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Outsmarting Anger: 7 Strategies for Defusing Our Most Dangerous Emotion by Leigh Devine, Joseph Shrand

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Introduction

Put down the chair!” the nurse shrieked, as Dan, a very large psychotic patient, raised the piece of furniture in the air, intent on smashing it over her head. Staff members were already running toward them, ready to put him in restraints. Dan’s face was red with the flow of adrenaline, and he was breathing fast and heavy with rage. Just then, a doctor walked calmly into the hallway. “Hey Dan,” he said, “Want a cup of coffee?” They all stared for a moment. The doctor said, “Decaf OK?” Dan smiled, lowered the chair, and asked, “With cream?” They both went down to the kitchen for a cup of Joe.

This is a true story, and Dan was my patient. People wondered how I was able to calm Dan’s anger within seconds. I, too, have given a lot of ...

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