A comprehensive approach to the treatment of anger.
Traditional anger management strategies are often more theoretical than practical, or they discount the moral and spiritual context of a person’s feelings. In their first collaborative effort, Bruteyn (Prisoner to Profiteer, 2014, etc.) and debut author Noblitt articulate a more holistic approach to anger management that includes an emphasis on a sufferer’s existential life—one’s moral beliefs, religious worldview, fears, and aspirations—as well as fitness and nutrition. They also incorporate principles of positive psychology, which concentrate on virtues that are conducive to personal happiness: “People developing strength related skills are likely to be happier. Happy people are less likely to succumb to anger.” With impressive clarity, the authors describe a 12-week program with each weekly session lasting approximately 90 minutes (not counting assigned “homework”). They provide strategies for addressing short- and long-term anger, including detailed breathing exercises, yoga, and music therapy. Each session also offers “Virtue/Strength/Skill” exercises, which are designed to help one tackle the causes of anger from a moral and spiritual perspective. The book also includes a tool—“Anger Control Today”—to chart one’s progress between sessions. The authors have eclectic backgrounds—Noblitt is a yoga master, and Bruteyn, who’s currently serving a sentence in federal prison for securities fraud, has a doctorate in psychology and Christian counseling—and their broad spectrum of experience surely contributes to this book’s thoughtful thoroughness. They’re also relentlessly practical, eschewing complex academic theories in favor of immediately actionable strategies. Along the way, they astutely distinguish between many different kinds of anger—including passive aggression, shame-based anger, and righteous indignation—as each demands its own treatment methods. The program was initially crafted to help counselors lead anger management groups, but it appears suitable for a self-directed program. It’s a useful combination of rigorous psychology, moral philosophy, and good common sense.
An intelligently crafted resource for pursuing emotional health.