Dr. Gerry Dunne is opening a psychology practice at her home in Battle Ground and has also recently released a new book.
Although the book, titled Anger Without Guilt: Anger Management Begins Within, is meant to be accessible to anyone and has a broad focus, it was formed from Dunne’s personal experiences.
“It’s a collection of everything I learned about anger,” said Dunne, who turns 83 on Oct. 23. “I grew up in a place with a lot of criticism and arguing, and I hated it when someone would get super angry or irritable, and then I would find those emotions within myself. It made me feel guilty, and I was also told not to feel that way, and I should just be sweet and happy all the time instead.”
Anger persisted throughout her childhood because processing the feeling and knowing where to channel the anger was a challenge for Dunne. Wanting answers, she started studying the psychology of anger, partly out of necessity for herself, but also to help others. As she studied anger, she observed relatives and people at church and noticed how common the feeling is. She also noticed headlines of horrible crimes committed mainly out of different manifestations of anger and realized it is a universal problem.
Having been a professor at Clark College for anger and conflict management for many years, the year 2020 brought drastic life changes.
“They shut our department down,” Dunne said. “This was in the beginning of 2020, and this job that I loved, teaching this class, is just gone. The class was popular and it always filled up. (Clark College) never lost a dime from me or my class, but they told us that it was because of budget problems. Why would you close a class that helps people in their lives, especially with work or their personal life?”
She added the course was intended to help people’s relationships with family, friendships, or even how to handle road rage. Shutting down the department “pulled out the rug from underneath us,” Dunne said.
Dunne also had a part-time job at Concordia University in Portland, where she trained student teachers, but that school closed its doors entirely after 100 years of existence. Shortly afterwards, COVID-19 hit the world, so Dunne ran out of things to do. That’s when she started writing Anger Without Guilt because she was committed to teaching and helping people handle their anger.
Dunne has also created a YouTube channel and a website to further help people seeking guidance. She also currently serves as a life coach to all ages, using Zoom or phone calls to help others.
There is a lesson that stood out to her many years ago which she lives by to this day.
“Use your anger, don’t let it use you,” she said.
Dunne’s website can be found online at angerwithoutguilt.com, where the book can also be purchased.
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