Friday, January 18, 2013

Seeing Red! An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum

Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for KidsEarlier this week, I posted about a Sesame Street video that touches on a common intervention for anger management, but I thought I'd share the incredible resource that I use in my Anger groups.  It's called Seeing Red:  An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum by Jennifer Simmonds.  This book has a comprehensive plan for each group session and goes through the step by step procedures for every group.  I love how simple it makes my planning.  I usually don't have my groups for longer than 6-7 sessions, so I'm never able to complete every lesson, but I have my "go-to" lessons and then pick and choose depending on the group's individual needs.

What I love about this book the most is that it makes my planning so easy.  It goes through every group session starting with the introduction session, and ending with a celebration.  I also love that it includes a self-assessment and Icebreakers for every group session.  The lessons are easily adaptable, and I've added my own spin to some of them.  She even includes an "estimated time" for each part of the session. My favorite session is the one on discovering our anger triggers.  There is a list of triggers and students are asked to lay down a "yes" or a "no" card depending on whether it makes them angry or not.  I took it one step further and made little signs with "yes" on one side and "no" on the other.  Students hold up their popsicle stick sign depending on their answer.  We then discuss how knowing what our anger triggers helps us to manage our anger in a healthy way.  Kids easily understand that by knowing what our triggers are, we are able to identify our anger early enough to make a good decision.

As I stated earlier, the book includes steps for every group session--from beginning to end.  The book includes 12 sessions, however, my groups typically only last 6-7 weeks, depending on the need.  When I start planning my groups, I alwasy have my "go-to" sessions--the ones I do with everyone.  These include "discovering my anger,"  "Warning: I'm getting Mad!," and "Digging Deeper: What's under all that anger."  With the other sessions, I decide which to use depending on the group dynamics and developmental level.  Another adjustment I made was with the session called "Digging Deeper."  I have used the anger mask in the past, but recently saw a blog post about creating "anger sandwiches."  I love being hands on in my groups so I decided to give it a try before Christmas.  It was a hit!  The kids were easily able to identify underlying feelings beneath their anger and put those inside the sandwich.  The top peice of bread was "Anger."  I also loved that they had something to take home after to review.

Have you used this resource?  How have you added your own "spin" to it?


  1. The truth is that most anger management programs offer shallow solutions like, “count to 10” and “take a deep breath.” That is just not enough for someone struggling with anger. Most anger management counselors do not understand the science of anger, how anger works in your brain, and what really happens to make your angry. Since they don’t understand this, they give obsolete and incomplete guidance.
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  2. I agree Layne. A lot of what I focus on in my anger groups is understanding anger--where it comes from, what your personal triggers are. I think this is an important step that has to be accomplished before trying to find interventions.

  3. Hi, I couldn't find a place where I could email you directly. Can you tell me if this could still be used in individual sessions rather than groups? I don't want to drop money on something that's just for groups. I'm also trying to find a resource dealing with problem solving. Any recommendations?

  4. yes! I use it often in individual counseling sessions with students. It's one of the most comprehensive anger management programs I have found. I really like that it looks at where you feel anger in your body (and how it is different with everyone), what your anger triggers are, before talking about how to deal with them.

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  9. Hi Traci,
    I'm so glad you found Jennifer Simmonds' book, "Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids" an important tool, and I'm happy to tell you that Jennifer is releasing a revised an updated version: "Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Anti-Bullying Curriculum for Kids".

    Your readers currently benefit from your comprehensive focus on youth today, and with the headlining resurgences of heart breaking events to do with anger and bullying in our children’s environments, Jennifer's key concepts within these chapters speak to healthy ways to work with identification in this process.

    If you'd like, I'd be happy to send you a review copy of this new, comprehensive edition. Send me a message at and I'd be happy to help!

    Enjoy your day,

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