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Ask the Anger Specialist!

°Email a Question to Dave

°Email a Question to Mike

°See past questions and answers

Anger Pre-Test

How much do you know about anger?

Anger Index

How Angry and Hostile Are You?

Self Assessment Tools for Anger, Road Rage, and Domestic Abuse

Tasks That Can be Helpful for Self-Understanding and Healing

 

Quick Facts About Anger

21 Skills For Raising Empowered Children
(from "Raising Nonviolent Children in a Violent World")
-- Dr. Mike Obsatz

The Anatomy of an Argument That Spins "Out of Control:" Learning to Identify the Choices You Make When You Are Angry -- Dave Decker, MA

Anatomy of a Tragic Road Rage Incident -- Dave Decker, MA

The Anger Escalation Process -- Dave Decker, MA

Anger Management De-Escalation Strategies -- Dave Decker, MA

Consequences Related to Becoming Punishing, Explosive, and Abusive -- Dave Decker, MA

Defining What Anger Is and What Anger Isn't -- Dave Decker, MA

Eight Types of Anger (from "Healing Our Anger") -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Excuses and Justifications for being Controlling, Abusive, and Violent with Women and Others -- Dave Decker, MA

Five Tasks for the Empowerment of Young Adults -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

The Foundations of Effective Anger Management -- Dave Decker, MA

How Can You Tell When Your Anger Is Becoming
A Problem?
-- Dave Decker, MA

How a Road Rage Incident Occurs -- Dave Decker, MA

How Abuse and Violence Can Occur in a Relationship -- Dave Decker, MA

How To Tell Whether You Have Really Changed the Way
That You Experience and Express Your Anger
-- Dave Decker, MA

How Your Life Can Be Different If You Work To Change
How You Experience And Express Your Anger
-- Dave Decker, MA

Impact of Abuse on Women -- Dave Decker, MA

Key Ingredients in Creating and Maintaining a Healthy Relationship -- Dave Decker, MA

Myths About Domestic Abuse -- Dave Decker, MA

Payoffs Related to Becoming Punishing, Explosive, and Abusive -- Dave Decker, MA

Protecting Yourself From Road Rage
(whether it's your own or someone else's anger)
-- Dave Decker, MA

Some Distortions and Perversions of Anger:
What Anger the Emotion Isn't
-- Dave Decker, MA

Some Possible Effects of Abuse on Children -- Dave Decker, MA

Think About TRIGGERS -- Dave Decker, MA

Thirty Six Life Lessons I Wish I Had Learned Earlier -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

The Tower of Anger -- Dave Decker, MA

Types of Abusive Behavior -- Dave Decker, MA

Warning Signs That A Man May Become A Batterer -- Dave Decker, MA

Dave's Articles and Essays

(click on title for complete text)

Anger: What It Is and What It Isn't -- Dave Decker, MA

Changing Your Negative Self-Talk:
The Process of Actually Creating and Becoming a “New You”
-- Dave Decker, MA

Communication And Disrespectful Anger:
A Poor Match At Best
-- Dave Decker, MA

The Domestic Abuse Has To Stop (And It Can!) -- Dave Decker, MA

Domestic Abuse Program Philosophy -- Dave Decker, MA

The Foundations Of Effective Anger Management: Where to Start
if You Want to Change What You Do With Your Anger
-- Dave Decker, MA

In The Company of Men:
The Importance of Having and Maintaining Male Friendship
-- Dave Decker, MA

Is Your Anger A Problem (For You or Others)? -- Dave Decker, MA

Motorists Beware:
Identifying The Different Types of Road Ragers
-- Dave Decker, MA

The Power of Self-Talk: What You Think is Who You Are;
What You Think is Who You Will Become
-- Dave Decker, MA

Protecting Yourself From Road Rage -- Dave Decker, MA

The Shame-Rage Connection:
From Feeling Defective To Becoming Explosive
-- Dave Decker, MA

The Story of An Angry Person:
A Journey to Change and Growth In My Own Words
-- Dave Decker, MA

Taking the Steps To Stop the Abuse -- Dave Decker, MA

Time-Outs: They're Not Just For Kids -- Dave Decker, MA

What Do You Mean I'm Being Controlling? -- Dave Decker, MA

Mike's Articles and Essays

(click on title for complete text)

Anger and Regret -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Breaking the Parental Grip: Coping with Overcontrolling Parents -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Bullyproofing Your School -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Chronically Angry People -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

From Shame-Based Masculinity to Holistic Manhood -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Helping Young Kids Overcome Shame -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

The Hostile Society -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Lost: Understanding and Coping With Abandonment -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Personal Healing: The "Bad" News and The "Good" News -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

The Quest for Maturity and Sobriety: How to Change America's Messed Up Kids -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Recovery and Discovery -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Self-Sabotage -- Why Good People Hurt Themselves -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Some Thoughts about Trust, Abuse, Disillusionment, Betrayal, Anger and Forgiveness -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

Using Buddies: Overcoming Chemical Incest -- Dr. Mike Obsatz

 

Books and Videos

click on a title for more details at amazon.com unless otherwise noted. (Another place to get videos: Columbiahouse.com or videos at 1-800-544-4431 or dvds at 1-888-CHC-DVDS)

Books

By Dave:

Embracing The Dark Side: Learning to Recognize and Handle the Emotions Within and Around You -- Dave Decker, MA (special order from Dave - print .pdf form).

