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Managing Anger & Aggressive Behavior

Jane McGregor, PhD

CE Credit: 3 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Occupational Therapy CEUs | Marriage & Family Therapy CE | School Psychology CE | Teaching CE

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Managing Anger & Aggressive Behavior is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides strategies for dealing with anger and aggression in clinical practice.

Healthcare professionals in every specialty have had experiences with anger and aggression, sometimes finding themselves the target of their clients’ anger. We are human, and all of us are subject to the full range of human emotions, even as therapists within the context of professional encounters with our clients. While anger is perfectly normal and almost universally experienced and expressed by individuals, it can become highly problematic when it is excessive in frequency and duration and is disproportionate to the event or person who triggered it.

The intent of this course is to address four interrelated topics: (1) understanding anger, (2) managing one’s own anger, (3) managing aggressive behavior from others, and (4) teaching clients to manage problematic anger. We will explore the different ways in which people can express outrage, including the commonly encountered forms of aggression (passive aggression, covert aggression, overt aggression, and outright hostility), and provide strategies for dealing with aggressors. As a foundation, we will also discuss coping strategies for managing our own anger and frustration as we go about our daily lives.

Course #31-16 | 2019 | 53 pages | 20 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Identify the fundamental differences between anger and aggression
2. Describe how to recognize and respond to the five major types of aggressive
3. Provide examples of verbal and non-verbal tactics that aggressive people commonly employ
4. List strategies for dealing with anger, aggression, and passive aggression without being aggressive
5. Name approaches for effectively dealing with covert and overt aggressors
6. Explain techniques to help clients learn to restrain and manage their aggressive impulses

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135), licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0100, and licensed social workers #SW-0664 (Note: New York counselors, marriage & family therapists, and social workers will receive 3 continuing education credits for completing this self-study course); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501 - Note: Ohio MFTs completing this course will receive 3 clinical continuing education credits); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635) (all courses are reported within two business days of completion).


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

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About the Author(s)

Jane McGregor, PhD, who received her doctorate from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, was an assistant professor at Nottingham University and a clinical practitioner in the U.K. National Health Service and charitable sector. She currently lectures part-time at the University of Nottingham and is a freelance researcher and author, who co-authored The Sociopath at the Breakfast Table and Coping with Difficult Families and wrote Drink and The City. She is currently working on a new title, Coping with Aggressive Behavior. Dr. McGregor is a trustee for the charity The Society for Research into Empathy, Cruelty, and Sociopathy (SoRECS).


Financial: No relevant financial relationships exist.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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