It can be a natural response to perceived threats, generating the energy required to protect ourselves and obtain justice. However, there are constructive and destructive ways of expressing anger.
Destructive expressions of anger such as yelling or physical violence can destroy relationships. Indirect expression of anger such as the silent treatment can also be highly destructive because it blocks communication (Schrodt et al., 2014).
Learning how to express anger responsibly is part of learning anger management skills. These skills are needed to recognize when anger is aroused to manage it and prevent the destruction of relationships.
In this article, we review 14 anger management books in four sections, aimed at therapists, kids, parents, and clients. Any reader can benefit from these anger management books to learn how to manage potent emotions without hurting others.
In this section, we’ve chosen five top anger management books for therapists and counselors. Each book refers to science-based interventions proven to help manage your clients’ anger issues, including explosive anger and blocked anger.
1. Anger Management: The Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners – Howard Kassinove and Raymond Chip Tafrate
Whether you work as a therapist in a private practice, clinic, hospital, university, or the criminal justice system, managing your clients’ anger remains deeply challenging.
This book by two clinical psychologists who specialize in anger management is an invaluable resource for equipping clinicians with powerful anger management techniques to help their clients understand and manage unhealthy anger.
Drawing on the authors’ meticulous and empirically validated “anger episode model,” this book presents a comprehensive and science-based anger management program. It includes many real-life case examples, exercises, and user-friendly handouts for clients.
2. A Creative Guide to Working With Blocked Anger for Counsellors and Psychotherapists – Pauline Andrew
A Creative Guide to Working With Blocked Anger by counselor Pauline Andrew is not about managing explosive anger.
Instead, it focuses on the reasons clients can often find it challenging to express their anger in life and in counseling sessions, which can have devastating effects on their mental and physical health.
The author provides a detailed explanation of how and why such clients suppress anger and then provides a range of creative methods to help clients connect with and release these emotions.
This book features real-life stories from client sessions and is enriched by the author’s own candid personal experiences.
This book answers the urgent need for science-based anger management skills in a world filled with triggers, trolls, and outrage.
Written by expert Acceptance and Commitment Therapy practitioners, The ACT Workbook for Anger provides a thorough anger management plan for navigating the current social and political climate.
It will guide you on how to best support your clients’ development of acceptance, mindfulness, and compassion, which are essential skills for breaking free from unhealthy anger and creating the space needed to respond rather than react.
4. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Anger: Using DBT Mindfulness and Emotion Regulation Skills to Manage Anger – Alexander L. Chapman and Kim L. Gratz
Authored by two esteemed clinicians and researchers in the field of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Anger presents evidence-based techniques that can help you foster your clients’ acceptance and regulation of persistent, unhealthy anger.
DBT is a highly effective and empirically supported treatment for managing intense emotions. With its emphasis on the dialectics of acceptance and change and emotion regulation, its foundation in fundamental principles of behavioral science, and its user-friendly practical skills, DBT offers a distinctive and efficacious approach to managing anger.
If your clients need help to process and express anger constructively, then this guidebook provides you with trusted science-based techniques, worksheets, and case examples that can help you equip your clients with anger management skills for a more fulfilled life.
5. Handbook of Anger Management: Individual, Couple, Family, and Group Approaches – Ronald T. Potter-Efron
The author of The Handbook of Anger Management is a psychotherapist who specializes in anger management and addictions.
This book provides therapists with a step-by-step approach to assessing anger in their clients and offers a practical exploration of various emotions including rage, aggression, hostility, resentment, hatred, anger avoidance, and chronic anger.
It incorporates real-life case studies to illustrate effective theory and practice.
The author explains how to explore the causes and consequences of anger using individual and group therapy methods. Drawing from behavioral, cognitive, affective, and existential/spiritual treatment approaches, the book defines anger and its associated problems using social learning theory. Additionally, it examines the intricate link between aggression and domestic violence while discussing the healthy expression of anger.
Key areas explored include an evaluation of group work versus individual anger management therapy and techniques for working with angry children and adolescents alongside their families.
These detailed, science-based exercises will equip you or your clients to build healthy, life-enriching relationships.
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Top 3 Books to Help Kids Understand Anger
In this section, we’ve chosen three anger management books for children, from toddlers to teens. Each book has been written by a qualified expert in the field and includes evidence-based anger management strategies for kids that work.
