Sample Chapter2


Anger, though potentially harmful, can be transformed into a positive force accomplishing great good in our lives. Ted Griffin and Lynette Hoy

L ynette’s story: I can remember the day one of my sisters came home with a suspension slip for throwing an orange in the lunchroom. My father dragged her upstairs to the attic. There were loud noises, yelling, and crying. She limped down the stairs, bloody and bruised. I can remember the beatings in the basement with a board, my father’s rage, the pain and the fear.
I can remember experiencing a “cold shoulder” for days when I would disappoint someone in my family. I can remember my husband and I up in the attic of our second-story rented flat, two weeks after our daughter was born, screaming at each other and throwing things. I don’t remember what caused the anger or why it hurt so much. But I experienced anger’s pain, inner wounds, and loneliness. I learned that anger was something to be feared, that it was cruel, loud, cold, silent, resentful, and threatening.

Ted’s Story:  I have long feared anger—my father’s and my own. My dad, an alcoholic who’s drinking kept him from connecting with his family, had a quiet anger. He didn’t beat us or yell at us for hours—he just sort of ignored us. My anger—which was really years’ worth of bitterness toward Dad—became violent, abusive and dangerous, especially after my father died and I couldn’t express my anger to the one I was really mad at because he wasn’t around anymore.
Looking back, I am ashamed of many of the things I said and did at that stage of my life. And I thank God for helping me forgive my father and learn how to be kind to my family—a family I almost lost because of my rage. Not all anger is wrong, but when it’s like mine was, only God can keep the individual and his family from going over the cliff. The journey hasn’t been easy or quick, but God has sustained me every step of the way, and He continues to do so. Not everyone turns to faith to deal with their anger, but that is what made the difference in my life.

All of us have experienced anger. Some of us have cringed under the rage in our families, struggled with it in our souls, felt it toward our friends and loved ones. Some of us have shocked others with volcanoes of anger. But anger is not just a personal enemy. The evidence abounds that we live in a mad, mad, mad world.
Statistics from American Demographics tell us:
• 23% of Americans admit they openly express their anger.
• 39% say they hold it in or hide it.
• 23% say they walk away from the situation.
• 23% confess to having hit someone in anger.
• 17% admit they have destroyed the property of someone who made them mad.

We want to demonstrate to you that anger, though potentially harmful, is a complex emotion we can come to understand and a positive force that can accomplish great good in our lives.
What Is Anger? When you think about anger, what words or pictures come to mind? Frustration? Rage? Anger can be defined as an aversive state ranging from annoyance to rage. Webster’s says, “Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure and antagonism, indignation or an automatic reaction to any real or imagined insult, frustration, or injustice, producing emotional agitation seeking expression.”
Let’s look at the problem of anger in our society. Anger’s effects are evident. There is rampant violence in schools, families, and neighborhoods. For example:
• Severe violence is a chronic feature of 13% of all marriages and generally 35 violent incidents occur before any type of report is made.
• Every twenty-five seconds someone is a victim of a violent crime such as murder, robbery, assault, or rape.
• Nearly a million children are abused by their parents annually. • Adolescents represent 12% of the population but account for 39% of all violent crime. (Gintner, p. 2.)

Anger is one of the most troubling emotions! We sometimes hear blatant admonishments such as “we shouldn’t ever be angry.” So what happens to our anger? We end up feeling guilty for being angry, or we pretend we’re not angry, or we numb our feelings or turn our anger into depression. How do you feel when you’re driving down the expressway and someone cuts in front of you, almost causing an accident? Or your mother tells you, “You’ll never change—you should be more like your sister/brother”? Or your boss blames you for something you didn’t do? What kinds of emotions do you feel then?
Frustration and anger are normal responses to these situations. But sometimes we not only have difficulty owning up to and honestly expressing our anger, but then we feel worse because of the guilt that ensues as a result of feeling angry.

Foundational Insights: Anger is an energy or force which is often harmful. Anger is caused by feelings of helplessness and the need to control situations, people and consequences. Anger—when expressed in a healthy way—can foster personal growth and significance, improving relationships and changing lives.

Assignment: Take the Anger Survey in chapter one of the book and write out a Typical Provocation Scenario. Listen to the podcast: Growing Up with Anger and Violence

Complete the personal Anger Management Report weekly. Measure your progress and review the skills to see which you are applying and what further steps you can take to manage your anger.

What are your Anger Survey results? (circle one): Category 1 Category 11 Category 111

Please measure your use of anger coping skills from 1-10: ________
(1=poor use of skills; 5=intermittent use of skills; 10=consistent use of skills)

Questions for Thought

1. Do you agree or disagree with the Foundational Insights?

2. What do these statements teach about the underlying motivations for anger?

3. How does this change or help your perspective about anger?

4. Do you ever get angry? What kinds of situations most often make you feel angry?

5. How do you really feel about your own anger? Do you see it as a friend you can trust or a foe that might destroy you? Why?

6. Why is it so hard to acknowledge your own anger? What are you afraid might happen if you are honest or transparent about this? What can you do to become more comfortable about this?

7. How would your life be different if you were to respond to anger in a healthy way? What would need to change?

Instructions: All students should complete the first Progress report.
Enrolled participants and students
can begin reading the online course.
Students enrolled in 6-16 week courses:
complete and submit the Anger’s Many Faces quiz questions here.

Preview: About the Institute and the What’s Good About Anger? Fourth Edition book Foreword

Pay for the course at the Anger Management Institute web site . Can be used for court/employer orders, mandates or for your own personal and relational growth! *Check with court or attorney about whether an online course will meet their requirements.


  • Chapter Two- Anger’s Many Faces
    Quiz One
  • Chapter Three- The Power of Anger
    Quiz Two
  • Chapter Four: When Anger is Good
    Quiz Three
  • Chapter Five- Defusing Anger by Managing Stress
    Quiz Four
  • Chapter Six- Handling Anger Effectively
    Quiz Five
  • Chapter Seven- Anger and Assertiveness
    Quiz Six
  • Chapter Eight- Managing Conflict
    Quiz Seven
  • Chapter Nine- Turn Your Anger Into Forgiveness and Grace
    Quiz Eight
  • Chapter Ten – When to Take a Break
    Quiz Nine
  • Chapter Eleven – Cognitive Distortions
    Quiz Ten
  • Chapter Twelve – Log Your Thinking
  • Chapter Thirteen – Plan to Change Your Life by Changing Your Thinking
  • Chapter Fourteen – How Emotional Intelligence Impacts Anger
    Quiz 11
  • Chapter Fifteen – Summary
    Quiz 12
  • Final exam
  • progress report
  • Sixteen week students continue to lessons 13-16

© 2010-2017 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC & Ted Griffin, Editor/writer

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