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Self-help books costing $563 million were sold in the United States in 2000.
Alternatives to psychotherapy, such as self-books, have tremendous potential because many people do not have access to proper treatment—perhaps because they live in a remote place, are too busy, or cannot afford it.
They may be an effective way to assist individuals who may otherwise be unable to access services. I’m also asked to suggest self-help books as a therapist. The amount of self-help books available at chain bookstores, on the other hand, is overwhelming. There are several options available.
How Do We Choose a Helpful Self-Help Book?
Choosing a self-help book can be difficult. Readers do not know that writing a self-help book does not require any mental health training or experience. As a result, self-help writers often make recommendations based on obsolete theories, if they are based on anything! There are several unsubstantiated statements made about different treatments. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus author John Gray may be a good example. Gray’s book is a best-seller, with more than 15 million copies sold and many sequels.
Many people are unaware that, despite having a “Ph.D.” after his name, Gray earned his degree from an unaccredited correspondence school. In the state of California, where he lives, he does not yet have a license to practice psychotherapy.
His job has been chastised for upholding male and female roles. Gray is also one of the world’s best-selling self -help writers, with high speaking fees for his appearances and seminars.
Finding an Unbiased Book
Another issue with self-help books is that, even though they are written by well-known specialists in their fields and are focused on well-researched therapeutic therapies, there is rarely any study on whether they work.
However, some books are out to give readers an unbiased opinion on their situations. Dr Ramani Durvasula is a clinical psychologist with offices in Santa Monica and Sherman Oaks, California, and a Professor of Psychology at California State University. She was named the most Outstanding Professor in 2012. She teaches at the University of Johannesburg as a Visiting Professor occasionally.
She wrote the relationship survival guide for “Today’s generation”. She is also the author of several peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers.
Dr Ramani motivates others by keeping it simple and focusing on psycho-educating on what antagonistic patterns look or feel like in real life. From her books and one on one sessions, she gives people pointed feedback on what’s expected. She is known for her honest feedback, and she does not offer unrealistic advice that is sugar-coated to do more harm.
Feeling Good by David Burns is an exception: a best-selling self-help book that has been proven to help people deal with depression. Such reservations are set aside. There is some evidence that self-help books successfully treat psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and panic and are also equivalent to face-to-face psychotherapy sessions.
What Books Should You Look Out For?
Redding and colleagues looked at the general features of 5 self-help books with the highest expert scores in a study of 50 self-help books. Books that focused on a single issue were deemed to be of higher quality. A book about panic disorder, for example, may be more helpful than one about “improving your life.”
Writers of books were written from the perspective of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is a general term for a method with solid research. However, the writer’s point out that we can’t say that books written from different viewpoints aren’t helpful. Books that make statements that seem too good to be accurate are almost certainly false. Finally, self-help books should provide detailed instructions about using the book and how to determine if it is successful. Self-help books should give detailed instructions on how to use the text and decide whether it is successful.
So, what can we draw from all of this? I’m afraid not as much as I’d like. Self-help books, in my opinion, have a lot of untapped potential for people who are unable or unwilling to participate in psychotherapy.