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Anger Control by Raymond W. Novaco Free PDF book (1975)

Anger Control by Raymond W. Novaco PDF book (1975)

Anger Control by Raymond W. Novaco PDF book


There is a current intrigue among social scientists with the array of stress factors that impinge on our lives. Economic fluctuations have been shown to influence admission rates to mental hospitals. Conditions of over¬ crowding, which have produced endocrine abnormalities in animal species, are being investigated as antecedents of aggressive crime rates. As one moves from the ecological to the clinical level, one finds the study of life¬ styles and behavioral tempos that produce susceptibility to coronary ailments.


Prominent among the array of psychosocial stressors are the day-to-day provocation experiences that incite the arousal of anger. Each of us can easily generate a catalog of happenings that have inflamed our emotions. It’s a simple and even amusing task. But the failure to cope effectively with provocation stress can be particularly tragic, as it can result in the alienation of loved ones, disrupted work performance, and even cardiovascular disorder.

Anger is an emotion that is both frightening and satisfying. Because of its association with destructive acts, the expression of anger elicits alarm. Anger is commonly thought of as something to be controlled. However, the positive attributes of anger are often overlooked due to our anxieties about its presumed behavioral implications. The Chinese word for anger is sheng ch’i, meaning to produce one’s ch’i, which is the word for energy. The thrust of this book’s approach to anger regulation is to maximize the adaptive potentials of the person who responds assertively to provocation. The guiding philosophy has emphasized the importance of experienced competence in managing provocation and directing behavior toward satisfying outcomes.


My interest in anger arousal and its self-controlled regulation is unmistakably rooted in personal history. I’ve done my best to fulfill the ethnic stereotypes. You can imagine how disquieting it was to recognize that despite the romantic idealism that led me to identify with Puzo’s Michael Corleone, in reality, Sonny was my more approximate mirror image. Academically, this interest was cultivated by a nagging dissatisfaction with extant research on aggression that often seemed obtuse to man as an effective organism.

This book represents the first attempt to develop therapeutic methods for persons with chronic anger control problems and to evaluate the clinical procedures in a controlled experimental design.

Questions of generalizability were of paramount concern to me throughout the project, and these very issues prompted the selection of a multi-method experi¬ mental procedure. An extension of the anger control techniques to other problem areas has been attempted in the final chapter, and it is my hope that this will stimulate new research on the self-control of arousal proc¬ esses. I extend a special appreciation to Leon Levy, whose astute mind so often stimulated my thinking and whose availability and prompt feedback expedited my research. Kenneth Heller and Richard Price provided helpful suggestions on methodology as well as continued encouragement. Whatever talents I have as a therapist are in no small way the product of Ray Mulry’s countless hours of supervision. Throughout my graduate training, he sensitively challenged my points of view and encouraged me to think in more differentiated ways about people, emotions, and concepts. Mu Gil Lee, who instructed with unqualified excellence in the martial arts, has given me new perspectives on aggression, self-awareness, and determination. John Monahan’s encouragement prompted the attempt at this book, and his friendship and stimulation continue to be invaluable.

Author: Raymond W. Novaco
 Publication Date: 1975

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