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Aggressive Driving Behavior, Anger Reduction Treatment
Anger Management: Treating Road Rage - 6 CEUs

Section 19
Appendix: Reproducible Client Worksheets

Test | Table of Contents
| Anger Management
Counselor CEUs, Psychologist CEs, Social Worker CEUs, MFT CEUs

Larson Driver Stress Questionnaire for Anger Management
Replay CD track 4 for more information on this technique
Client rates following scenarios from 0-3
0="Never true when I drive"
1="True for me only once in a while"
2="True for me, even if for a moment, often when I drive"
3="True for me even for a moment every time I drive"
I. Anger

II. Impatience

III. Competing

IV. Punishing

Enjoyable Driving Experience
Replay CD track 4 for more information on this technique.
Client reviews following list of suggestions to use while in a car to reduce stress.

  1. Drive to maximize sensory awareness.  Remember this principle:  the more you speed, the less you experience where you are; the more you experience where you are, the slower you go.  Find the optimum speed that allows you to reach your objective without sacrificing sensation.
  2. Treat yourself to beautiful and/or stimulating sounds.  Tune in to the radio stations: take advantage of the varied fare available on tape.
  3. Experience the fun of driving with companions.  I particularly enjoy setting off on one- or two-hour journeys with a friend.  Try not to let anything interrupt you from enjoying the scenery or our conversation.  If you race or compete, you cannot fully attend to the conversation or experience the pleasure and affection you could feel as the dialogue ranges through many moods and ideas.
  4. Stock your favorite snacks in the car.  Most cars have trays for drinks.  Sipping a cup of coffee invites more leisurely ambiance, and the taste sensation causes you to be more aware of other sensations too, like hearing, seeing, and smelling.  Your mind moves away from preoccupation with competing toward appreciation of the immediate benefits of being alive.
  5. Keep a cassette recorder near you.  When you drive with this new attitude, new ideas frequently will pop into your head.  Your creative mind churns them out, and if not recorded they may fade.

Larson Anger Management Relaxation Breathing Exercise
Replay CD track 5 for more information on this technique.
Client reviews and utilizes following exercise to reduce stress while driving.

  1. Breathe in slowly, counting to five.
  2. Breathe out slowly, counting to five.
  3. Breathe in more deeply, counting to five.
  4. Breathe out more slowly, counting to ten.
  5. Breathe in more deeply, counting to five.
  6. Breathe out more slowly, counting to fifteen.
  7. Breathe in more deeply, counting to five.
  8. Breathe out even more slowly counting to twenty.

Relaxation Exercise
Replay CD track 6 for more information on this technique.
Client reviews and utilizes following exercise to reduce stress while driving.

  1. Breathe in and out peacefully at about the same rate as when you were counting to five.
  2. Focus on the sensation of the air entering through your nostrils.  Focus all your attention on that sensation, so you can feel the air as it tickles your nose hairs going in.
  3. Continue to focus on the sensation of your breath while breathing in and out.  If you have any distracting thoughts, just notice them and gently bring your attention back to the sensation of your breath.
  4. Continue in this manner for as long as you wish.
  5. at the conclusion, let yourself gradually come back into the car.  Open your eyes and look around and maintain the feeling of peacefulness that you’ve come to.

General Principles of the Road
Replay CD track 7 for more information on this technique.
Client reviews following list of principles.

  1. Accept the fact that you’re bound to meet a vigilante someday.  That way, you will be less affronted when it happens.
  2. Don’t take it personally.  Although it feels personal, it’s not you the angry driver is mad at.  It could be anybody this driver thinks is obstructing what he or she wants to do.
  3. Play it down.  Stay cool.  Don’t make it a big deal.
  4. Remember, in most cases the angry driver is not truly dangerous and will not physically harm you, especially if you don’t escalate and retaliate.
  5. There may be a good reason he or she is driving this way.  Maybe he or she is in an emergency situation.
  6. Remember that the other person may not be "playing with a full deck" and that their response may be as impulsive as yours would have been.
  7. View this driver as desperate and anxious, not as a challenger.  Give him or her wide berth.  The highway is not a place for petty squabbles.
  8. Avoiding eye contact will keep things impersonal.
  9. If he or she escalates, get out of there.  This driver may be dangerous.  Go for help or find a police officer.

Giving Warning
Replay CD track 7 for more information on this technique.
Client reviews and utilizes following list of suggestions when a hostile driver is tailgating them.

  1. Put your indicator on far in advance of where you intend to turn.  That gives plenty of time for the message to register.
  2. Slow down far in advance of where you want to make the turn.  You want to overcome potential insensitivity, so start early and avoid surprises.
  3. Adjust your rearview mirror if the driver behind you continues to be too close.  This will be enough to case 50 percent of inadvertent tailgaters to slow down.  The tailgater will read you mood from the way you adjust your mirror.
  4. Avoid eye contact; don’t speed up.  Make yourself concentrate on your driving.
  5. Continue to depress your brake pedal just enough to light up your tail lights, so you can control your slowing without coming to a crawl as you approach your turn.
  6. If the driver continues to be close, roll down your window and use an arm signal (not a finger signal).
  7. Concentrate on making the best turn you can.  Vigilantes may roar around you at the last minute, and some may blow their horns, but that’s their problem, not yours.  Most drivers will be courteous if you follow these steps.
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