Stopping the Violence: A Group Model To Change Men's Abusive Attitudes and Behaviors -- Dave Decker, MA (special order from Dave- print .pdf form).
Or click here to order from Amazon.com

Stopping the Violence: The Client Workbook -- Dave Decker, MA (special order from Dave - print .pdf form).
Or click here to order from Amazon.com

By Mike:

NEW FILM!! "THAT'S ENOUGH!" -- a film by Mike Obsatz and Jack Revheim

From Stalemate to Soulmate: A Guide to Mature, Committed, Loving Relationships -- Mike Obsatz

Healing Our Anger: 7 Ways to Make Peace in a Hostile World -- Mike Obsatz

Raising Nonviolent Children in a Violent World: A Family Handbook -- Mike Obsatz

Other Authors:

After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful -- Janis Abrahms Spring

Anger Kills : Seventeen Strategies for Controlling the Hostility That Can Harm Your Health -- Redford Williams, Virginia Williams

Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion -- Carol Tavris

The Dance of Anger : A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships -- Harriet Lerner

Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond From a Vindictive Ex -- Richard A. Warshak

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ -- Daniel Goleman

The Emotionally Abused Woman : Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself -- Beverly Engel

Facing Shame : Families in Recovery -- Merle A. Fossum and Marilyn J. Mason

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate -- Gary Chapman

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence -- Gavin de Becker

How Can I Forgive You: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To -- Janis Abrahms Spring and Michael Spring

How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women -- Terrence Real

I Don't Want to Talk About It : Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression -- Terrence Real

In Love and In Danger: A Teen's Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships -- Barrie Levy

Not “Just Friends:” Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity -- Shirley Glass with Jean Coppock Staehili

Not to People Like Us : Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages -- Susan Weitzman Ph.D.

The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships -- John Gottman and Joan DeClaire

Road Rage and Aggressive Driving : Steering Clear of Highway Warfare -- Leon James, Diane Nahl

The Seven Principles For Making Marriages Work -- John Gottman and Nan Silver

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships -- Daniel Goleman

Toxic Parents : Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life -- Susan Forward with Craig Buck

Use Your Anger : A Woman's Guide to Empowerment -- Sandra Thomas, Cheryl Jefferson

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize it and How to Respond -- Patricia Evans

When Love Goes Wrong : What to Do When You Can't Do Anything Right -- Ann Jones, Susan Schechter

Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men -- Lundy Bancroft

Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen -- David Walsh

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail...And How You Can Make Yours Last -- John Gottman

You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation -- Deborah Tannen

Videos Depicting Control, Shame, Anger and Abuse

A Cry For Help: The Tracy Thurman Story (1989) starring Nancy McKeon and Dale Midkiff (can be seen on cable TV). A Torrington, Connecticut woman sues the police in 1983 for allowing her abusive estranged husband to stalk and eventually brutally beat and stab her despite her repeated attempts to protect herself by calling the police and using the legal system as it was intended to be used.

Battered (1978) starring Karen Grassle, Mike Farrell, LeVar Burton, Howard Duff, and Joan Blondell (Hearst Entertainment): can be seen on cable TV This video presents a tale of three different couples of different ages, backgrounds, and circumstances where domestic abuse is occurring.

The Burning Bed (Farrah Fawcett, Paul LeMat); Anchor Bay Entertainment (1995) The story of Francine Hughes, who set fire to her house and her ex-husband, Mickey, after years of horrendous beatings and relentless stalking. She was eventually found "not guilty" by reason of temporary insanity.

The Color Purple (Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg); Warner Brothers (1985) The story of a black woman who grows up in the early decades of the twentieth century in the rural South. She marries a man who womanizes, isolates her from her long-lost sister, and controls her in every way imaginable, including being emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive with her.

Doing Time On Maple Drive (1992) starring James B. Sikking, Bibi Besch, and Jim Carrey (Link to Blockbuster) A story about the impact of years of secrets and lies on two generations of a shame- based family. It includes an especially powerful scene where family members finally talk openly about the unhealthy dynamics of the system and its effect on their thoughts and behaviors in the present.

Duel (1971) starring Dennis Weaver (Universal City Studios) A traveling salesman does something on the highway to offend the driver of an enormous tractor trailer truck, which leads to a terrifying road rage incident where the salesman is nearly killed by the unseen and completely anonymous truck driver.

Escape from Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story (Adam Storke, Maria Pitillo) (link to Blockbuster Rental description) (can be seen on cable TV) An estranged husband, who has been verbally and physically abused, stalks and then kidnaps his Oklahoma wife after shooting her boyfriend.

