Russell Kolts knows about anger. Not just because he’s a human being, but he’s spent many years as a psychologist helping people get to grips with the destructive side to it, including those who have, ultimately, landed in prison. Inspired and guided by Paul Gilbert, pioneer of Compassion Focused Therapy, he’s approached anger management using compassionate mind techniques. Much of this involves learning to slow yourself down enough to be able to think about the target of your anger enough – developing enough empathy (and compassion) to divert the single-mindedness anger involves. But his approach also involves developing compassion for oneself – anger spilling outward can often be traced to anger directed inward. This is hard graft. Compassion for the target of your anger can clearly sit very uneasily at first, but Kolts puts his arguments together persuasively.
His thoughts make up a very readable book, but they also seem to tie in with some recent research that suggests that a useful anger management technique is to imagine taking a birds eye view of the situation you are in. So, while ranting at X, do your best to imagine seeing yourself from above ranting at X. This is quite an interesting article about anger and its neurobiology and possible effects on our health – not just the obvious ones. AngerReview