Twenty years ago as I was working through some of my unresolved anger I saw The Anger Workbook by Les Carter and Frank Minirth on a book shelf.
This book’s insights, probing questions and the subsequent dialogues that followed certainly contributed to my healing. In turn, I have shared insights from this book with several people.
Fortunately, for all of us this book has been re-released.
Carter and Minirth explain their Thirteen Steps Toward Anger Management:
Step 1. Learn to recognize the many faces of anger.
Step 2. Admit that all angry expressions, good or bad, are the result of choices.
Step 3. Let go of excessive dependencies so your anger management is inwardly directed rather than externally determined.
Step 4. Choose to relinquish your cravings for control in exchange for freedom.
Step 5. Ground yourself in truth by setting aside idealistic myths.
Step 6. Keep your lifestyle habits consistent with your emotional composure.
Step 7. Live in humility rather than self-preoccupied pride.
Step 8. Hold your defenses to a minimum; trust your healthy assertions.
Step 9. Accept the inevitability of loneliness as you struggle to be understood.
Step 10. Relate to others as equals, neither elevating yourself above them nor accepting a position of inferiority.
Step 11. Pass along to the next generation your insights about anger.
Step 12. Avoid the temptation to rationalize your anger; assume full responsibility for who you are.
Step 13. Be accountable for your ongoing growth and open about your anger management.
This is an excellent workbook with probing questions with room in the midst of the text to respond to the questions. For instance:
“Adults can be ultrasensitive because of childhood experiences that left them feeling unworthy. How about you? What were your parents like when you were a child? How was your worth (or the lack of it) communicated? (For instance, my dad often told me what was wrong with my work but not what was good about it.)”
Or, “Can you think of situations when your anger is created by a conviction that is too strongly held? (For instance, when I learn that a person has anxiety problems I become judgmental; I go into a rage when my spouse spends more money than we have budgeted.)”
While the update seems sparse and superfluous, the original content stands strong on it’s own. If you or someone you care about want to resolve anger, this will be a helpful guide.
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