1. Everyone Feels Angry Sometimes – An Anger Management Book for Kids That Teaches Essential Steps to Manage Anger & Frustration – Daniela Owen
Everyone Feels Angry Sometimes was written by a child psychologist from the University of California–Berkeley and is aimed at children aged three to 10 years old.
The self-help book for kids teaches them how to prevent a spark of anger or frustration from exploding into a tantrum using mindfulness techniques to recognize the four levels of anger.
Mindful awareness of changes in the body helps kids understand how anger develops and teaches them emotional self-regulation so they can avoid a rage-fueled meltdown.
The book suggests calming coping mechanisms when a child notices their body getting warmer and their voice getting louder in response to feeling frustrated. It’s recommended for anyone who cares for kids with anger issues.
2. Roaring Mad Riley: An Anger Management Story for Kids – Allison Szczecinski
“No need to roar like a dinosaur,” says this anger management story and activity book for kids aged five to seven. This beautifully illustrated book teaches kids how to take a pause and cool down with the help of some cute and friendly dinosaurs, Riley, Parker, and Mr. Rex.
Kids learn about angry emotions alongside Riley and discover lots of ways to feel better. Simple exercises teach kids how to stay cool and calm by deep breathing, counting to 10, shaking it out, and more. After the story is finished, there’s also a range of activities for kids and parents to do together the next time anger looms.
3. Anger Management Workbook for Teens: Exercises and Tools to Overcome Your Anger and Manage Your Emotions – Holly Forman-Patel
Holly Forman-Patel is a licensed family therapist with more than a decade of experience helping teens and their parents.
This workbook explores how the pressure of being a teen can lead to anger and frustration, and teaches teen readers how to build an anger management toolbox to learn new ways to approach their feelings.
Science-based strategies include acquiring mindfulness skills to recognize when anger arises, as well as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and DBT techniques for managing uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.
Exercises include anger management quizzes, prompts, and journaling as well as practical tips on how to talk to parents and manage conflicts with friends.
In this section, we’ve chosen three books aimed at anger management within families that may be especially useful for family therapists and educators teaching parenting skills. Each book is written by a qualified expert and based on scientifically proven anger management strategies for parents and children.
1. Anger Management for Parents: The Ultimate Guide to Understand Your Triggers, Stop Losing Your Temper, Master Your Emotions, and Raise Confident Children – Vivian Foster
If you frequently lose your temper when your kids don’t cooperate, then this self-help workbook could be for you. Written by a parent with a background in psychology, this is not aimed at clinicians, but at parents themselves. However, it could be a useful adjunct to family therapy.
The book educates parents about how to recognize triggers before they happen and acquire the skills needed to reduce and eventually prevent explosions of anger at their children.
Anger Management for Parents explores the origins of anger, its benefits (healthy anger), and describes how unhealthy anger can destroy family life. The author explains why parental anger with a child of any age is rarely the child’s fault, as children learn to mirror their parents’ behavior including noncooperation with requests.
It then provides a step-by-step action plan to help parents set healthy boundaries and establish better communication with their children. Taking control of cycles of anger can save a family’s future and make everyone happier in the long term.
2. The Effective Anger Management Guide for Parents: Discover How to Manage and Calm Your Emotions; Turn Your Frustration Into Positive Parenting – Richard Bass
Richard Bass is an educator with a master’s degree in education and a certification in K–12 special education. His book focuses on anger management for parents to help them better manage stressful and triggering situations with their children.
Importantly, Bass reminds us that anger is normal; it’s the impulsive behavior that can be triggered by anger that leads to problems communicating with children. Harmful, angry speech that invalidates your child’s feelings will break down trust in the relationship.
The author explains how parenting behaviors are often rooted in the parenting behavior we witnessed in our own childhood. The good news is that we can break the intergenerational cycle of toxic parenting behaviors if we choose to.
This book teaches age-appropriate parenting strategies to help readers both empower and discipline children.
3. Diffusing Your Teen’s Anger: 3 Dynamic Strategies for Taming Teenage Angst, Managing Generational Anger, and Restoring Calm From Chaos – Ari Kolter
Parenting teens can be a challenge. Teens often struggle with the transition from childhood through puberty to adulthood. Studies have shown that as many as 1 in 12 teens have severe problems managing anger, which can even manifest in violence.
This book guides parents in how to respond consciously to challenging behavior to avoid worsening the situation.
The anger management strategies outlined in this book are aimed at both parents and teens and use mindfulness techniques to develop emotional literacy and emotional regulation skills to build resilience.
