Doty, Betty 1923-

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Doty, Betty 1923-


Born December 12, 1923, in Merced, CA; daughter of Everett LeRoy (a farmer) and Eulalia (a teacher) Hecox; married Fulton Mark Doty (a teacher), November 4, 1944; children: Steven Mark. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Shasta Community College, A.A., 1960; attended California State University, Chico, 1969-71; University of San Francisco, M.A., 1977.


Home and office—Redding, CA.


Self-employed marriage and family therapist, Redding, CA, 1977—. Family Service Agency and Help Line, member of board of directors; Shasta County Mental Health Advisory Board, past member.


Grant from State of California.


Marriage Insurance, Bookery (Redding, CA), 1978.

Publish Your Own Handbound Books, illustrated by Joy Fox, Bookery (Redding, CA), 1980.

Break the Anger Trap, Bookery (Redding, CA), 1985.

Inside Anger: The Relationship between "Helping" and Anger, Bookery (Redding, CA), 1985.

(With Pat Rooney) The Anger Puzzle, Bookery (Redding, CA), 1986.

(With Pat Rooney) Shake the Anger Habit!, Bookery (Redding, CA), 1987, revised edition, 1990.

(With Rebecca Meredith) Hey Look—I Made a Book! and Then a Couple More, Bookery (Redding, CA), 1992.

Getting Through to Others without Anger, Bookery (Redding, CA), 1993.

100 Things We Can Do about Anger and Violence, Bookery (Redding, CA), 1994.

Getting the Best out of Ourselves and Others More Often, 2005.


Betty Doty told CA: "As a new family counselor in private practice, I soon learned from my clients that the so-called conventional wisdom about handling anger wasn't working. My counseling was evolving into a style in which I did nothing for the first hour but listen. I purposely kept my head down in my notebook to avoid giving any guidance at all. What was clear was that each person was steeped in hurt and anger: their worlds just were not okay, not nourishing enough, not giving them the help and appreciation they kept expecting. The reason I'd listened so long (often more than an hour) is that I wanted each person to tell the story completely and exactly in his or her own way. I heard each client reach the same dead end: ‘I'm lost. I don't know which way to turn. I'm at the end of my rope. Nothing works.’ Looking back, I believe it was crucial that clients needed to find this dead end and express it in their own words before they were truly willing to hear my feedback.

"The summary of each client's problem was that of a person too often getting the opposite of what was wanted, yet trying harder made things worse. After I began to show clients how to get out of this trap, I was hearing people tell me that I had to write, reach more people: ‘If you can help just one person avoid the hurt I've gone through.…’ Several books followed. Rights to some titles have been sold to French and Chinese publishers.

"Why have I written so many books on anger? My listening had convinced me that a different approach was needed. I don't see society's anger level decreasing. In fact, I see all the elements in place for anger to continue to escalate. I've laid out this case in talk shows, seminars, and especially in Getting Through to Others without Anger. It's clear to me that anger comes from a desperate attempt to get through, and I call using anger as using a ‘knife to the heart.’ It does work, as we certainly can penetrate—get through—but it's unlikely to provide the rewards we expect."