Not all anger management class programs are the same. Like anything on the internet, consumers must be aware that programs vary in quality, acceptance, and effectiveness. Distance learning programs also vary greatly in their sophistication. For example, an organization might refer to their program as “online” simply because they have a website when in fact their program is simply a book that you order or a PDF that is downloaded. This is not an online class, but rather a product purchased over the internet that must either be printed or shipped in printed form.
Here is a simple checklist of items to make sure of before starting an online anger management class:
* How long has the agency been offering their course? What kind of training qualifies them to offer the course? Did they just launch a website, but have no history of actually offering or teaching anger management?
* What credentials or qualifications does the course provider have? I found one class that actually had a videographer as the owner. I found another that had no credentials at all. Consumer must be careful!
* Can a judge, probation officer or attorney contact the agency to verify credentials? Is there a qualified person that can accept phone calls and provide documentation?
* What curriculum is being used? Does it have any approvals? What is really being taught? Is there any substance to the course?
* Does the course include skills in empathy and emotional intelligence, forgiveness, stress management, assertive communication, expectation management, improving judgment and impulse control, and learning to respond instead of react?
* Is the course really “online” or is it just a bunch of downloads, printed materials that are mailed, or home made videos?
* Online means that everything is delivered online, with interaction with a qualified instructor.
* Do they have a refund policy if their program isn’t accepted? Distance learning programs are new, and not every judge in every court throughout the country is going to understand them.
* If something seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t. A quality program is going to cost more for a reason, because it’s legitimate.
Anger management skills can be learned in a variety of educational settings. For some, an online format best suits a busy schedule, for others a live program might be a better match. Either way, make sure the program you choose measures up.