PTSD and anger worksheet

What is the theory behind this PTSD and anger worksheet?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is characterised by various maladaptive emotional, psychological and physical symptoms that occur after an individual experiences a traumatic event. The presence of anger and aggression as one of the symptoms is recognized in the fifth edition of DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual). Dysregulated anger is a common cause for interpersonal conflicts, aggression and suicide risk in individuals with PTSD. 

This worksheet is based on the ‘Radical Acceptance’ technique that is used in Dialectical Behaviour therapy. It teaches key skills to help an individual fully accept the reality of their situation without any judgements or self critical thoughts. This helps them move on from focusing on why the situation happened and ruminating on the past to what they can do to control their reactions in the present. 

How will the worksheet help?

In this worksheet, clients will go through  a series of questions that will help them grasp the reality of their situation and open their mind to accepting it as it is. This will help them direct their energy from the negative thoughts and emotions regarding their situation to coming up with a proactive plan to deal with their current circumstances.

How to use the worksheet?

This worksheet can be used as one of the anger management techniques in therapy. Instruct the client to use the worksheet for less negative situations first before progressing to more difficult ones. Relay the understanding that it is a difficult process but like any other skill it can also be learned with practice. 

PTSD and Anger worksheet

You cannot control what happens to you or how others react. What you can control is how YOU react to your situation. You have been through a traumatic experience that you had no control over. You may feel a host of negative emotions associated with it. You may be self critical and angry at yourself or others around you.  

If you think about it, what has happened cannot be changed but what will be is entirely in your hands. Once you come to this acceptance, you can channel your negative energy into more positive coping strategies.Use the following exercise to assess any recent instance where you showed anger and aggression in response to a situation. 

Describe a recent situation that made you angry or aggressive

4. What was your reaction at the time? (There is no shame in accepting how you reacted in a certain situation)

What caused it? (only focus on the facts)

5. What can you tell yourself to accept the situation, your emotions and your reactions as it happened? (think of coping statements that reflect acceptance of the past and what you can and cannot control in the present)

What are you feeling right now as you think about the situation? (Describe any physical sensations as well)

Proactive plan:  What can you do to respond in a better way in the future?


Dillon, K., Elbogen, E & Morland, L. (2020) Anger and PTSD. PTSD Research Quarterly, 31 (3). 

McKay, M., Wood, J. C., & Brantley, J. (2019). The dialectical behaviour therapy skills workbook: Practical DBT exercises for learning mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. New Harbinger.

You can download this worksheet here.

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