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Anger Management: Recommended Books

I have just created a list of five books I am recommending on anger management. For years and with good results I have recommended these books to help people deal with anger control issues both in individual therapy and marriage counseling:
I have just created a list of five books I am recommending on anger management. For years and with good results I have recommended these books to help people deal with anger control issues both in individual therapy and marriage counseling:

I have been recommending Asserting Yourself by Sharon Bowers and Gordon Bowers for years to help people learn and substitute new, healthy assertive behaviors for old, self-defeating patterns of aggressive behaviors or passive (nonassertive) behaviors. If you like the look and feel of a workbook, you will like this book because the authors provide lots of exericises. My favorite part of the book is the four-step technique for handling interpersonal conflicts--DESC scripts: Describe the other person’s behavior objectively in concrete terms, Express your feelings calmly about this behavior, Specify the concrete actions you want to see stopped and those you want instead, Consequences--make them explicit--rewards for change, punishments for no change. This four-step process of formatting an assertive response helps you steer a course between the extremes of being aggressive and passive. I highly recommend this book to anyone with assertiveness problems, including those with anger management issues.

Now in its ninth edition,
Your Perfect Right by Albert and Emmons is the guide for assertiveness most recommended by therapists. Read the reviews on Amazon and you will see why this book is called the ‘bible” of assertiveness. As the title suggests, we have the perfect right to express what we want and act in our own best interests in family, work, and social situations. And we can do this while respecting the same right that others have to be assertive. I have been recommending this book for years. Some of my clients like this book better than Asserting Yourself. I highly recommend getting both books.

Therapists commonly recommend the The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns to their clients. This book is a follow-up to Dr. Burns’ classic, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. I usually recommend the Handbook because it provides help on a broader range of topics. Dr. Burns gives a clearly written summary of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). He provides written exercises to help you understand the connections between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in stressful situations. He then helps you gain control of the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems, including anger. The signature strength of this book is not that it covers anger in greta detail; it does not. What this book does do is help you understand (a) the general cognitive theory of emotions--that what we feel (including anger) is determined by what we think--and (b) how to feel better by learning and using various techniques to identify and change dysfunctional patterns of thinking. Also useful to those with anger management issues is Part IV. Feeling Good Togethr: How to Strengthen Relationships Through Better Communication.

How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You by Drs. Albert Ellis (“the grandfather of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and Raymond Chip Tafrate present cognitive-behavioral techniques to help understand that angry reactions to difficult people in work, home, and social situations are rooted in the way people think about these situations, and that by changing our thoughts, people can change their reactions. I highly recommend this book.

Patricia Evans book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond, is a classic self-help book targeted primarily at woman in abusive relationships with men. Read with an open mind, the book offers insights that also apply to men in verbally abusive relationships with women. When people with anger management issues read this book, it can help them see more clearly the impact of their angry behavior has on other people and motivate them to change.
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