I WANT TO IMPROVE MY LIFE: WHERE SHOULD I GO?? WHO SHOULD I LISTEN TO?? EVALUATING SELF-HELP Many people want to improve their lives, make more money, develop better health, grow a business, enhance personal relationships, confront fears, ramp-up motivation to change…
How? Where to get help, inspiration, direction?
More and more people are turning to self-help resources (books, internet sources, events) without the benefit of mental health professionals or research to prove the effectiveness of the ideas advanced by a motivational speaker or attractive printed material. Dr. John Norcross, Ph.D., psychology professor at Scranton University has been watching this industry and has conducted research about the change process to separate “hype” from reality. In his soon to be released book, “Self-Help that Works”, Dr. Norcross states: “Self-help is big business. Americans spend an estimated $10 billion each year on self-improvement products (Marketresearch.com, 2011). We buy almost $600 million in self-help books each year and surf more than 25,000 Web sites devoted to mental health (Paul, 2001). While self-help is big business, it is, alas, not always a scientific business… The Internet, in particular, is awash in snake oil…More than a staggering 95% of self-help resources in mental health possess no scientific research attesting to their success (or failure) as a self-help method.”
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Future posts will expand on Dr. Norcross’s checklist of 12 strategies to evaluate credible help