Where a young person is able to constructively find ways to negotiate for needs to be met and for any problems to be resolved, potentially destructive and harmful anger related behaviour can be avoided. This requires effective communication skills and an ability to be assertive. It is common for young people to be able to describe how this can be done but to struggle when trying to do it.

One way to prepare young people to be assertive in an appropriate way is to practice with them using ‘role play’. Role-plays are a dynamic way of engaging a young person and allowing them to experiment with different behaviour choices. This kind of guided experience can promote learning and personal growth.

The following are relevant elements drawn from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (ACRA) that can be used to help young people find constructive ways to express anger

C2. Assertiveness, communication & social skills training
This cluster of elements from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy presents covers the basics on assertiveness, communication & social skills training. The material is focused mainly on social anxiety but skills involved are relevant to anger management.

G6. Interpersonal effectiveness
This suite of elements from DBT provides a detailed approach on how to understand aggressive (and passive) styles of communicating, and options to change that. It is possible to use all the elements, or just select concepts that are appropriate for an individual.

D3. Caregiver rapport-building and motivation
This ACRA element contains communication skill building resources that might be suited to a younger client or in a family-work context.

The following page is a straightforward approach to anger-related assertiveness training.