Every Nine Seconds (1997) (Hearst Entertainment):can be seen on cable TV The story of a reporter, who grew up in an abusive family herself, who goes undercover at a crisis phone line to research an article on domestic abuse. She becomes involved with two battered women through her work there. One is the wife of an insurance executive, whose husband is just returning from an 18-month prison term for beating her with a golf club. The other is a 16-year-old who is flattered to be going out with an older man whose boyfriend is continually pressuring her to have sex and is verbally and physically abusive.

The Great Santini (Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner); (1980) A story about "Bull" Meechum, an ace Marine fighter pilot, modelled after author Pat Conroy's father, who is a warrior without a war to fight in 1962. In the video, he expects his children to behave in the same way his soldiers do and acts out his own insecurities with his wife and children through explosive anger, abusive and violent behavior, and an intense desire to control.

I Never Sang for My Father (Gene Hackman, Melvyn Douglas); Columbia Tristar (1969) This video tells the story of a father, who was driven, shaming, and abusive with his children because of his own tormented youth, and his 44-year-old son, who has never been able to truly separate from his father and live a life of his own. The film culminates with a powerful confrontation between son and father about the son's desire to move away to California and marry the woman he loves, where, for the first time, the son is able to assert himself with his father despite his father's attempts to shame and control him.

Mommie Dearest (Faye Dunaway, Steve Forrest); Paramount Pictures (1981) The story of the relationship between movie star Joan Crawford and her adopted daughter Christina from a best-selling memoir by Christina, which tells a tale of Joan's insecurities, alcohol binges, and emotional, verbal, and physical abuse of her daughter.

No One Would Tell (Fred Savage, Candace Cameron); (1996) (link to Blockbuster Rental description) (can be seen on cable TV) An adolescent girl falls for the high school "hunk," only to discover later that he is, in fact, controlling and physically abusive.

Once Were Warriors (Rena Owen, Tamuera Morrison); Fine Line Features (1995) A husband and wife, both Maori and living in a housing development in New Zealand, struggle with his alcohol binges and the emotional neglect and verbal and physical abuse that follows when he drinks.

Ordinary People (1980) starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler-Moore, and Timothy Hutton (Paramount Pictures) This story focuses on a "normal" suburban family that experiences a gut-wrenching tragedy when the older son dies in a boating accident. The emotional turmoil centers around the mother, who loved her older son more than her younger one, and is unable and unwilling to connect with her younger son in any meaningful way. It includes a powerful scene where the father finally confronts his wife with the cold and steely shaming that she is doing to their remaining son and realizes, at long last, that she is incapable of really giving emotionally of herself to him or their son.

Rape and Marriage - The Rideout Case (Linda Hamilton, Mickey Rourke, Rip Torn); (1980) (link to Blockbuster) A video that portrays the events surrounding the infamous 1978 husband-wife rape case in Oregon.

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1994) starring Joe Montegna, Laurence Fishburne, Joan Allen, Max Pomeranc, and Ben Kingsley (Paramount Pictures) The story of a young boy who is a chess prodigy and the shaming and control he endures at the hands of his prickly tutor whose "win at all cost" mentality flies in the face of the boy's emotional and sensitive nature.

Shattered Dreams (Lindsey Wagner, Michael Nouri) (link to Blockbuster.com) The story of John and Charlotte Fedders, from Charlotte's book, that talks about their life together through John's work as a Wall Street attorney and as "top cop" of Ronald Reagan's Securities and Exchange Commission and the battering that she experienced throughout their marriage. The video offers an excellent example of the "cycle of violence," clearly demonstrating the escalation, explosion, and deception phases around the first violent incident in their relationship when John slaps Charlotte and breaks her eardrum.

Sleeping With the Enemy (Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin); 20th Century Fox (1991) This video, particularly in the first 20-30 minutes, portrays the compulsivity, control, and violence in a upscale battering relationship and the humiliating, demeaning, and terrifying atmosphere in which a battered woman lives. It also clearly demonstrates the careful planning necessary to leave a battering relationship.

Sling Blade (1996) starring Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, and John Ritter (Miramax Films) The story of a retarded man who, after being released from an institution for killing his mother and her lover, comes to live with a woman and her son. The woman's boyfriend is entitled, shaming, hostile, and abusive, particularly with her son.

This Boy's Life (Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin); Warner Brothers (1993) (link to Borders.com) This Boy's Life is based on a memoir by author Tobias Wolff, which presents the a slice-of life drama of his conflict as a rebellious teen with his overbearing, tyrannical, and abusive stepfather.

Unforgivable (John Ritter)
(can be seen on cable TV - check listings)
This video offers the story of a verbally and physically abusive man who begins to understand and change his attitudes and behaviors and goes on to develop treatment programs for other abusive men.

What's Love Got to Do With It (Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne); Touchstone Pictures (1993) This video is the story of Ike and Tina Turner. It shows Ike "strung out" on cocaine, flaunting an endless series of girlfriends, attempting to control Tina's personal and professional life, and perpetrating vicious verbal abuse and violent beatings on Tina through the course of their relationship. The domestic abuse escalates, particularly when Tina begins to come into her own as a singer and starts to take more of the "show biz" spotlight than Ike, who feels more and more inadequate and envious as a result.

 
     

 

 

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