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The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships [Paperback]

Harriet Lerner
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)


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Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships 4.6 out of 5 stars (321)
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Book Description

May 3, 2005

"Anger is a signal and one worth listening to," writes Dr. Harriet Lerner, in her renowned classic that has transformed the lives of millions of readers.While anger deserves our attention and respect, women still learn to silence our anger, to deny it entirely, or to vent it in a way that leaves us feeling helpless and powerless. In this engaging and eminently wise book, Dr. Lerner teaches women to identify the true sources of our anger and to use anger as a powerful vehicle for creating lasting change.



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.


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 (321 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
432 of 443 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is my anger telling me? 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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160 of 165 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Use anger to make your life better July 31, 1999
By A Customer
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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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, excellent April 2, 2000
By A Customer
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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166 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow ! 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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149 of 166 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A WORD OF CAUTION June 9, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I challenge anyone to say "I have never done that before". We all do these "dances" she speaks of all the time, I don't care if you are a woman or a man. It doesn't have to be a husband/wife relationship either, it happens in all relationships. Her theory is sound and true and can very well help you to end these "dances" (fights/problems) you have with other people. It was *very* enlightening to see what we do actually spelled out for us because so much we do we do without realizing or giving 2nd thought to.
Read this book from beginning to end before trying this stuff. Secondly, keep in mind one very important thing...as much as you can change your attitude, others can change theirs and not always in the direction you hope they will. Her methods do work, but you must be prepared in some instances to "let go" of people that cause you strife if you plan to try to change these "dances" with whom ever you do this with. The reason is that maybe you don't want to let go of your mother or your friend or who ever, but they might want to let "you" go because they don't like the change. Now, she tells you that in the book anyway, but just ready yourself for it. I had a few friends that I either let go or they let me go and now I am feeling a little excluded. Sure, there are no more fights or "bad times" but that let go of the good too. I couldn't get an in-between. Mind you, this worked WONDERS with some other people I tried it on and actually solidified the relationships more. Just be prepared that you win some, you lose some...you can't change people to follow this "new" dance if they don't want to and it is always hard to let go.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book for every woman
Published 22 hours ago by Robin J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
Excellent book to help you understand your role in situations that involve anger or angry people. Harriet Lerner's books are all very easy to read and help you have insight into... Read more
Published 1 day ago by S. Joiner
5.0 out of 5 stars you won't be sorry if you get this book.
powerful book, packed with truths.
Published 2 days ago by Bartlett Pair
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
The best book I have ever read on dealing with anger. It encourages us to look at and change our relationship patterns.
Published 4 days ago by Deedee
5.0 out of 5 stars recommend to all women
Valuable lessons on how to use anger productively . I wish i had read this book in my twenties, would have saved me many tears!
Published 7 days ago by Maria Ortiz
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
BORING!!
Published 9 days ago by J. B.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is helpful for daily issues and irritations that ...
This book is helpful for daily issues and irritations that have grown into a life of their own.
I appreciated her insights and found it helpful, bringing concepts to help me... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Wheaties
4.0 out of 5 stars You can change the pattern of your relationship even if your partner...
I opted to go to counseling before getting married. I had been married before for 14 years and that marriage failed. I did not want to make the same mistake again. Read more
Published 13 days ago by echogirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped turn my life around
A must read for every one who sometimes struggles or always struggles with conflict and control from other people and situations. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Bootsie
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, suitable for those who live in the suburbs
For such a highly rated book this was incredibly disappointing
I cannot see how successful, working women will relate to it. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Charlene Smith
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