Parents ($200 or $55 rental). New Harbinger Publications has two videos:
Time out from Anger and Coping with an Angry Partner.
Warning: Please realize that intense anger can be
If you are close to loosing control of your anger, realize this is not normal and
you need to get treatment right away. Hostility can preoccupy, distort, and
disable your mind; it can interfere with all other activities and may goad you
into doing foolish and mean things. See Walker's (1990) description of
murder by battered women. An uncontrollably angry person (both aggressor
and victim) is afflicted with a terrible ailment; he/she is to be pitied; he/she
needs immediate professional help. (Likewise, if someone is very angry at
you, protect yourself! See discussion below.)
Note: if you continue to have a serious temper and/or are frequently irritated,
even after earnestly reading and trying some self-help methods, it is very
important that you consult a well trained therapist and consider getting
medication (antidepressants sometimes help).
A reasonable summary is provided by the Institute of Mental Health
Initiatives (202-364-7111), which tries to persuade the media (e.g. soaps)
and schools to teach anger-control techniques. They use the handy little
acronym of R-E-T-H-I-N-K to stand for seven skills for quieting unnecessary
ire: R-recognize your emotion. Is it anger or threat or shame...? E-empathize
with the other person. Try to understand their viewpoint and feelings?
Express your feeling with "I" messages. T-think about your thinking. Am I
being unreasonable? Am I awfulizing or musturbating? Look at the situation
rationally, will it harm me a year from now? H-hear the other person and
check out your perception by empathizing. I-integrate respect for every
human into your feelings. "I mad but I still love you." N-notice your
physiological responses. Learn to quickly calm down before losing control. K-
keep on the topic, don't dig up old grudges. Look for compromises and
solutions, including how to avoid situations that trigger your anger (the same
thing often sets us off over and over). Very similar to Seneca in 60 AD.
Not all anger is bad. Lastly, after all these warnings, suggestions, and
methods for controlling anger, I must underscore that although anger is
unpleasant and potentially dangerous, it is often a beneficial and
commendable emotion. Anger (not violence) is often justified. When that is
so, if properly controlled, anger is a reasonable and effective reaction to an
unfair or offensive situation. Anger is often necessary to change things!
Specifically, anger motivates us to do something. Anger discloses unpleasant
truths to others. Anger communicates that we are upset, that we can and will
express ourselves, and that we are determined to correct a bad situation.