New Research-Based Online Anger Management Classes for Relationship Aggression

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Traditional group interventions in relationship aggression and domestic violence have often proved ineffective, when they are based on political considerations rather than the scholarly research evidence and best practice standards. New research-based online classes created by respected author and researcher John Hamel, LCSW, are now available to help individuals deal with relationship aggression and anger management, and may be used as an adjunct to batterer intervention programs.

Alternate Behavior Choices - A Research-Based Domestic Violence Program Group Curriculum

Alternate Behavior Choices - A Research-Based Domestic Violence Program Group Curriculum

Alternative Behavior Choices incorporates a client-centered, systemic and gender-inclusive model, featuring practical, evidence-based interventions and techniques that exceed best practice standards.

Traditional group interventions in relationship aggression and domestic violence have often proved ineffective, when they are based on political considerations rather than the scholarly research evidence and best practice standards.

John Hamel, LCSW, is a scholar-practitioner with 25 years of research and clinical experience in the areas of anger management and domestic violence. His Alternative Behavior Choices group program in the San Francisco Bay Area has been a model of evidence-based practice. John Hamel is now making this program available online, at http://www.onlineangermanagement.org.

When interventions fail, couples face a downward spiral of frustration, defensiveness, blaming, and further conflict. Unless they are able to obtain the help they need, individuals caught in such relationships are at risk for divorce, physical injury, or getting arrested on a domestic violence charge. Furthermore, when children witness parental aggression, they in turn become at risk for experiencing mental health problems and for becoming aggressive themselves.

Alternative Behavior Choices is based on the latest research, including the 2,657-page Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project found at http://www.domesticviolenceresearch.org, as well as findings from the 2016 Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Programs World Conference:

  • Among most couples, the relationship aggression is mutual.
  • Except for sexual abuse, aggression and abuse among intimate partners is perpetrated at comparable rates by men and women, but female victims are at greater risk for serious, life-threatening injuries.
  • Relationship aggression is associated with poor impulse control and insecure attachment, as well as inadequate interpersonal skills.
  • The desire to dominate and control one’s partner is only one of several motives for relationship aggression, which may also be used in an attempt to communicate one’s feelings, stand up for oneself, or simply get heard.
  • It is not conflict per se that leads to relationship aggression, but the inability to keep those conflicts from escalating.
  • The most effective interventions are client-centered, focused on client strengths rather than deficits, and avoid harsh confrontational tactics.

Alternative Behavior Choices incorporates a client-centered, systemic and gender-inclusive model, featuring practical, evidence-based interventions and techniques that exceed best practice standards. For individuals experiencing low-moderate issues with anger and relationship aggression, the courses will serve as a timely intervention – one that will help stabilize the relationship and re-establish trust and mutual respect. Others will need additional help, and are advised to find an experienced mental health professional. Victims of domestic violence may get assistance by calling (800) 799-7233, or by going to hotpeachpages.net.

Course Features:

  • Can be taken from anywhere in the world, at home or on the go
  • Available in 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16-hour versions
  • Low registration fees
  • Completely self-paced to suit any schedule
  • Draw on latest findings from cognitive-behavioral science, studies on relationship dynamics, and brain research
  • Easy-to-understand lessons and exercises on emotion management, coping with stress, positive communication, conflict containment and conflict resolution
  • Covers all types of anger management problems, with focus on high conflict relationships and low-moderate forms of interpersonal aggression
  • Appropriate for both voluntary and court-referred students
  • Can be taken while working with a therapist or anger management counselor

John Hamel, LCSW, is a court-approved provider of batterer intervention and parent programs in four San Francisco Bay Area counties. He is the author of Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse, 2nd Edition: Evidence-Based Approaches, (Springer, 20145); co-editor with Tonia Nicholls, PhD, of Family Interventions in Domestic Violence: A Handbook of Gender-Inclusive Theory and Treatment (Springer, 2007); and editor of Intimate Partner and Family Abuse: A Casebook of Gender Inclusive Therapy (Springer, 2008.)

Mr. Hamel has had dozens of his research articles published in various peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and is Editor-in-Chief of Partner Abuse, a journal published quarterly by Springer Publishing (http://www.springerpub.com/pa). He regularly speaks at conferences on domestic violence, has trained mental health professionals, victim advocates social service organizations, law enforcement, attorneys and family court mediators, and has provided case consultation and expert witness testimony. In addition, he is a founding member of the Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Programs (ADVIP), an organization of mental health professionals and researchers dedicated to evidence-based practice (http://www.domesticviolenceintervention.net).

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