Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias

Kate Anthony
Charlene Austin
Jef Gazley
Jenna Glatzer
Molly Martin
Mary Ellen Popkin
Christine Spindler
Anita Jo Stafford
Victor Volkman


Victor Volkman

   Victor R. Volkman is the webmaster for the Traumatic Incident Reduction Association (TIRA) and owner of Loving Healing Press. He is a trained Metapsychology facilitator, but primarily works on the TIRA Public Information Committee and in support his wife's Metapsychology practice as well. He is the author of several computer programming books and teaches part-time at the community college level. He has lived in Michigan all his life.

   He is the editor and major contributor of an excellent book on dealing with trauma: 'Beyond Trauma: conversations on traumatic incident reduction'.

Real help for sufferers of uncontrollable anger and anxiety, August 27, 2004

   Dr. Rich uses clear, real-life examples to move from the abstract concepts of fight-or-flight, phobias, worry, arousal, and anger to help you understand how your own life may be impacted by these phenomena. In addition, he ties concrete physical symptoms to these areas that you may never have suspected were linked. Understanding what is our normal and natural heritage as human beings is one key to regaining your power over these phenomena. It also allows complex cause-and-effect relationships such as Pavlovian conditioning to be readily comprehensible. For example, I had never really considered the possible explanation that some phobias are passed unintentionally from parent to child. The method of behavioral modelling clearly explains the mechanics of how this can be produced.

   True to the Cognitive Behavioral Technique, the text emphasizes that you may not be able to change what you are thinking or feeling but you can change what you are doing... and the rest will follow. Fortunately, each chapter ends with a self-directed survey to increase awareness of anger and anxiety in your life. Part II of the book details specific actions you can take to conquer anger and anxiety. Wolpe's method of progressive muscular relaxation is developed in sufficient detail for anyone to be able to apply it. Though a useful skill in itself, muscular relaxation increases sensitivity to tension and therefore supplies an early-warning system for anxiety and anger. This also works in conjunction with systematic desensitization through imaginary and real experiences. When confronted by a distressing scenario, the client applies learned relaxation techniques and thereby scores a victory over phobia.

   Although Anger and Anxiety: Be In Charge of Your Emotions and Control Phobias is first and foremost a self-help book, the author does recognize when situations require outside help. Chapter 6, "Help from Those Who Care" is a frank discussion about the limits of self-help and when to go for outside assistance. The book wraps with a grab-bag of CBT tools and tricks you can use to empower your life: thought-stopping, narrative therapy, role-changing, and a quick glimpse into Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy techniques. I would strongly recommend Anger and Anxiety to anyone who has a history of unexplained anger or overreactions to situations as well as anybody who finds more of their life occupied by worry and fear than they are happy with.

Christine Spindler

Christine Spindler   Christine is a writer. I have read her brilliantly written book, Faces of Fear, which is one of a series of horror/mystery stories featuring 'Inspector Terry'. While I was not attracted to the horror aspects, I couldn't stop reading it, and found it impressively full of insight into various psychological problems.

   This is what Christine had to say about my book:

   Over the past two decades I read at least fifty self-help books covering a variety of neuroses, psychoses and phobias. The reason was that I suffered from social anxiety and a choice of both common and exotic phobias, and was desperately looking for a way out of my private hell. I found a way, many ways in fact - thanks to loving parents, a caring husband, patience, perseverance, and last but not least, counseling sessions with a psychotherapist. Today I am more or less the person I always dreamt of becoming, except for some left-over symptoms of shyness.

   When I started to read "Anger & Anxiety", I soon wished it had been published twenty years ago. All of the exercises and strategies outlined in this book are of the kind that I found to work best after trying what seemed to be every therapeutic approach ever invented (not all of them worked, some even aggravated the problem). And here it was in a nutshell: only the best of the best, the top therapies on my personal hitlist.

   Dr. Bob Rich presents his methods in a brilliant and entertaining manner, illustrated with interesting case examples. I thought that as a life-long guinea-pig extraordinaire I "knew it all", but throughout the book I found invaluable insights that were totally new to me.

   I warmly recommend "Anger & Anxiety" to everyone suffering from uncontrolled anger, panic attacks and anxiety. Even those who cope perfectly with their lives can benefit, by enhancing their personal potential and their happiness. Being relaxed and in control is always a good choice, isn't it?

--Christine Spindler, author of "Faces of Fear"


Jenna Glatzer


   Jenna Glatzer is a full-time writer and former agoraphobic. She is the author of hundreds of magazine articles and eight books for children and adults. She is also the editor-in-chief of Absolute Write, a massive website for writers. She sends love to everyone who is struggling with an anxiety disorder. You can read my review of her book Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders: Success Stories, Strategies, and Other Good News.