This section includes three self-help books for adults: one generic resource, one aimed at women, and one aimed at men. This is because women and men tend to experience and express anger differently. The consequences of expressing anger are also gendered given the taboo of female aggression and rage.
1. Anger Management for Everyone: 10 Proven Strategies to Help You Control Anger and Live a Happier Life – Raymond Chip Tafrate and Howard Kassinove
This is written by the same two clinical psychologists who authored the first book in this article. While the former was aimed at clinicians, this is a self-help resource aimed at clients who experience problematic anger.
Anger Management for Everyone provides a comprehensive, evidence-based program for your clients. This revised edition includes new information on how hunger and sleep impact anger, new progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness exercises, and tips for improving emotional literacy and communication skills.
The authors’ CBT-based “anger episode model,” provides 10 proven strategies for managing anger that can help your clients better control unhealthy anger by learning how to overcome catastrophizing, cope with everyday setbacks, and experience a more fulfilling life.
2. The Anger Management Workbook for Women: A 5-Step Guide to Managing Your Emotions and Breaking the Cycle of Anger – Julie Catalano
Women who struggle with anger often also suffer from deep shame or regret given the stigma associated with female anger. The Anger Management Workbook for Women provides an action plan that helps readers understand the cause of their anger and overcome the guilt that accompanies its expression.
Using recent scientific research, readers learn how to recognize their anger and manage it differently. Women often have problems with assertion skills that can lead to simmering resentment and, eventually, explosive anger. This book teaches women how to ask for what they need and want, how to request changed behavior, and how to develop a healthy relationship with anger.
It includes a range of worksheets, quizzes, and emotional regulation techniques and is illustrated by the stories of other women who have used these strategies to manage their anger successfully.
The Anger Management Workbook for Women can help women who struggle with anger live a more contented life.
3. Anger Management Workbook for Men: Take Control of Your Anger and Master Your Emotions – Aaron Karmin
Therapist Aaron Karmin urges readers to “be the bigger man” by learning anger management skills that put them back in the driver’s seat rather than being driven by anger.
Readers will learn how to experience anger without expressing behavioral aggression by developing more self-confidence, self-control, and self-respect.
The Anger Management Workbook for Men helps men get to grips with anger at the root. It includes tools for evaluating anger, examples of the healthy expression of anger, and science-based anger management strategies for men.
This book equips men with the skills they need to manage problematic anger by first improving their relationship with themselves.
The Red Light: Anger! worksheet for kids that enhances emotional literacy and recognition of anger as it arises, which helps prevent problematic anger.
The Assertive Communication worksheet guides you on how to express your thoughts honestly and openly, which involves taking responsibility for your feelings and behavior rather than shifting that onto others. This is an essential first step in preventing passive resentment that can lead to explosive anger.
If you want to invest more in anger management tools, you could consider purchasing our Emotional Intelligence Masterclass, which provides nine continuing education credits for helping professionals. This masterclass provides a six-module emotional intelligence (EQ) training template for practitioners and all the materials needed to deliver high-quality science-based EQ training sessions to clients.
Healthy anger is an important adaptive emotion that signals the presence of a threat and is often aroused by unfairness, injustice, and exploitation. It arouses our fight–flight response, which helps protect us from danger.
However, anger can also be aroused by imagined or perceived threats based on faulty appraisals of others or our environment, often rooted in previous experiences of unfair treatment. Emotional literacy and mindfulness are essential skills for assessing the source of anger, recognizing its arousal, and consciously expressing it with responsible communication.
Explosions of anger in verbal abuse and violence, and even more passive expressions of anger, such as the silent treatment, can take a heavy toll on our health, relationships, and quality of life.
We hope you have enjoyed reading the book reviews above. If you can recommend any other anger management books, let us know in the comments.
Schrodt, P., Witt, P. L, & Shimkowski, J. R. (2014). A meta-analytical review of the demand/withdraw pattern of interaction and its associations with individual, relational, and communicative outcomes. Communication Monographs, 81(1), 28–58.
About the author
Jo Nash, Ph.D., is a writer, editor, and writing coach. Jo obtained her Ph.D. in Psychotherapy Studies from the University of Sheffield, where she was a Lecturer in Mental Health at the Faculty of Medicine for over a decade.
Today, Jo combines her passion for language with mindfulness skills when coaching writers to help them cultivate flow and optimize productivity. She is the creator of the ‘focused flow’ approach to writing coaching.