Anger Management

by Roisin Murray and Wallace Murray

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Very useful whether you tend to ‘lose it’ yourself, or have difficulty saying boo to a goose; in particular assertiveness in the face of aggression; what is assertiveness, assertive behaviour, saying ‘no’.

The impact of inappropriate or habitual expressions of anger in workplace – covers both direct (verbal – shouting, physical, banging, hitting etc) and indirect (sarcasm, inappropriate ‘banter’).

Advice for when it is a customer that’s bugging you: ‘What’s in it for me?’

A closely related topic. If others regularly get angry with you, realise you may be the difficult person. See the pages on what makes someone difficult, behavioural styles, our part in the difficult situation, handling defensive behaviour, emotional hijack, not difficult just impossible, and assert yourself.

Defines NVC; there are useful pages on domination and partnership cultures; listening – four choices, NVC summary and ten things we can do.

A closely-related topic, as violence and aggression only happen when there is anger, although are not an inevitable consequence of it. Anyone experiencing growing level of anger (in self or from colleague/subordinate) needs to look at this.


Cool Down – Anger and how to manage it

Published by The Mental Health Institute in 2008, 16 pages

This is a succinct, practical, and authoritative downloadable guide on anger management. The booklet outlines the causes and dangers of anger and provides useful tips on how to self-manage tense situations more effectively. The booklet suggests where to go for more help and lists sources of information and advice.

Boiling point – problem anger and what we can do about it

Richardson and Halliwell, published by The Mental Health Institute in 2008, 35 pages

The main interest in this downloadable report is if you want to know more about the national perspective within a mental health context. It’s also a good starting point if you want to explore the subject in significantly greater depth, as it cites many academic and other publications and surveys on the subject. The content is based on analysis of a nation-wide survey in 2008. The authors outline some of the psychological theories about anger and its management, and cite the work of several initiatives to address problem anger.

Nonviolent communication – a language of life

Marshal B Rosenberg, published by Constable and Robinson, 242 pages

An eminently readable, practical and no-nonsense guide to an approach that can seem a bit esoteric or ‘spiritual’. Lots of personal stories and examples of how people have used NVC successfully.

Overcoming anger and irritability

William Davies, published by Puddle Dancer Press, 288 pages

This author makes a useful differentiation between anger and irritability. For me, this makes the point that anger management is not just needed for those afflicted by towering rages; it’s also invaluable for ameliorating the debilitating effects of low-level but pervasive grumpiness. The conversational writing style and illuminating anecdotes bring to life this guide to Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy as a DIY approach to achieving even good temper. This book includes a section on the origins and nature of anger, and self-help exercises to work through.


Advice on workplace bullying

  • ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) helpline 08457 47 47 47, (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm).

Anger management counselling or courses.

  • See your GP. The NHS advises seeing your GP if you feel you need help dealing with your anger. Anger management courses or counselling are available in some NHS areas. Be aware that the NHS seems to lump anger in with stress, anxiety and depression. Tactically, you might wish to seek assurance about what would be entered on your medical records, as some employers ask you to authorise access to your medical records before finalising their recruitment decision.

The NHS offers brief advice on recognising and dealing with your own anger

  • Go private – Relate. Many commercial organisations and individuals offer courses or consultations to help with anger issues. Courses may last a day, a weekend, or regular (perhaps evening) sessions over a couple of months.

Check they’re competent. Therapies provided by the NHS are provided by trained and accredited professionals, but if you go private, check their credentials. Make sure they are registered with a professional organisation such as


You can also contact the authors directly: Rosin Murray and Wallace Murray