At 59 Bob* was a successful businessman. He had built his business from the ground up over 30 years and was well respected in his community. On the surface, it looked like Bob had everything going for him – health, wealth, a lovely family and a beautiful wife; but beneath all of that he was being eaten alive by anger and stress.
“It was late summer 2007, and the markets were bottoming out,” he says. “Everything I had worked for was falling apart. My marriage was in shambles because of my anger, and I felt as though I was at the point of no return. I desperately needed rescue.”
It was then that Bob sat down with Anger Resolution Expert, Julie Christiansen to share his challenges. He decided to try her Anger Solutions Coaching program to see if it would make a difference in the way he was coping with his intense stress and anger. Bob admits that at first he resisted completing the tasks that Julie set out for him. “I didn’t want to look at myself. It was easier to just put my head down and concentrate on rescuing my business rather than do what was necessary to rescue myself. I wanted a shortcut to feeling better – I didn’t want to take time to do the work.”
After a few weeks of trying to do things his way, Bob relented and began working through the program in earnest. Within a few short weeks he began to experience a turnaround both in his mood and in his business. By the time he completed the fifteen-week program, his business had returned to a place of financial stability, and Bob had resolved many of the issues that were contributing to his stress and anger. He admits that some of the challenges that were present at the beginning are still there; what is different now is that he has the tools he needs to deal effectively with those challenges as they arise, and he owes this to Anger Solutions Coaching.
“What is unique about this process is its focus,” says Christiansen. “We recognize that anger is an emotion that is part of the human construct. It will not go away, and it is not something that should be ‘managed’. Rather we believe that if people learn to look at the beliefs and expectations that underscore our feelings of anger and stress, and seek to resolve them, we can approach every anger-inducing situation with confidence and assertiveness.” Christiansen says the key to anger resolution is in a unique decision-making model that enables one to evaluate each anger-inducing situation before responding.
The decision-making model is simple:
- Think about what is happening – what does it mean, how do you feel, and how would you like the situation to be resolved,
- Say something using assertive behavior and language – let the person know your perception of what is happening, how you feel about it, and how you would like to resolve the issue,
- Ask for a response. Be sure to listen to what the other party says and continue this process until you agree to disagree, or you come to terms with how best to resolve the problem.
- Finally, release the residual anger so that your body’s energy and stress levels can return to baseline. Do this through healthy and safe means, such as going for a walk, working out at the gym, or engaging in relaxation.
“This leads to better results because people are actually making decisions based on their desired outcome rather than just what will satisfy the anger in the moment,” says Christiansen.
Christiansen developed the Anger Solutions program in 1994 and notes that the program has consistently maintained a success rate of 80% or higher over the years. Now a staple offering for many community agencies across Canada, the United States, and in the Caribbean, Anger Solutions is recognized as the single best evidence-based alternative to traditional anger management in the world.
All that matters to Bob is that it works. “I believe that Julie saved my life,” he says. “I had gotten so overwhelmed by my situation at one point that had she not been there coaching me along, I might have made some awful, irrevocable decisions. I realize now that ‘it is what it is’, and the only things that I can control are my choices and responses, and now I’m back on track.”
Julie has authored a self-help book based on this successful program entitled, Anger Solutions! Proven Strategies for Effectively Resolving Anger and Taking Control of Your Emotions. The book is available at www.angersolution.com.
Julie Christiansen is the leading expert on Anger Resolution and the creator of the Anger Solutions Program. She is the author of Anger Solutions, Top Ten Lists to Live By, and When the Last Straw Falls 30 Ways to Keep Stress from Breaking Your Back, and is an international speaker branded by her clients as “Oprah for the Office”. Julie is frequently called on by television and radio media to provide expert advice or commentary on issues related to anger in the news. She is the president of Leverage U, a company devoted to creating positive, radical, lasting change, based in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada.