Anger: self-help books

Overcoming Anger and Irritability
Author William Davies, 2000

'Based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Manageable'.

Review: This book is a self-help manual for people who find that they are constantly becoming irritable and angry. It explains why such bouts occur and what can be done to avoid angry over-reaction. Following a cognitive approach, the book aims to help people to control their temper and to handle potentially dangerous situations effectively and non-aggressively. With the help of real-life case studies, the author describes what happens when people get angry and why some people become angry more easily than others. The book encourages the reader to keep an ‘anger diary’ and then to analyse any angry incidents that occur. It shows the reader how to look at situations differently so that anger occurs less frequently, and it also explains how anger can be controlled so that it does not lead to aggression or violence.

Act on Life Not Anger
Author Georg Eifert et al, 2006

'Readable and Empowering. Engaging illustrations and practical exercises. Uses Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) to stop struggling with feelings of anger'. 

Review: This book uses Acceptance Commitment Therapy to help the reader stop struggling with feelings of anger. ACT teaches you to step back and become an observer of your own mind, accepting your angry feelings as they occur, without judging or trying to manage them. It helps you develop skills to deal with feelings of anger e.g.  ‘unhooking’ from anger-provoking situations. The authors are compassionate and non-judgmental. They help you identify the costs of anger in your life and they help you figure out what truly matters to you so that you can commit to short- and long-term goals and live a more valued life. 

Managing Anger
Author Gael Lindenfield, 2000

'A positive, optimistic book. Attractive, easy read'.

Review: Gael Lindenfield stresses the fact that anger is a natural emotional response to threat, hurt, frustration and loss. It can be a vital means of releasing a build-up of emotional pressure but can also be a destructive force. If uncontrolled it can lead to violence; if repressed it can lead to bitterness, stress and guilt. Both extremes can damage health. The book explains the effects of anger on our minds and bodies, and suggests ways of dealing both with our own anger and that of other people. Using many engaging examples of everyday situations, the author suggests strategies for using anger in a positive and non-destructive way. Lindenfield is well-known for her books on self-esteem and assertiveness and has developed a model she calls Assertive Anger (which is assertive but responsible and non-violent). She shows how, by using specific strategies, people can learn to deal with frustration and threat in a positive way. The tone of the book is positive, optimistic, and understanding of those who have found it difficult to control their angry feelings in the past.