A Review of The Anger Workbook

Will my quality of life be greater if I choose to hold on to my anger rather than releasing it?

There is no lack of anger in our world today. There is anger, especially this year, with elected officials, and on a daily basis with family, bosses, teachers, and even the family pet. But the question asked by the authors of The Anger Workbook: An Interactive Guide to Anger Management, Drs. Les Carter and Frank Minirth, is a question that many people are asking and seeking answers to. I believe that this helpful and comprehensive guide to anger management provides those who are working to manage their anger as well as those who trying to cope with angry people with a helpful and hopeful process and practical information.

The core of the book is built around what the authors call the “Thirteen Steps Toward Anger Management”  These steps are also grouped into four parts: Identifying Anger, addressing steps one and two that present the idea angry people express anger in different ways; Anger Thrives on Unmet Needs that arise out of excessive dependencies, feeling controlled, believing myths such as “letting go of my anger means I am conceding defeat,” and “self-inflicted anger;” How Other Emotions Create Anger – such as pride, fear, loneliness, and inferiority; and Applying New Insights about Anger Reduction which address the issues of child anger, why anger lingers, and learning to be accountable as you deal with anger. Each chapter includes several checklists and exercises designed to help the reader process each of the steps in a practical way.

And in each of the chapters there are many, many insights that are practical and hopeful no matter what your stage of life is and whether you are married or single. For example in the chapter that addresses Step 11 Manage A Child’s Anger the authors say “perhaps the greatest error parents make is letting the child set the agenda for how emotions are managed in the family.” And they go on to offer six ideas they believe are ‘effective” in responding to children’s anger. 1. Don’t be threatened by your child’s anger. 2. Let choices and consequences shape the child. 3. Don’t preach. 4. Don’t major on the minors (meaning don’t let minor problems deplete your parenting energy supply). 5. Share your own experiences. 6. Incorporate spiritual insights delicately.

I used the first edition of this book several years ago with a group of teens and found it to be helpful then. I find this revised edition, published by Thomas Nelson, to be just as helpful. And as I read it, I found myself nodding in agreement to some of the suggestions and insights offered. And while this is a faith-based book, do not let the evident Christian tone keep you from learning some helpful practices and insights in gaining control of your anger, or helping someone else with theirs. And while this book is great to read individually, it is a workbook, and I suggest that it is best used in a group setting.

I give this a book a ‘great’ read.

Note: I was given an eCopy of this book (Kindle format) by Booksneeze, the Thomas Nelson blogger review program, in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.

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