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The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner Review

Title: The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships

Author: Harriet Lerner

First published January 1, 1985

239 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780060741044 (ISBN10: 006074104X)

Rating: 4.09


“Anger can be a powerful tool for creating positive change,” says acclaimed author and psychologist Dr. Harriet Lerner in her transformative book, The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships. Despite being an important signal, women often struggle to express their anger in healthy and effective ways.

With Dr. Lerner’s guidance, readers will learn to identify the root causes of their anger and harness it as a vehicle for lasting change in all aspects of their lives. Engaging and insightful, this book has helped millions of women transform their relationships and find their voices.

About the Author

Meet Dr. Harriet Lerner, a renowned clinical psychologist and author. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up with her sister in a family that valued education and achievement.

Her parents, Archie and Rose Goldhor, were high school graduates and children of Russian-Jewish immigrants who encouraged their daughters to succeed in life.

Harriet spent her weekends attending free events in Brooklyn, such as the Botanical Garden, Public Library, and Museum. Her mother, Rose, believed in providing her daughters with four essential things for success: good shoes, a quality mattress, a top pediatrician, and a therapist.

Therapy was not considered a last resort for the mentally ill in their household, but rather a learning experience. In fact, Harriet began therapy before the age of three, and her mother was known to send her to a therapist if she came home with anything less than a B plus.

Harriet’s mother’s belief in therapy greatly influenced her career choice. She decided to become a clinical psychologist before finishing kindergarten and never wavered from that decision.

She attended public schools in Brooklyn and went on to receive her undergraduate degree in psychology and Indian studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She also studied and did research in Delhi, India, during her junior year.

Later, she earned an M.A. in educational psychology from Teachers’ College of Columbia University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the City University of New York, where she met her husband, Steve Lerner, who was also a clinical psychologist.

Harriet and Steve did a pre-doctoral internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco before moving to Topeka, Kansas, in 1972 for a two-year postdoctoral training program at the Menninger Foundation. They subsequently joined the staff and stayed in Topeka for two decades before moving to Lawrence, Kansas.

They currently have a private practice and two sons, Matt and Ben.

Harriet’s expertise lies in the psychology of women and family relationships, and she has authored many best-selling books. She is dedicated to translating complex theories into accessible and useful prose, and her books have been published in more than 35 foreign editions.

Her latest book, Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up, was published in January 2012.

Throughout her career, Harriet has received many honors and awards, including the New York Distinguished Honor from the National Anger Management Association and the Kansas Distinguished Award for Literature. She continues to be one of the most trusted and respected relationship experts in the nation.

Editoral Review

In her groundbreaking book The Dance of Anger, Harriet Lerner provides invaluable guidance for women looking to change the patterns of their intimate relationships. First published in 1985, this book has retained its relevance and status as a classic in the self-help genre.

Lerner is a renowned psychologist and therapist who has written numerous bestselling books on the topic of relationships. The Dance of Anger is a compelling and illuminating exploration of the factors that contribute to women’s anger and the ways in which they can use this powerful emotion to effect positive change in their lives.

Lerner draws on her extensive experience working with women, as well as her own personal experiences, to provide practical advice for identifying and addressing patterns of behavior that may be detrimental to one’s relationships. The book is organized into several sections, with each one focusing on a different aspect of the complex and often elusive phenomenon of female anger.

Lerner creates a safe and supportive space for readers to explore their own feelings and experiences, while also offering clear and actionable steps for making positive changes in their lives. Throughout the text, Lerner uses real-life case examples to illustrate her points and help readers visualize what progress might look like for them.

The book is written in a warm and engaging style, making it accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds. One of the greatest strengths of The Dance of Anger is Lerner’s ability to pinpoint the root causes of women’s anger and help readers identify the underlying beliefs and assumptions that may be driving their behavior.

She is able to do this without placing blame on the reader or their partner, creating a space for honest introspection and growth. The book is not without its flaws, however.

Some readers may find the style overly simplistic, and there are moments when Lerner’s advice seems overly prescriptive. Additionally, some of the examples used in the book may feel dated to modern readers.

Despite these limitations, The Dance of Anger is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to improve their relationships. Lerner’s insights and advice have the power to transform not only individual lives but entire communities, making it a must-read for anyone interested in personal growth and societal change.

Overall, The Dance of Anger is a strong and insightful book that is sure to resonate with readers of all backgrounds. With its clear and actionable advice, engaging writing style, and compassionate approach, it is a valuable addition to any personal library.

As a result, The Dance of Anger is undoubtedly worth a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars.