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The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Managing Your Anger


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About the Author

Russell L. Kolts, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and professor at Eastern Washington University outside of Spokane, WA, and is founder of the Inland Northwest Compassionate Mind Center. Kolts regularly conducts trainings and workshops on compassion-focused therapy (CFT), as well as on mindfulness and compassion practices. His professional interests lie primarily in the application of CFT and mindfulness approaches to individuals suffering from problematic anger, trauma, mood, and attachment-related difficulties. Kolts has pioneered the application of CFT to problematic anger, and is the developer of the True Strength group therapy program applying CFT to anger in prison settings. He has published and presented research in diverse areas such as positive psychology, PTSD, psychopharmacology, mindfulness, and compassion. In his personal life, Kolts enjoys family time, reading, meditation, outdoor activities, and listening to and playing music. His website is

Foreword writer Paul Gilbert, PhD, is a professor at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom, director of the mental health research unit at Derbyshire Mental Health Trust, and author of The Compassionate Mind.


"With clear insights and easy-to-follow exercises, this innovative book teaches how to develop self-compassion so that anger can be transformed into a more peaceful state of mind."
--Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion and associate professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas at Austin

"In The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Managing Your Anger, Russell Kolts provides us with a novel approach to managing anger: compassionate mind training. Pointing out that we may not have a choice about how our brains react to provocation, Kolts skillfully shows that we do have a choice of how we respond. By calling upon our ability to experience compassion and empathy for others, he provides a number of helpful techniques that can turn anger around."
--Robert L. Leahy, PhD, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy and clinical professor of psychology at Weill-Cornell University Medical College

"This intriguing book will bring a sigh of relief to anyone struggling with anger. It's not your fault that you experience anger, yet there is a lot you can do about it. Why do we get angry? What happens within us when we're angry? Why is it so sticky? Russell Kolts gently escorts the reader to a deep, comprehensive understanding of anger and offers revolutionary new strategies for taming this common affliction. There is much here to inspire and illuminate both professional and non-professional audiences."
--Christopher K. Germer, PhD, clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

"With his compassion-focused approach to anger management, Russell Kolts has produced an important book that will be of interest both to the general public and to mental health practitioners. Kolts shows us how to use compassion as a motivating force to care for others, improve ourselves, and make relationships better. The chapters are filled with very useful thought questions and exercises that quickly increase self-awareness. Kolts writes in an appealing manner that makes the book an easy read."
--Howard Kassinove, PhD, ABPP, professor of psychology and director of the Institute for the Study and Treatment of Anger and Aggression at Hofstra University

"In this wonderful, kind, and compassionate book, Kolts reaches out with true heartfulness to those who struggle with problematic levels of anger. In a strikingly nonjudgmental, wise, and warm tone, he offers a path of loving-kindness and self-forgiveness that can directly lead you to a far better relationship with anger. This can open up remarkable new possibilities in life as you walk forward with ever-greater self-compassion and self-regulation into a world of improved relationships, diminished stress, and mindful awareness. This is more than anger management--it is an avenue toward personal transformation."
--Dennis D. Tirch, PhD, author of The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

"Cultivating compassion for ourselves and others can bring balance and harmony to our lives in a way we never dreamed of. Russell Kolts tells us how to do this with the gentleness, humor, and patience of someone who practices his own advice and, from first-hand experience, knows it works."
--Thubten Chodron, Buddhist teacher and author of Working with Anger

"Full of useful information and practical suggestions. Kolts has created a powerful blueprint to help readers to develop a compassionate mindset, make better life choices, and foster more fulfilling relationships. He makes the case for compassion as an antidote to the loss and suffering that anger creates in our modern world."
--Raymond Chip Tafrate, PhD, professor and chair in the department of criminology at Central Connecticut State University and coauthor of Anger Management for Everyone

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