Anger and Anxiety
By Dr. Bob Rich
Twilight Times Books
January, 2002
Twilight Times Books
Paperback: $Au20.
E-book version $5 from Anina's Book Company

   Wouldn't it be great if we all had an "anti-stress switch" that we could flip whenever we started to feel anxious or angry? It may sound like fantasy, but in this book, you can learn how to make it reality. You can train your mind to "let go" in an instant.

   Abundant with relevant anecdotes and filled with practical advice and exercises, this book is a wonderful tool for those who have trouble with anger or anxiety (or both!).

   In the first part, the book describes the physical symptoms of anxiety and what causes them-- for example, it explains why your heart races and your digestive system shuts down when you're in panic mode.

   I particularly liked an example Rich used in the book about stage fright. When he had to give a lecture once, he was undergoing a lot of nervous tension. The chairman of the conference said to him, "Bob, I can see you are really excited about this opportunity to talk about your work. Several people have mentioned to me that they are keen to hear you." This immediately changed the way Rich interpreted his own body symptoms. Now he could think of himself as excited rather than nervous. Truth be told, our body doesn't know the difference!

   Rich explains the difference between healthy and unhealthy arousal, and warns us about the possible health problems associated with persistent arousal (such as high blood pressure, digestive problems, and muscle tension).

   He encourages readers to keep a diary that charts stressful and angry episodes, noting what led up to the behavior and what happened as a consequence of it. By doing this, we can find patterns in our life.

   I've often done progressive muscle relaxation, but I never knew that there was a "correct" way to do it-- Rich explains the proper order and proper way to tense and relax your muscles for optimal results.

   One of the things I liked best about this book is that it doesn't offer a "one-solution-fits-all" approach. There are many different techniques discussed in the book-such as narrative therapy, desensitization, flooding, and rational emotive behavior therapy-and you are encouraged to find out what works for you.

   The book gave me a lot of food for thought, and after reading it, I feel better equipped to deal with my own anxiety. I'm eager to try out the methods Rich detailed.

   Anger and Anxiety is reader-friendly and doesn't get bogged down with psychological jargon. I highly recommend it for anyone who is committed to change his or her negative thought patterns and learn how to manage anger or anxiety.


Kate Anthony


Kate Anthony   I 'met' Kate because she was interviewing people who offer counseling over the internet. This was for the M. Sc. thesis she is working on. During the several email exchanges that led up to and followed our interview (via AOL Instant Messenger), I got to know Kate as an intelligent and committed professional counsellor. I sent her my book -- and here is her response.


   "Bob Rich's work on Anger and Anxiety demonstrates very effective strategies for coping with these emotions. This is a serious look at a serious problem, delivered in a manner which is both coherent and enjoyable. He presents Cognitive solutions to the problems, illustrated by case examples at every turn, resulting in a book alive with hope for any reader suffering themselves or through knowledge of a person with Anger and Anxiety problems."

Kate Anthony, BSc (Hons), PGDip. Couns.
When writing this review, Kate was a qualified Counsellor working in London for the National Health Service. Since then, she has given up her job, and is teaching university students about counselling on the internet. She is a member of the British Association for Counsellors and is completing her MSc thesis in Therapeutic Counselling at the University of Greenwich.


Jef Gazley

   Dr. Bob Richs' book "Anger and Anxiety: How To Be In Charge Of Your Emotions and Control Phobias" is a fine addition to the self-help toolkit in coping with emotional problems. It explains an important aspect of the Cognitive-Behavioral approach in easy to understand language.

   Psychological information is quite useful but often rather dull and drab. This makes it difficult and tiring even for professionals in the field to plow through at times. The problem is much worse for most lay people. The complaints I hear from my clients most often about self-help books is that they are dull and rarely give practical information about how to solve the problem. Dr. Richs' book shatters these two problems.

   Dr. Rich describes in detail how anxiety and phobias develop and are maintained. He delineates the natural physiology of the arousal state that underlies one of the processes that is such a great benefit to mankind and one of its most glaring weaknesses if the system is overwhelmed. He intersperses this vital information with a narrative prose that allows this information to become embedded in the subconscious.

   As an Ericksonian Hypnotherapist, I was most impressed by how his approach mirrors many of the principles of Milton Erickson. Ericksonian psychotherapy is indirect and attempts to hold the conscious attention of the client while metaphors are directed towards the subconscious. The theory is that change will be more easily developed by this technique since the subconscious comprises 85% if the brain. Clinically this reduces resistance and promotes change.

   Many of the martial arts, such as Judo, use the same principles of distracting attention and then concentrating on a specific area where they can use their opponent's own momentum to achieve the desired result. Bob Rich uses the problem as the opponent, and teaches the client to attack it in the same way.

   Jef Gazley M.S.


