The Anger Workbook for Women: How to Keep Your Anger from Undermining Your Self-Esteem, Your Emotional Balance, and Your Relationships

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Although men and women can articulate anger in very different ways, books on managing problem anger tend to focus on men and their tendency toward more violent anger expression. This workbook addresses the unique concerns of women with anger problems. Rigid social patterning, the book argues, conditions many women to stifle or deny their anger, and this repression can cause a range of other psychological problems. Others experience violent, outwardly focused anger. Whichever pattern your anger follows, you'll learn healthier ways to express your anger from this workbook. Building on women's tendency to be more relational than men, this book advocates interactive techniques as a primary method of anger management intervention. It integrates elements of narrative, art, and music therapy into a powerful set of anger management tools. Cognitive behavioral and attitude adjustment exercises help you limit the power of anger-triggering situations. Worksheets and assessments guide you in an examination of family-of-origin issues that might contribute to your problems with anger. Sections of the workbook explore the connection between anger and substance abuse, mood disorders, and spirituality, as well as the issue of domestic violence in lesbian households.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Finally, a comprehensive anger workbook for women—thoughtful and informative, this book is a must for any woman who struggles with constructively expressing anger. Petracek has created a thoughtful and informative guide that offers insight into the specific difficulties women have with anger. This workbook is full of examples and exercises that will help the reader identify how she currently manages her anger, how stress and self-esteem relate to anger, and ways to appropriately express anger and improve relationships. This exceptional book will help women stop destructive patterns of anger, whether they lash out or hold it in, and have healthier, happier lives and relationships. I am thrilled to have such a great resource for my clients.”
—Vallerie E. Coleman, Ph.D., psychologist and adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Loyola Marymount University

“Petracek uses a commonsense, realistic approach to helping women deal with their anger. I found a wealth of information on the pages of this book; it is an excellent tool for women whether they have mild or major challenges with rage. Petracek takes the mind, body, and spirit into account when teaching women how to channel their anger in a healthy way.”
—Jan Brown, executive director of the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men

“A much-needed book. The problem of women’s anger is often minimized in our society, but not by Petracek who, thankfully, takes this subject seriously. Having worked for many years with angry and aggressive women, she offers some practical and innovative solutions. I especially enjoyed her sections on anger-ins vs. anger-outs and the chapter on parenting.”
—John Hamel, LCSW, author of High Conflict to Battering and director of John Hamel & Associates, a counseling firm in San Raphael, CA

"A much-needed, long-awaited book on the subject."
—Ruth Gottstein, publisher of Volcano Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572243798
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Series: A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 201,436
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 11.08 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura J. Petracek, Ph.D., is assistant professor of clinical psychology at National University in Sacramento, CA. She maintains a private practice in San Francisco and is a certified treatment provider for the San Francisco Department of Probation. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselors, and the Nation Association of Social Workers.

Foreword writer Sandra Thomas, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is director of the doctoral program at the University of Tennessee College of Nursing in Knoxville, TN. She has studied women's anger since 1989. Initial findings from her women's anger study—the first large-scale investigation of the emotion in American women—were published in the 1993 book Women and Anger, which received extensive coverage from national press and television programs.

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Table of Contents

Foreword IX
Acknowledgments XI
Introduction: Why an Anger Workbook for Women? 1
Men versus Women
What This Book Offers You
Your Journey Begins
Chapter 1 Women, Socialization, and Anger 7
Indirect Ways of Expressing Anger (Anger-In)
Blocks to Expressing Anger
Gender Roles and Anger
Childhood Socialization of Gender Roles
Lesbians and Homophobia
Defining Your Emotions and Feelings
Chapter 2 Feelings 21
How Do you Feel?
Dealing with Angry Feelings
Suppression of Anger and the Volcano Effect
Denying Angry Feelings
Summing Up Your Feelings
Chapter 3 How Do You Deal with Your Anger? 35
How Angry Are You?
Types of Anger
Anger Triggers
Defining Your Anger Style
Art Therapy and Anger
Music Therapy and Anger
Survey on Personal Boundaries
Chapter 4 Boundaries: Experiencing Your Power 51
What Are Boundaries?
Creating Healthy Boundaries
Women and Stress
Chapter 5 Stress, Self-Esteem, and Anger 61
The Holmes-Rahe Scale
Self-Esteem and Anger
How to Learn Deep Relaxation
Self-Esteem and Self-Care
Chapter 6 Anger and Your Children 75
Start with Yourself
Comparing Yourself to Your Child
The Drama Game
Balancing the Supermom Syndrome
Asking for Help
Chapter 7 Healing the Past When You've Been Abused 93
Chapter 8 Home Improvement: Skills and Tools for Better Communication 101
Problem-Solving Skills
Communication Styles: Aggressive, Passive, and Assertive
Chapter 9 Changing Your Self-Talk 113
Negative Self-Talk and Anger
Positive Self-Talk
Chapter 10 Anger and Your Physical Health 121
How Anger Can Lead to Eating Disorders
Reclaiming Your Health
Premenstrual Syndrome
Chapter 11 Mood Disorders and Anger 127
Depression: Another Face of Anger
Bipolar Disorder
How Alcohol Really Works
Chapter 12 Alcohol and Anger 133
Examining Your Relationship with Alcohol
Overcoming Denial and Asking for Help
What Is Alcoholism?
Chapter 13 Spirituality and Anger 137
The Serenity Prayer
Moral Inventory
Learning Gratitude
Narrative Therapy
Healing Anger with Forgiveness
Chapter 14 The Positive Functions of Anger 149
Constructive Problem Solving
Constructive Problem- Solving Cue Card
General Anger Resources
Resources for Alcohol Problems
Resources 153
References 155
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