The Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Anger Disorders with Ray DiGiuseppe

1 day 9:30am – 4:30pm 7 CPD hours

Course Brief

Click here for more details and to enrol on the online course via SDS Online Video Training (OVT)

Professor Ray DiGiuseppe's Masterclass on Anger

This Masterclass explores anger as a clinical problem and reviews latest research on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatments of patients with anger problems.


This Course is now available as a full recording with an online test via SDS Online Video Training (OVT).

Title: The Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Anger Disorders

CPD Hours Attached: 6 CPD Hours

Click here for more details and to enrol on the course



This Masterclass explores anger as a clinical problem and reviews research on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatments of patients with anger problems.

Clinical models of anger often borrow from the models of other emotional disorders and fail to identify how anger differs from fear, anxiety, and depressive disorders. This course will focus on the characteristics of anger and anger disorders.

Research on the comorbidity of anger in psychiatric samples reveals that anger is not a depression, manic, impulse, or personality disorders as suggested by many theorists but remains a separate clinical entity. This course will review how anger symptoms are comorbid with other disorders and how this comorbidity negatively influences the clinical presentation and prognosis of the primary disorders. Attention will focus on how anger is portrayed in the present taxonomic systems, e.g., DSM-5 and ICD- ICD-10-CM. It will also specify how anger can be conceptualised as an independent syndrome and what categories of anger patients have been derived from latent class analysis.

The lack of clear definitions for what constitutes clinically dysfunctional anger has also led to disagreement in how anger is represented in psychological tests. We will review the common problems in anger assessment instruments and structured interviews. A model for assessing anger that can be used to individualise treatment will be presented.

Research on effective anger treatment models will be presented. Anger treatments usually employ one manual for all participants. Most researchers fail to identify different types of anger problems that may require various interventions. Such models do not help clinicians assess essential aspects of the anger experience and use their assessment to construct an individualised case conceptualisation.

Most anger treatments rely on Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies. However, we have little research identifying which CBT constructs are most related to anger and should be targeted in treatment. Data on the attitudes that most likely lead to clinical anger are reviewed, along with suggestions for targeting them. This Masterclass will propose a model of anger characteristics that informs assessment that will help clinicians build case conceptualisations and individual treatment plans based on empirically based interventions.

Implication for everyday clinical practice

Participants will learn how to best assess anger problems and how and when to implement the following interventions:

  • motivational enhancement strategies,
  • strategies for establishing a therapeutic alliance with angry patients,
  • strategies for challenging anger eliciting cognitions,
  • exposure interventions,
  • the rehearsal of new assertive behaviours,
  • relevant homework assignments.

This Course is now available as a full recording with an online test via SDS Online Video Training (OVT).

Title: The Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Anger Disorders

CPD Hours Attached: 6 CPD Hours

Click here for more details and to enrol on the course


Key learning objectives:


Participants who attend this workshop will be able to:

  • Describe how anger symptoms are presented in DSM 5 & ICD-11-CM.
  • Explain how excessive anger a harmful and dysfunctional form of psychopathology is.
  • Explain how anger and aggressive symptoms are comorbid with other disorders.
  • Describe what characteristics of anger leads to resistance to change.
  • Design assessment strategies reveal anger and aggression problems for children, adolescents, and adults.
  • Implement a comprehensive model of anger assessment
  • Explain the cognitive behavior treatments of anger.
  • Design treatment plans based on empirically supported interventions for angry patients.

Key References


DiGiuseppe, R. & Tafrate, R. (2007). Understanding Anger Disorders. New York: Oxford University Press.

McDermut, W., Fuller, J. R., DiGiuseppe, R. A., Zimmerman, M. Chelminski, I. (2009). Trait anger and axis I disorders: Implications for REBT. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 27(2), 121-135.

Fives, C. J., Kong, G., Fuller, J. R., & DiGiuseppe, R. (2010). Anger, Aggression, and Irrational Beliefs in Adolescents. Cognitive Therapy and Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10608-009-9293-3.

DiGiuseppe, R., & Tafrate, R. (2010). Anger: How it differs from other emotions. In Irving Weiner & Ed Craighead (Eds.). Corsini’s Encyclopedia of Psychology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

DiGiuseppe, R. (2011). A comprehensive treatment program for a case of disturbed anger. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 18, 235–240.

Gavita, O. A., David, D., DiGiuseppe, R., & DelVecchio, T. (2011). The development and initial validation of the parent anger scale. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 30 505 – 511.

Ahmed, A. G., Kingston, D. A., DiGiuseppe, R., Bradford, J. M., & Seto, M. C. (2012). Developing a clinical typology of dysfunctional anger. Journal of Affective Disorders, 136(1-2), 139-148. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2011.09.008

DiGiuseppe, R., McDermut, W., Unger, F., Fuller, J., Zimmerman, M., & Chelminski, I. (2012). The comorbidity of anger symptoms with personality disorders in psychiatric outpatients. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(1), 67-77. doi:10.1002/jclp.20835

DiGiuseppe, R. (2013). Assessment and treatment of anger as a clinical problem. In G. P. Koocher, J. C. Norcross, B. A. Greene (Eds.), Psychologists' desk reference (3rd Ed.) (pp. 210-214). New York, NY US: Oxford University Press.

DiGiuseppe, R., Barnea, M., Duke, G., Murphy, B., Brewer, W. (2016). Assessment and intervention for anger in school psychology. In M. Terjesen & M. Thielking (Eds.). Handbook of Australian School Psychology International: Research, Practice and Policy. New York: Springer.

Lee, A., & DiGiuseppe, R. (2017). Anger and aggression treatments: a review of meta-analyses. Current Opinion in Psychology, 19, 65–74. doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.04.004

Toohey, M. & DiGiuseppe, R (2017). Defining and Measuring Irritability: Clarification and Differentiation of the Construct. Clinical Psychology Review. 5, 393-108. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2017.01.009

DiGiuseppe, R. Leaf, R., Gorman, B., & Robin, R. (2018). The Development of a Measure of Irrational/Rational Beliefs. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapies, 36(1), 47-79.

DelVecchio, T, Jablonka. O., DiGiuseppe, R., Notti, J. & David, O. (2017). Psychometric Evaluation of the Parent Anger Scale. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26 (11), 3013–3025.

McGill, K., DiGiuseppe, R., &Yu, Z. (2020). The Code of Honor as a Predictor of Anger and Aggression. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma.

This course comes with 7 CPD Hours

This course is suitable for all practitioners who come across anger issues in their client work.


This course counts as a follow up training for all SDS Students who have obtained SDS Accreditation in CBT - Level 1, 2, 3 and 4. You accreditation extends accordingly after this training.

It also stands as a stand-alone CPD training.

Course Tutor

Prof Raymond A. DiGiuseppe
Ph.D., ABPP, Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Institutional Review Board

Raymond A. DiGiuseppe, Ph.D., ABPP is Professor of Psychology at St. John's University in New York, and Director of Education at the Albert Ellis Institute