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Book Feature: “The Dance of Anger”

512wnAWyFKL__AA160_ - The Dance of AngerAnger is an emotion and like all emotions, it has a purpose.

It helps us survive and motivates us to take action and make important changes. It protects us when life threatens us psychologically or physically.

Left unchecked, however, it becomes toxic and corrosive. And when we react without restraint to its powerful rush of energy or without identifying the problem connected to it, we not only inflict pain on others, but on ourselves.

It is up to us to seek out the meaning behind the anger we may be experiencing and discover its underlying issue or problem.

There are many books I have acquired over my career written by professionals in the field about major issues we all face. The authors of today’s two featured books help us understand a very difficult problem we see all around us today. They help clarify the underlying causes of anger and rage so we can apply constructive and positive solutions.

The first book featured today, “The Dance of Anger, A woman’s guide to changing the patterns of intimate relationships” by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D., is one of those books written many years ago, but is timeless in its understanding of a major problem we all face.

Written for women, it touches on an issue that has been difficult for women to address in the past.  Dr. Lerner describes the challenges we face of anger and contention in our marriage, families of origin and the mother and daughter relationships. She helps us identify and understand the underlying problems associated with it.

51Xm94KGKeL__AA160_ - Beyond AngerIt’s counterpart is a book written by Thomas J. Harbin, Ph.D., “Beyond Anger, A guide for men” which reaches out to a problem many men face today.

While women have often stuffed their anger, become passive-aggressive or used it to manipulate, men’s anger has often turned into explosive rage that when triggered seems to have no bounds in its destructive force.

Part one of this book describes how anger can become a central problem in men’s lives. Part two has action plans to free them from their unwanted anger.

In an age when we see anger exploding everywhere, I think it is important for all of us to understand its roots, its typical and habitual response and the destructive power it can have in our lives. Put into perspective, anger can help us make constructive changes.

I recommend these two books for a better understanding of the subject and if you recognize an anger problem in yourself or someone you love.

Marlene Anderson

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