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The Gift of Anger

The Gift of Anger
Seven Steps to Uncover the Meaning of Anger and Gain Awareness, True Strength, and Peace




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About the Book

It's Time to Listen to Your Anger

Anger is a natural response to feelings of hurt, betrayal, and embarrassment, and a reliable outlet when we feel just plain stressed out. Yet many of us see anger as a negative, potentially dangerous emotion that should be suppressed.

But the truth is, anger is a gift—a natural, internal signal that unfailingly identifies an opportunity for healing and growth. The Gift of Anger shows you how to recognize this signal, discover the deeper meaning behind your anger, and change the relationships and situations in your life that frustrate you. In seven simple and effective steps, this book guides you past any level of anger, from mild irritation to rage, and toward a balanced approach to using anger for greater understanding and well-being.

By learning to see anger as a gift, you'll be able to:

  • Regain emotional balance after becoming angry
  • Identify and name the unmet needs at the root of your anger
  • Create an action plan for ensuring your needs are met
  • Understand and forgive others and have compassion for yourself


Marcia Cannon (Author)

Books by Marcia Cannon


The Gift of Anger is a concise and easily followed guide to understanding and managing anger. By weaving together simple and graspable case examples and insightful broad principles, Marcia Cannon shows us a way to enhance our emotional competence in an important domain.”
—Frederic Luskin, Ph.D., director of Stanford Forgiveness Project and author of Forgive for Good

“Cannon’s book is an invaluable tool for thoroughly and soulfully mining the experience of anger for all of its gifts of insight, depth, and growth.”
—Kathy Carlson, Ph.D., MFT, psychotherapist, writer, and documentary filmmaker

“No anger is needed to benefit from reading this exceptional book. This is a manual written by a gifted therapist who looks at the positive effects anger can have on one’s life.”
—Linda L. Haase, ABT, RM, is an Asian Bodywork therapist and Reiki master in Johns Creek, GA

The Gift of Anger takes us by the hand and leads us step by step through one brilliant insight after another. In all my years as a psychotherapist, I have never encountered this level of clarity and wisdom about anger. This powerful book is destined to become a classic.”
—Belinda Gore, Ph.D., leadership consultant and coach, director of The Enneagram Institute of Central Ohio, and president of The Cuyamungue Institute, Santa Fe, NM

“The concepts in Cannon’s The Gift of Anger are sound and research-tested, but the true gift is in her straightforward and simple-to-follow presentation. The book is grounded in psychological and spiritual truths that transcend religious boundaries, and therefore it is suitable for any faith community or secular group.”
—David Hett, Ph.D., Minister of Religious Life and Learning at First Community Church

“This book is brilliant, easy to read, and deeply intelligent. I was compelled from start to finish by its warmth, wisdom, and truth. No matter where you are in life, the teachings in this book will speak directly to you.”
—Barbara Reiner, Spiritual Awareness Counseling

The Gift of Anger is both intelligent and accessible, two of the most highly valued qualities I look for in books I read and recommend to my clients and students. Cannon presents concrete steps for moving from anger to empowerment. Even though this book is written clearly and simply, it also deeply explores the function of anger in the human mind. A must-read for understanding the inner journey.”
—Marla Estes, founder of The School of the Examined Life

The Gift of Anger offers a seven-step process based on perennial wisdoms that motivates us to work with anger honestly and directly, without doing harm to ourselves and others. This book is a practical guide that supports healing, justice, and ignites positive change for all concerned.”
—Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist and award-winning author

“What a powerful approach to befriending anger and using it to enhance well-being! Reading and working with this material provides an opportunity for dealing with one’s anger in a totally new light. Through a wonderful combination of clear explanations, case study examples, and personal exercises, Cannon provides the reader with a step-by-step guide to a very rich practice for expanding self-awareness and compassion for self and others. I look forward to reaping the benefits of this practice by incorporating it into my life and sharing the results, as well as this book, with others.”
—Lynda Roberts, International Enneagram Association board member, director of the Enneagram Institute of Georgia, and leadership and management consultant

