Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Anger Solutions for Smokers

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedInThis interesting article was posted on April 26th in news outlets across the world: Here is the Irish version.

Anger management may help smokers
[Posted: Sun 26/04/2009 by Olivia Fens]
Anger management classes may help smokers to quit, a new study has indicated.Researchers from the University of California looked at the reactions of people playing a computer game – once while wearing a nicotine patch and once while wearing a placebo (fake) patch.The study found that when the participants were not wearing a nicotine patch, they were more likely to react angrily.The researchers believe this is because nicotine affects the part of the brain that controls emotion.“Moreover, the findings suggest that nicotine may critically regulate brain areas that are involved in the inhibition of negative emotions such as anger,” the researchers said.“Behavioural treatments, such as anger management training, may aid smoking cessation efforts in anger provoking situations that increase withdrawal and tobacco cravings,” they concluded. The study was published in the Behavioural and Brain Functions journal.
If you are a follower of this blog, you already know what my stand is on anger management. Do you want your anger managed or do you want the problems that evoke your anger SOLVED? Anger Solutions practitioners everywhere may want to consider incorporating smoking cessation as one of the benefits of participating in our program. We already know that CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) is documented as the best option for providing traditional anger management "therapy", with a success rate of approximately 67%. We also know that anger management programs use all sorts of models, and many of these approaches are not studied or documented or regulated. So we have no idea if they work at all.

Anger Solutions on the other hand, has a documented success rate of over 80% in group and 100% in one-on-one coaching. The use of the program is closely monitored throughout our network, so we can ensure consistency in approach and in methodology. Anger Solutions tackles the underlying causes for poor choices (beliefs) and in challenging those beliefs, it opens up opportunities for participants to choose better outcomes. We do not take a cookie cutter approach to clients - we flex the program to suit the client's needs.

How does this all apply to smoking cessation? We might start with the underlying belief that "smoking calms me down". Challenging this belief is the first step. Closely followed is challenging the belief that "I can't quit". How about the belief that "If I quit smoking I'll get fat." We would use the pleasure/pain principle to balance out these patterns of thinking and then replace the limiting beliefs with empowering ones and leverage the participant into new behavioural choices that create more positive outcomes (i.e. smoke-free living, more money to spend on other things). And - to top it off, the participant walks away with a solid decision making model so that when the cravings crop up because of anger or any other trigger, s/he knows how to process each experience and choose the right response.

Curious to know how Anger Solutions can assist in your smoking cessation? Visit our website at
Julie Christiansen
Anger Specialist and Master Anger Solutions Trainer