reveal anger and aggression problems for children, adolescents, and adults.
  • Implement a comprehensive model of anger assessment
  • Explain the cognitive behaviour treatments of anger.
  • Design treatment plans based on empirically supported interventions for angry patients.

Course tutor

Prof Raymond A. DiGiuseppe, Ph.D., ABPP, Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Institutional Review Board
Ray DiGiuseppe, Ph.D., ABPP is Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Institutional Review Board at St John’s University, Director of Professional Education at the Albert Ellis Institute (AEI)and studies anger as a clinical problem.
Ray DiGiuseppe received his Ph.D. from Hofstra University ins suburban New York in 1975 and did a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with Albert Ellis. He was elected a fellow of the American Psychological Association’s divisions of Clinical, School, Psychotherapy, and Family Psychology, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies.
One indication of his range of clinical and research experience is his Fellow status with the American Psychological Association in not one but four divisions: Psychotherapy, Clinical, School, and Family Psychology.
His distinguished career has spanned nearly five decades. He has promoted the recognition of anger as a form of psychopathology, and studies the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of persons with anger problems. He has developed standards for identifying anger diagnostic disorders. Professor DiGiuseppe has published more than 120 scientific papers and book chapters and is a co-editor of the Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy as well as two psychological tests assessing dysfunctional anger:

  • the Anger Disorders Scale (ADS) for adults and
  • the Anger Regulation and Expression Scale (ARES) for children and adolescents.

He works on the development of the theory, practice, and empirical research support of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapies. He is presently developing measures of Ellis’ concept of irrational and rational beliefs and their relationship to other cognitive behaviour constructs and emotional disturbance.
He has published extensively on anger and his works include Understanding Anger Disorders, the Anger Disorders Scale, and the Anger Regulation and Expression Scale. He has also published extensive in REBT and co-authored the Practitioners Guide to Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy.
He served as president of the Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (2006) and the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy in 2014 (Division 29 of the American Psychological Association).
A popular conference speaker, Professor DiGiuseppe pioneered popular presentation formats, such as the Master Clinician Series and World Rounds.
He is presently Professor of Psychology at St. John’s University in New York, and Director of Education at the Albert Ellis Institute.
He has maintained a practice seeing angry clients and has led two anger groups per week.

Course structure

  • Video
  • Online Test
  • Personalised Certificate for 6 CPD Hours