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After 50 years old“I grew up in a family that didn’t know how to deal with anger. The passive-aggressiveness was so pervasive that I wasn’t even aware it was in me until I was studying for my Masters in clinical psychology. My program required students to attend personal therapy sessions and it was in these sessions that I uncovered the layers of my anger. As I peeled away each layer, I felt transformed”.

But, after I earned my PhD and began my own practice, I noticed a disappointing trend in the profession: there were hundreds of published articles on anxiety and thousands on depression, but hardly any on anger. The few books that did cover anger only talked about how to verbally communicate it. They said nothing about what to do with the energy anger creates inside of us and gets stuck in our bodies. Because of this dearth of information, I felt inspired to take a big risk: to write a book about anger that used mindfulness skills and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to transform what can be a corrosive emotion into one that provides us with many gifts––knowledge about ourselves, our needs, our wants, and our boundaries. At the time I didn’t know that writing my book, Mindful Anger, would open the door to more risks, and to more rewarding  experiences.

One of the things people may not realize about publishing a book is that, quite often, writing it is the easy part. I could sit alone in the quiet of my office and write with only myself to judge my progress. Once my book was out in the world, though, I had to promote it. For someone like me, who is used to talking one on one with people or, at most, to a group of ten to twelve, this was nerve-racking. When I began the process, a book signing in front of just my friends and family made me nervous. Then, that small book signing turned into a small speaking engagement and then another one and another and soon I found myself speaking to larger and larger audiences. Suddenly I was doing podcasts and radio shows, too. What helped me combat my fear was reminding myself that as long as I knew what I was talking about, I would be ok. I’ve been a psychotherapist for thirty-five years and I am an expert on anger, so my ace in the hole was the confidence that I knew what I was talking about.

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