A novel method for controlling the transverse lasing modes in both proton implanted and oxide-confined verticalcavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) with a multi-layer, patterned, dielectric anti-phase (DAP) filter is presented. Using a simple photolithographic liftoff process, dielectric layers are deposited and patterned on individual VCSELs to modify (increase or decrease) the mirror reflectivity across the emission aperture via anti-phase reflections, creating spatially-dependent threshold material gain. The shape of the dielectric pattern can be tailored to overlap with specific transverse VCSEL modes or subsets of transverse modes to either facilitate or inhibit lasing by decreasing or increasing, respectively, the threshold modal gain. A silicon dioxide (SiO2) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) anti-phase filter is used to achieve a single-fundamental-mode, continuous-wave output power greater than 4.0 mW in an oxide-confined VCSEL at a lasing wavelength of 850 nm. A filter consisting of SiO2 and TiO2 is used to facilitate injection-current-insensitive fundamental mode and lower order mode lasing in proton implanted VCSELs at a lasing wavelength of 850 nm. Higher refractive index dielectric materials such as amorphous silicon (a-Si) can be used to increase the effectiveness of the anti-phase filter on proton implanted devices by reducing the threshold modal gain of any spatially overlapping modes. This additive, non-destructive method allows for mode selection at any lasing wavelength and for any VCSEL layer structure without the need for semiconductor etching or epitaxial regrowth. It also offers the capability of designing a filter based upon available optical coating materials.