Anger Related Disorders: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments

Anger Related Disorders: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments

Anger Related Disorders: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments

Anger Related Disorders: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments


In this ground-breaking exploration, a glittering array of specialists investigate how and why anger is viewed as a secondary emotion by most clinical theories and practitioners and seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What are anger-related disorders?
  • What do they have in common and how are they different?
  • How do we treat the various anger-related disorders?

Drawing on one case study, the top-notch contributors each present a different method of treatment for anger-related disorders. By taking into consideration the variety of perspectives and treatments available for anger-related disorders, this book provides an overview of how clinicians can implement each of these treatments as well as combine treatments to provide a tailored therapy for each individual client.


Classical philosophers since the time of Aristotle and Seneca have believed that anger represented a major source of human suffering. This view of anger as a central part of human disturbance extended until the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, both Emil Kraeplin and Sigmund Freud identified anger as part of mania and mania as part of depression. Thus, two of the major figures in 20th-century psychopathology rendered anger as a secondary emotional problem to depression. Since their time, most clinicians still identify anger as a secondary emotion. This view of anger has hampered our understanding of the emotion and our knowledge of how it can become dysfunctional; most important, it has hindered our development of interventions to help those suffering from anger problems.

We clearly know much less about anger as a form of emotional disturbance compared with our knowledge of anxiety and depression. Despite the view in the clinical world that anger is a secondary emotion, all major theories on the psychology of emotions have identified anger as one of the basic universal emotions. Research on infants suggests that anger is the first negative emotion to develop and thus may be our truly primitive affect. However, even in scientific psychology, the extent of our knowledge of anger appears much less expansive compared to our knowledge of other emotions. This ignorance may limit the development of successful interventions. However, research in recent years has expanded our knowledge of anger. Anger differs from other negative emotions in several important ways. Other negative emotions motivate humans to avoid or escape the stimuli that elicit them. These emotions, such as anxiety, disgust, and sadness, elicit an avoidance behavior. Anger activates approach behaviors. People want to get close to that which arouses . . .

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