The Anger Illness
Whether it’s snapping at a colleague or hitting a malfunctioning gadget, we all get mad sometimes. The Wall Street Journal asks if anger management can fix us…
"Scream at the boss? Snap at a colleague? Throw your cell phone into your @#$%%&* computer monitor? If so, you may find yourself headed to anger-management classes, which have become an all-purpose antidote for fit-throwing celebrities, chair-throwing coaches, vandals, road ragers, delinquent teens, disruptive airline passengers, and obstreperous employees. Demand for such programs is coming from courts seeking alternatives to jail sentences and companies hoping to avoid lawsuits and office blowups. Aware that high-pressure jobs can make for hot tempers, some professions offer pre-emptive anger management. A few state bar associations now require ‘civility’ training for lawyers renewing their licenses. And as of last year, hospitals must have programs for ‘disruptive’ physicians as a condition of accreditation. Programs run the gamut from $300-an-hour private therapists to one-day intensive seminars, weekly group sessions or online courses with no human interaction. Many advertise that they satisfy court requirements—even if all they offer is six CDs and a certificate of completion. It's not clear if the programs work, as few studies have analyzed their effectiveness. There are no licensing requirements for anger-management trainers—anyone can open a business. And since participants don't usually sign up voluntarily, trainers say it's possible to complete a program without actually changing one's behavior."
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- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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