“All afflictive emotional states can be transformed, through care and attention, into sources of wisdom and compassion for ourselves and others. In The Gift of Anger, Cannon provides an insightful, thorough, and effective guide for transforming anger and developing clear, skillful, and generous relationships. Anyone wishing to understand this process would do well to read, reflect on, use, and enjoy this book.”
—Rev. Daijaku Judith Kinst, Ph.D., Soto Zen Buddhist priest and teacher and assistant professor at the Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA

“One of the great breakthroughs that the human potential movement has brought us is its amoral framework for negative emotions like anger, fear, and greed. To regard these as engineering issues rather than moral judgments on ourselves or others puts us in charge of our lives in a refreshing way that holds a great deal of potential for health and happiness. The Gift of Anger is a welcome contribution to this field. It lays out systematically how we can take control of our mental state and use the raw energy of anger (for such it is) in constructive ways. Considering that we are living in ‘the Age of Anger’ according to some wisdom traditions, this simple toolset could make quite a difference!”
—Michael Nagler, Ph.D., author of In Search of a Nonviolent Future

“Finally, a book that addresses a truly healthy and wise way to relate to anger. Cannon clearly and insightfully details a process for not only understanding and managing anger, but also using anger as a guide for personal growth and healing.”
—Joyce Harris, MA, MFTI

The Gift of Anger is a perfect resource for anyone who has wondered how to work with their anger. It shows us that anger can be a portal to a deeper and more real understanding of ourselves. Anger can truly be transformational when understood in the way that Cannon proposes. I recommend this book as a practical tool and an inspirational guide to anyone who is seeking truth.”
—Kate Betteley, clinical psychologist

“I’ve been moved by the inner reach of Cannon’s book. It provides a refreshing and wise, yet accessible approach to unraveling and understanding the emotion of anger. As a talented teacher and therapist, Cannon takes the reader on a journey that is empowering, immensely satisfying, and healing for the soul. Use her practical guidance and insightful examples to discover how anger can be an important vehicle for authentic well-being.”
—Roxanne Howe-Murphy, Ed.D., author of Deep Coaching

“Cannon has written a very useful workbook for self-reflection that will help readers sort out angry feelings and reactions that can impact their self-esteem and personal relationships.”
—Suzy Spradlin, Ph.D., Jungian analyst

“In The Gift of Anger, Cannon has given us a very specific method for transforming angry feelings into expanded self-awareness. The step-by-step structured exercises guide the reader to deeply explore this complex emotion with the openness and self-compassion that are necessary for change.”
—Bonnie Payne, Ph.D., psychologist and Jungian analyst in private practice in Los Gatos, CA

“This book takes that most difficult of emotions, anger, shows us how to deal with it, and turns it into a valuable tool for insight. It made my anger a lot less scary and a lot more manageable. My reaction now is going to be ‘Oh, here comes anger, I wonder why?’ instead of my more habitual reaction of ignoring anger when it shows up. I recommend this book to anyone who is on the path of self-understanding, even those who don’t think that anger is a problem. They will find that anger can be a shortcut to self-discovery.”
—Tom Flautt, Ph.D., past president of International Enneagram Association

“Many of us have learned how to manage our anger, but learning how to transform our anger into a gift is a whole new concept. This book guides the participant into realizing how to do just that. Each chapter is rich with discussion, insight, and practices that clearly demonstrate how we can learn to harness anger for the gift of personal growth and development. I have used this model or aspects of it many times; it has never failed me. I heartily recommend The Gift of Anger to anyone who chooses to become a more peaceful, whole human being.”
—Mary Powers, former client and orientation and mobility specialist for people with vision loss and blindness

The Gift of Anger provides a reassuring and practical road map for bringing us greater self-awareness and peaceful living. Using the seven-step process clearly outlined in the book, I have moved through my own experiences of anger with more clarity and kindness towards myself and others. Cannon is a wise, compassionate guide and teacher and truly shines a light on the path of this journey!”
—Gerianne Hummel, former client, Reiki master teacher, and owner of Essential Elements Aromatherapy

“A wise book about how to deal with anger in a way that is positive, powerful, and transformative!”
—Marci Shimoff, author of Happy for No Reason and Love for No Reason

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