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The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships Paperback – May 3, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Perennial Currents; 20th Anniversary edition (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006074104X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060741044
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (351 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Of all the books that have been written about the personal relationships of women and what to do about them, this is the most sound. Like a family heirloom, it can be passed from generation to generation as it is based on profound and lasting truths.” (Peggy Papp, M.S.W., The Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy)

About the Author

Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., is one of our nation’s most loved and respected relationship experts. Renowned for her work on the psychology of women and family relationships, she served as a staff psychologist at the Menninger Clinic for more than two decades. A distinguished lecturer, workshop leader, and psychotherapist, she is the author of The Dance of Anger and other bestselling books. She is also, with her sister, an award-winning children's book writer. She and her husband are therapists in Lawrence, Kansas, and have two sons.


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Customer Reviews

This book truly changed my life.
"busyvolunteer"
It outlines a healthy, empowering way to communicate with your loved ones without getting into the blame game or feeling like a victim.
Sheri O. Zampelli
Easy to read with good examples and questions to think about.
judester

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

201 of 203 people found the following review helpful By Marisa on April 7, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
As a woman, I’ve often been told that I’m too emotional and that I need to control my anger in certain situations. I think, for a majority of my life, I’ve believed that. I have learned to suppress my emotions rather than expressing them. My relationships may be free from drama, but that doesn’t mean the inner emotional turmoil is good for me. The Dance of Anger has helped me recognize my anger and channel it into constructive modes of rehabilitation. There are two things that are really counterintuitive when you get angry. One of them is being impulsive and letting your emotions take control. The other, however, is completely suppressing your emotions. There is no such thing as a good way to suppress emotions. You have to channel it elsewhere or it will just fester and boil inside you for too long. This book has helped me express my emotions in constructive ways.

I’ve also used 21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy to help my progression. This book, written by Chris D’Cruz and Alvin Huang, turned out to be a godsend for me. I was always very worried about what other people thought of me, but I have now recognized that other people’s opinions of me are largely irrelevant. This book has taught me that I can stand on my own two feet and be who I am unapologetically. I don’t have to worry about what other people think of me. That’s just one of the things you should give up in order to be happy. Of course, I’m not happy all the time, but whenever I get sad or angry I think of this book.

I also think a lot about The Dance of Anger. As an emotional person, I have always had trouble expressing myself fully and appropriately.
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446 of 459 people found the following review helpful By Marcy L. Thompson VINE VOICE on July 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
A large number of books on the topic of anger have recently come into my house -- how to recognize anger, what it means, and how to "control" it. This is the only one of these books that I liked. All the other books on this topic seem to treat anger as a loss of control, which should be repressed. In fact, they seem to be about impulse control more than about anger. (I have nothing against people learning to control their impulses, I just don't think that it's the same topic as the topic of anger.) Luckily, I did not pay for any of these books, so I can just be glad I read this one, and forget about the others.
In this book, Lerner treats anger as a signal that something is going wrong. She explains that only when we address the "something wrong" in a useful way will the anger go away. Then she explores the "dances" we engage in, in our attempts to make ourselves feel better. She suggests that most of our attempts to make ourselves feel better focus on the person(s) we think made us mad, rather than on ourselves. She compassionately and wisely shows how to disengage from the anger and the counter-productive patterns, while staying connected and acting with integrity. However, she also acknowledges the effect that this sort of change can have on other people in the dance, and she provides guidance in maintaining oneself in the face of countermoves.
Fundamentally, this is not the kind of self-help book that provides 10 easy steps to ridding oneself of anger. Instead, it describes a different way to think about anger, and discussion of the ways in wich one can respond to anger. No easy steps, just a way of thinking, which can radically change the way one engages with the world.
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169 of 174 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found this book as impossible to put down as any thriller -- it was fascinating even when it didn't directly apply to me. But most of it did.
All my life I have had a problem expressing anger. It usually comes out as tears, which does not impress anyone or improve the situation, or else I swallow it and tell myself it's not important. This book has helped me to understand that when I'm angry, it means something is wrong, and I attempt to calmly identify what that is, and take steps to make it better. I'm not expert at this yet, but the book has given me hope that small changes can lead to big improvement over time.
All in all, this is a great book for anyone whose anger has ever made them feel ashamed or powerless. Read and reread until your anger works for you, not against you.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this to anyone in a struggling relationship. After 10 years of marriage I could see no way of getting along with my wife. My therapist suggested this book and it just opened up a whole new world for me. My marriage is safe and strong. Don't let the title fool you, this is just as much for men as women, yes I am a guy.....
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175 of 194 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Hunt on October 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Many years ago someone recommended that I read this book but I didn't bother. I thought "Yeah right, another self-help book. I don't think so!" I was so wrong. This book dares to take on that ugly, taboo emotion: ANGER! If you never learned good solutions for understanding and dealing with your anger, this is a book you need to read. It is filled with insight about anger. It also offers constructive solutions for getting rid of anger, and improving relationships with people who make us angry. It deals with generational patterns of anger! This book is not just for women. Men, too, could learn a lot from reading this book and putting it's suggestions into practice. Very highly recommended.
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More About the Author

Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., is one of our nation's most loved and respected relationship experts. Renowned for her work on the psychology of women and family relationships, she served as a staff psychologist at the Menninger Clinic for more than two decades. A distinguished lecturer, workshop leader, and psychotherapist, she is the author of The Dance of Anger and other bestselling books. She is also, with her sister, an award-winning children's book writer. She and her husband are therapists in Lawrence, Kansas, and have two sons.
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