   Jef Gazley has practiced psychotherapy in Arizona for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues.

   Jef received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington, and his Masters in Counseling from the University of Oregon. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. Jef's hobbies include music, and a love for all sports (he's an expert fencer). His favorite readings are history, biographies, and Russian authors. Jef resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his partner, Jan, three cats and a dog.



   'Anne' was one of my email clients. She also bought my book, and sent me this email about it:


   Just wanted to let you know that I downloaded your book [anger and anxiety] today and finished reading it.

   The way you explained stuff was so friendly and thoughtful I felt like I was actually listening to your voice.

   I have found some good techniques in the book which might help me.

   They don't sound easy but discovering them makes me feel happy and safe already.

Thank you


Anita Jo Stafford

   Anger and Anxiety is written in a style that is well understood by many readers. It is written in language that does not bore the reader or make the subject so weighty that the message and purpose of the book is lost. Dr. Rich begins the book by stating that the mind and body are one unit. They are indivisible and work together.

   The book is put together in a very creative fashion. The author defines the behavior and provides allegorical examples of the behavior being discussed. He cites everything from classic text to Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels to get his point across. Some of the examples are excerpts of books and others are parts of various case studies. Each of the examples provides insight into a particular problem and how various individuals respond. The reader gets more than a scholarly interpretation of the problems discussed; one is given examples that are easy to comprehend.

   The discussion on behavior was quite interesting. Dr. Rich discusses all types of aberrant behavior from violent displays to ruminating over old issues. He discusses the history of controlled studies and how response to certain stimuli can be attained. There is an overall hopeful tone to this book. The reader learns what is called the ABC method, which can be helpful in analyzing one's behavior in any stressful situation. The ABC's are: " 'B'= 'Behavior': whatever you are investigating. (It could be your thoughts, feelings or actions.) 'A' = 'Antecedent': what led up to the behavior. 'C' = 'Consequences': what happened as a result."

   This tool can be quite useful to any person. Dr. Rich suggests a person keep a diary of their behavior and how they reacted. He discusses the various ways that people respond to stress. He provides some excellent coping techniques that can actually help a person deal with issues in a realistic manner. The most important issue that Dr. Rich does stress is for the person attempting to control and cope with stress to be kind and forgiving to themselves. Life, after all, is a learning process. He advises the reader to make his/her own magic, so to speak. A person should believe in what they are doing and make a conscious effort to correct undesirable behavior. He provides a detailed guide of stress relieving techniques that actually work. The relaxation techniques involving the sixteen muscle groups is a rather nice surprise for a book this size.

Anita Jo Stafford


This review appeared at Simply E-Books. I don't know the reviewer, having had contact only with Bree, the site administrator, but want to thank her for her good opinion.


Mary Ellen Popkin

Mary Ellen Popkin   Mary Ellen is the author of the Anxiety Disorder Handbook, a personal account of how she recovered from debilitating anxiety, and a guide for others who want to follow her. Her book is published by Awe-Struck Books.
   Read my review of her book.


   As someone who has suffered from anxiety disorder for 19 years I found this book a must read. Dr. Rich's easy to read insights on the mind makes this a book for the lay person as well as the professional. He intertwines his professional knowledge with clear cut examples for change and recovery.

   The book further explains coping techniques made personal with case studies. Dr. Rich's use of case studies introduces the reader to individuals who have experienced anxiety, anger, and various phobias. The reader can readily identify with these individuals. They become teachers and symbols of hope for recovery. Allowing the reader to say if they can do it I can too.

   By explaining his ABC method he teaches one to understand the C or Consequences of one's Behavior. This causes one to rethink the A or "Antecedent" which triggered the unwanted behavior. Dr. Rich gives the reader a blue print to think before reacting. He shows that one must first realize what triggers result in negative consequences. This then enables the reader to rethink the reaction to these triggers. Dr. Rich demonstrates how an interruption of thought can create a positive reaction.

   He further gives tools to help change unwanted reactions. Everything from relaxation techniques to journaling one's behavior. Again he gives personal examples to further demonstrate his point. For example creating a diary teaches which circumstances create a negative effect on our sympathetic system. With this new found awareness the individual can move onto "thought stopping." Interrupting or changing the negative triggers before they can create the unwanted result.

   This book is a combination of techniques, case studies and insights into the mind. I recommend reading this book more than once. It is not only a how to book but also a valuable reference book. A necessary teaching manual for anyone with anxiety disorder and other negative behaviors. This book will teach you how to change these behaviors and improve your mental and physical health. Why put of these positive changes get a copy of Dr. Bob Rich's book today.

