Houston, TX (PRWEB) November 8, 2005
Every once in a while, the recovery/self-help/therapy industry comes up with something that actually makes sense. Psychotherapy is widely regarded as almost monolithic in its reliance upon subjecting clients to months – sometimes years – of probing, angst-ridden talk therapy sessions, the aim of which is to assist them in their search for the insights they need to live happy, productive lives. At $125 an hour, that can really start to add up.
That is why The Anger Busting Workbook, by James A. Baker http://www.angermanagementseminar.com (c. 2005 from Bayou Publishing, list $14.95 or available for $10.17 over Amazon.com) is such a breath of fresh air. Imminently readable, practical and accessible, The Anger Busting Workbook provides straightforward strategies to help men and women deal effectively with one of the therapy movement’s most aggravating challenges – anger addiction, often referred to in the workbook as rageaholism.
Anger addicts – the vast majority of whom are men – create a lot of business for psychotherapists in the form of traumatized women – wives, girlfriends, significant others – along with children, who eventually seek counseling to help cope with the damage inflected upon them by rageful men. Many of these wounded souls do receive a benefit from this type of support, but then the other shoe drops; the angry spouse/boyfriend/father is invited to join the counseling circle. As a rule, much mayhem and confusion ensues.
Historically, anger addicts – as is true with most addicts in general – rarely achieve long-term benefits from traditional talk therapy programs. First of all, they are angry about being confronted, and often remain firmly oppositional during therapy sessions, especially joint sessions with their significant others. Even when an anger addict commits to counseling and seems to be motivated to improve, progress can be shallow and short-lived. Anger addicts are strongly prone to relapses and are easily triggered by things that might make anyone angry; it’s just that when an anger addict gets angry, he gets REALLY angry and leaves a lot of damage in his wake.
In a refreshing change of pace, The Anger Busting Workbook dispenses with all the hand-holding, soul-searching journeys into childhood and gets right to the heart of the problem: out-of-control, destructive behaviors that must stop NOW. Most anger addicts will not seriously work on getting their rage under control until confronted with dire consequences, usually on the order of divorce papers or court-mandated anger management training. Once the situation has escalated, the rageaholic no longer has the luxury of spending two years in therapy, hoping to quell his inner demons. He may have only a matter of weeks to make big changes before the hammer falls. In recognition of the urgent nature of the problem, The Anger Busting Workbook offers this clear, sensible advice:
In the same way that alcoholics are addicted to alcohol, “rageaholics” are addicted to rage. The more alcoholics drink, the more they want to keep drinking. Rage follows the same pattern: the more ragers rage, the more they want to rage. As anger builds in a rage addict, a combination of physiological processes and learned behaviors sets up a cascade effect that pushes him to harsher, more aggressive, even violent, expressions of anger. This is why the very first rule you need to learn, RIGHT NOW, is that when you are angry, DON’T SAY ANYTHING! When a rage addict starts talking about his anger, it only makes him angrier, like turning up the fire under the pressure cooker. Shutting up is like shutting off the flame under the pressure cooker. It can help to prevent a rage event, by giving the body’s physiological processes a chance to return to normal.
Relying on hard-nosed, no-nonsense language that is reminiscent of Dr. Phil, the workbook proceeds to lay out a very specific, rigid recovery plan for anger addicts, one that relies on three simple principles: Abstain from anger behaviors, Believe in healthier values, and Communicate more effectively with people around you. Beginning with 16 angry behaviors that men must commit to abstain from immediately, the workbook leads rageaholics step-by-step through a comprehensive strategy for recovery based on an assortment of assessment tools, behavior modification exercises and accountability worksheets. This approach is generally much more appealing to men than standard psychotherapy approaches, because it gives them specific instructions which, when followed faithfully, will produce measurable results in a short amount of time. Also, in a switch from most programs, the workbook relies on a high level of feedback from the wives of anger addicts to help keep them focused on reality and break down denial.
One of the most innovative – and likely to be overlooked – sections of the workbook is the one written for the women who love angry men. Women receive almost as much support and instruction in this book as men do, because women who are involved with angry, abusive men are typically confused and conflicted about their options. On one hand, they may love the best parts of this man; on the other hand, the worst parts of his behavior pose a genuine threat to their safety and well being. Employing the same simple, common sense process used with men, the workbook provides women with guidelines for evaluating what is really going on in their relationships so that they can design a strategy for either confronting their partner or getting out of the relationship altogether. This material is every bit as valuable as the section for men, and well worth the price of the book.
The Anger Busting Workbook is written by native James A.(Jim) Baker, founder and CEO of Baker Communications, Inc. of Houston, Texas,http://www.bakercommunications.com one of America’s oldest and most successful corporate training companies. Baker is also a Certified Anger Resolution Therapist, and his years of success in designing powerful, effective training programs, combined with his own experience in the recovery movement, give this workbook a compelling ring of authenticity that readers will find not only appealing, but empowering. And it goes for a whole lot less than $125 an hour.