on June 19, 2003
Anger is a much more difficult thing to treat than is sadness or fear, and good books in this field are rare. Therefore Davies deserves an A for effort. It is well written and easy to understand. Having said those nice things let me get to the negative stuff. It is written as a self-help book designed to be used by the "patient" but the sort of angry person it is written for is unlikely to buy the book and work through the exercises. (I suspect most of the copies sold are given as gifts, and more in hope than expectation). Most angry people perceive their anger as excusable or justified. They may agree with a general description of themselves as bad-tempered but the moment is comes to discussing a specific action they justify it. Reading and working through the book demands patience and a capacity for self-criticism- rare qualities amongst the angry.
Since it is self-help book is does not discuss the issues that professionals have to deal with in coping with the angry client.
As compared with Potter-Efron's "Letting Go of Anger" it is about more overt anger. The Potter-Efrons take a broader view and also write about less obvious manifestations of masked hosility. (like writing nasty reviews) They are Americans and Davies is British, with many of his examples based on British mores.
One final jab. Davies (and even more so, Peter Cooper in his inroduction) claims that these methods are "clinically proven" because they are based on cognitive therapy which has been "subjected to the strictest scientific testing" (Cooper) but no references are given to support this. It could be argued that references are out of place in a self-help book, but then so are claims of scientific proof.
on January 21, 2004
Excellent read. It's a quick read (~209 pages) with a wealth of information. Author's style is as if he is speaking directly to the reader. Book consists of 2 sections -- "Understanding What Happens" & "Sorting It Out." The 1st section sets the foundation -- defines terms, causes, etc. The 2nd section, and in my opinion the most useful, focuses on the process of anger control.
The author utilizes a wealth of examples. These examples are referenced throughout the entire text; hence there is a lot of building with respect to situations. Many chapters conclude with projects that urge the reader to review the content provided and to apply it to his/her own situation.
Excellent read. Easy to digest. Thought provoking. It shed a lot of light on my own issues with anger management.
Don't hesitate to purchase this book! Very helpful & eye opening. Though a very good book, I don't believe that it takes the place of an appropriate therapist. What is does do is position the reader to better understand what is going on in his/her life (related to anger & irritability) and to have a more meaningful dialogue with a therapist.
on July 9, 2004
Outstanding. I bought this book several years ago when I was in a constant state of irritation due to overwork and too little sleep, fueled by too much coffee. I tried to read it back then, but threw it down when the repeated stories drove me crazy :-) When I picked it up this year it all came together, making a remarkable difference in how I react to situations in overdrive. I recommend anyone picking up this book to give it a second chance if the first fails. And I highly recommend this book to those who are running their own businesses.
My family thanks William Davies, I thank William Davis, and I'll have to get back to you about the client side.
Catherine (cat) Morley
on February 28, 2001
As a consultant who deals with conflict management issues, I am always looking for good books to recommend to workplace clients. This book is direct, well-organized, and easy to understand. The examples and exercises are practical and there is just enough theory to provide a foundation of knowledge without going too much into the science of these approaches. It is also a great tool for helping supervisors become better behavioral coaches.