Everyone feels angry from time to time, but if you find yourself losing control of your anger and engaging in harmful behaviors (such as physical fights or lashing out verbally), you may benefit from anger management classes.
Anger is a basic human emotion characterized by feelings of annoyance, frustration, or hostility that can range from mild irritation to intense rage. Well-managed anger can be a useful tool that motivates you to express difficult feelings or find solutions to tough situations. But when anger is uncontrolled, it can be harmful to your relationships, your professional life, and even have a negative impact on your health.
Should You Try Anger Management Classes?
Anger management classes teach people how to recognize the signs of anger, identify triggers and develop the skills needed to regulate their emotions and resolve anger in a constructive way.
Whether you're looking for anger management training for yourself or a friend or family member, there are plenty of free and low-cost options.
No-Cost Online Anger Management Classes
Many anger management classes are fee-based, but there are some effective free courses for children, teens and adults. Most free anger management class options online are prerecorded, so you can complete the course material at a time that is convenient for your schedule, at your own pace.
Though there are many free online anger management courses, there are a few things to keep in mind about no-cost courses:
- Some are introductory sessions designed to interest you in taking the full, fee-based course offered by the company. Costs vary, ranging from $14.99 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the duration of the course, materials covered and whether it is pre-recorded or taught live by a counselor.
- Some are free to attend but require you to pay a fee to obtain a certification of completion. If you were court-ordered to attend the class or must take it at the request of your employer, you will need to pay the fee to demonstrate you completed the course.
- Some free options do not satisfy all requirements for court-ordered anger management training.
Read through the course outline of any class you are considering to ensure it meets all of your requirements and fits your budget.
New Hope for Anger and Domestic Violence
New Hope for Anger and Domestic Violence offers a full eight-hour anger management course online. The course itself is free, but you must pay $25 to obtain a certificate of completion if needed for court, work or school. A free anger management skills test is available on the NuHopeCare website, helping assess your current anger management strengths and weaknesses. Registration is required in order to obtain access to course materials.
Open Path for Anger Management
Open Path is an online wellness education company that offers several anger management courses, depending on your specific needs. A free introductory anger management class helps you decide if the Open Path program is right for you. If you decide this option is right for you, there is a one-time $5 registration fee and fees to obtain the certificate of completion, which range in price from $17 to $115, depending on the duration of the course you registered in.
Dr. John Schinnerer
Developed by the expert consultant for Pixar's Academy Award-winning film Inside Out, Dr. John Schinnerer's anger management course is designed to help you "turn down the volume on your anger, irritability and annoyance." Viewers can watch the introductory class for free but must register and pay to access the full multi-week anger management course material and obtain a certificate of completion. Dr. Schinnerer also offers free educational videos on anger management on his YouTube channel. anger management training videos on YouTube at no cost.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a free Anger and Irritability Management Skills (AIMS) online course. Simply click the 'start the cost' button to begin the computer-based training model, which teaches how to control your reactions to irritating events, get along better with others, and avoid the negative consequences of losing control of your anger. This course was developed for service members and veterans but is open to the general public. No certificate of completion is provided for this course.
The American Psychological Association (APA)
Though not an online course, the American Psychological Association (APA) offers a free online brochure with information on what anger is, strategies for managing anger effectively and tips on how to determine if you may benefit from a course or counseling for anger management.
Alison: Empower Yourself
Alison is one of the largest free learning platforms that provides a variety of education and skills training courses online. Free online courses for anger management cover effective techniques and tips for managing anger in a healthy, constructive way. The Anger Management & Conflict Resolution course lasts 3-4 hours and is free to enrol in and complete. If you want a certificate of completion, this can be purchased through the Alison shop for approximately $75 USD.
Oxford Home Study Center
The Oxford Home Study Center offers a 20-hour anger management course designed to help you learn how to effectively communicate with others in a constructive manner. Participants are given assignments throughout the course to ensure they understand the material. You must receive a passing grade for each assignment in order to meet completion requirements. Registration and course materials are free, and you can obtain your certificate of completion for a small fee.
Ideas for Finding Local Classes
If you prefer to take an anger management course in person, there may be free or low-cost courses in your area. In-person courses offer the benefit of working with a trained professional and spending time with peers who you can practice your newly-learned anger management strategies with.
Depending on where you live, there may be free or low-cost anger management courses in your area. Here's where to look:
State Child Welfare Agencies
Each state has a designated Child Welfare Agency that offers residents a wide variety of classes, support groups and services to help parents and caregivers safely and effectively care for children. The child welfare agency in your state may offer anger management workshops near your home or connect you with a local organization that provides anger management training at no cost. Search for your state agency's contact information on ChildWelfare.gov - the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a large grassroots mental health organization with chapters located throughout the United States. Many local NAMI chapters offer a variety of community-based mental health services at no cost, including support groups and education classes to ensure individuals and families get the resources they need. Visit the NAMI website to find a local chapter or call the free NAMI hotline at 1-800-950-NAMI to ask for local anger management resources near you.
Exchange Club Chapters
The National Exchange Club aims to inspire communities throughout the United States to become better places to live through community service, youth programs and the prevention of child abuse. With more than 630 local clubs throughout the country, you are likely to find a chapter within driving distance that may offer anger management classes. For example, The Exchange Club chapter in Mobile, Alabama operates the Family Center, which provides a wide variety of free courses beneficial to parents, including anger management.
Emotions Anonymous is an organization that offers peer support groups that follow a 12-step program for people who are working toward recovery from emotional difficulties. These support groups meet weekly at various chapters throughout the country to offer peer support and education on a variety of emotional topics, including anger management. If you would like the opportunity to share your feelings and get support from others who have had similar lived experiences, visit the Emotions Anonymous website to find a chapter near you.
Local organizations that offer no-cost, in-person anger management classes often promote these events through the Eventbrite online event management website. For example, the Cohen Clinic at Endeavors, El Paso lists anger management classes through Eventbrite, as does the Behavioral Health Training Collaborative in Michigan. Visit Eventbrite regularly to search for free, local in-person anger management classes or anger management courses available online.
Find Resources for Anger Management
Anger management courses are not all created equal - some are short in duration, and others take months to get through all of the course material. Finding the right class for you and your specific needs may not be easy, but it will be worth the effort. Getting help for anger control issues is an important step to learning and practicing effective strategies when dealing with life's challenges. The work you put into the course may enrich your relationships, teach you how to effectively communicate your needs, and learn how to use anger as a motivational tool to better your life.
Some people find anger management classes are enough to help turn their anger management strategies from negative to positive. Others find one-on-one counseling with a licensed mental health professional more beneficial. Whatever you choose, be proud that you are taking the first step to a more communicative, healthier version of yourself.