Taming Your Temper Kirkus Book Review

Saturday, February 9th, 2013 in Blog

A Workbook for Individuals, Couples, and Groups
Smith, Nathaniel David
Mental Health Classes, LLC (194 pp.)
$30.00 paperback

A debut self-help workbook aimed at helping readers understand and control their anger.
Smith, a licensed professional anger-management counselor, draws on his experience to create a program designed to
help people identify and analyze their problematic thought patterns. These cognitive behavioral therapy exercises are
designed to help readers understand how anger stems from a combination of core beliefs they have about themselves, the
personal rules that they follow, and other “automatic” thoughts. Each exercise includes a “jumpstart” example, featuring
details based on Smith’s clients. Smith offers pragmatic, real-life tips, including how to recognize and remedy common
mistakes made when communicating with others. He occasionally offers suggestions that may be difficult for someone in
the heat of anger, however. For example, when a reader experiences tension or stress from “All-or-Nothing Thinking,”
he advises, “pay attention to your breathing, muscle tension, perspiration, temperature and heart rate.” The book isn’t
meant to be rushed through, Smith writes; rather, readers are urged to complete about two of the exercises each
week—36 in all—which adds up to approximately a four-month program. However, the sheer quantity of exercises,
some with more than 10 questions and sub-questions, may overwhelm some readers. Readers, depending on their
familiarity with anger-management theories, may also wish that the program included more explanations and examples.
The book is aimed at individuals, couples and groups, and it assumes that readers are already aware of their own anger
issues; readers wishing to address anger issues in others, however, will find little direction. That said, those who don’t
mind the program’s length will likely find the help they seek.
A comprehensive guide for those seeking an in-depth examination of their own anger..