Evaluating Self-Help: Strategy #7 – Are the limitations or risks explained?


Dr. Norcross has asked us to go beyond the”glitzy” cover and the fantastic advertising claims, to separate real scientific evidence from  misleading research terminology and to select materials that recognize our complexity as human beings, while avoiding the oversimplfication of the “one-stop’ change product.   Now we need to explore real TRUTH in advertising; 7. Choose self-help that clearly explains its limitations and contra-indications. What a refreshing idea…the TRUTH about what this intervention can and cannot do!!!

  • Effective self-help clearly states its LIMITS.  What problems can be addressed through the suggested interventions are clearly presented as well as the issues that go beyond the reach of the suggested strategies.
  • Good books and sites will explain who should use these self-help resources and who may be harmed by imploring the proposed ideas.  A responsible resource or speaker will clearly explain potential risks and will indicate when you may need professional help, providing guidance to find professional treatment.
  • So, look for the stated limitations of the intervention. And if no boundaries are mentioned to the interventions being offered- beware! 
  • James Ray only asked his participants to sign waivers absolving him of any liability without clearly explaining the limitations or real risks of his events and teachings.  Many of the participants at the Spiritual Warrior Retreat in Sedona assumed that medical help would be available if needed, they never counted on the fact that Mr. Ray would not minimize the risks he was asking them to take! Nor would he provide the help and support needed if there was a problem!  He had no credible risk management plan…will your guru protect YOU or just take your money???

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