Mary Ellen Popkin

Molly Martin

Moly Martin   Molly Martin, writing as m j hollingshead and Tomsdattar, is the mother of two young adult sons. This former boy scout adult scouter and kindergarten teacher began writing 'feature news articles,' weekly news columns, 'club news,' and editorials for small local newspapers following a move from California to Oklahoma in 1990.

   Topics for weekly columns included Plant Care, The War Between The States in Indian Territory, Reminisce, Critters, School Readiness, Parenting Tips, a Travelogue, and Depression Era Kitchen Collectibles and 'To Be Wise,' a devotional based on the biblical book of Proverbs. Molly writes reports on a variety of topics for a New York firm as well writing and sending for publication book reviews of mysteries.


   This is a book of 91 pages, 8 chapters and bibliography written by a counselor with many years experience in the field.

   Chapter titles include "Why You Need An Anti-Stress Switch," "The Cave Person in You," "The Man Who Got Dogs to Dribble and Drool On Demand," "Phobias," "Making the Switch," "Help From Those Who Care," "Talking Back", "And So..."

   Author Rich points out that those in need cannot expect magic solutions to problems, nor is single step recovery likely. Rich continues by noting that stress is our method for reacting to challenge, that we respond to threat with fight or flight reaction, and anger can goad most of us to action we may later regret. He underlines what we all know, but often forget in that stress is often the result of our interaction with other people.

   This work is a blending of case studies taken from Dr. Rich's files, procedures, and educated perceptiveness into the human understanding. It is an indispensable teaching guide for those dealing with anxiety disorder and other problematic responses. This book will educate on how to modify these behaviors and emend both mental and physical health.

   In ANGER AND ANXIETY: HOW TO BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR EMOTIONS AND CONTROL PHOBIAS writer Rich has produced an easily read work meant for those who realize they are in need of some help with the problems they may be facing in life. This short little book is packed with helpful suggestions while not overwhelming the reader with a lot of psychoanalyst mumbo jumbo. Rich offers good suggestions without trying to solve all problems. He knows that the job of the psychologist is not to solve or point out solutions, but to guide the distraught toward learning what does and does not work in order for them to solve their own problems.

   Dr. Rich describes how anxiety and phobias come about and are maintained once developed. He cites everything handy in order to get his point across. Fantasy, Sci-Fi, selections from texts and extracts taken from case studies are all interwoven with the erudite explication of problems discussed. Rich reviews a variety of divergent behaviors, he presents a chronicle of studies and introduces what he terms the ABC method for analyzing behavior in stressful situations. A/the antecedent leading to B/behavior resulting in C/consequence. Rich suggests that the keeping of a behavior diary listing reactions etc can be helpful for sorting out understanding response to stress. He offers a detailed variety of coping techniques for dealing with identified problems.

   The most hesitant or into denial reader facing problems may well find ANGER AND ANXIETY: HOW TO BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR EMOTIONS AND CONTROL PHOBIAS a valuable tool as they search for something to help them with their struggle to overcome whatever emotional problems facing them. Rich offers sound suggestions couched in terms lay readers can understand as he explains the significant attributes of the Cognitive-Behavioral approach . His writing is hard hitting, deals with real problems and offers sensible proposals for the reader to use.

Charlene Austin

   Charlene Austin was raised in Zion National Park, and now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with five of her grandchildren. A medical office manager, Char has been writing since she was eleven. She has published several poems and short stories and completed a paranormal mystery novel, Dream Pictures.

   Dr Rich gives us an indispensable tool for everyday life in his E-book ANGER AND ANXIETY, How to be in charge of your emotions and control phobias.

   With easily understandable language and well researched and proven therapy techniques, Dr. Rich explains fear, phobias, conditioning, assertion training, thought stopping, cognitive and narrative therapy and more. He details each, giving examples. Therapy techniques are explained in simple easy to follow terms and steps, in such a way that they can be applied and used by anyone.

   Sitting here at my computer, reading through this interesting and informative book, I gave it a little test. Dr. Rich explains the muscle groups, and a relaxation technique for dealing with stress. I followed the simple directions, tensing and relaxing each muscle group. Reading this book was certainly not stressful, in fact, just the opposite. However, after doing this relaxation exercise I immediately felt relief , especially, in my neck muscles, which always tend to tighten when I spend long sessions starring at the computer screen. I certainly will continue to use it. I will also be applying several other techniques to handle simple everyday frustrations.

   Whether you are looking for help in handling stress and problems in your own life, or seeking direction and do's and don'ts for helping someone you care about, or just want to relax a little, ANGER AND ANXIETY is an excellent resource and starting point. The recommended resources for seeking professional help in Dr. Rich's homeland of Australia can be easily converted and applied to the US or other countries.

   Relax and enjoy, or read and then relax, Dr. Robert Rich's ANGER AND ANXIETY: How to be in charge of your emotions and control phobias.

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