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Title: Empirically Supported Self-Help Books
Contributor(s): Malouff, John M (author); Rooke, Sally Erin (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: Search for self-help books at, and you will find hundreds of self-help books for psychological problems. There are books to help individuals overcome everything from alcohol abuse to vaginismus. Many of the books follow this format: description of the problem accompanied by the stories of several individuals who have experienced the problem, information relating to deciding whether one has the problem, description of cognitive and behavioral methods to use to overcome the problem, presentation of stories of individuals who made the changes and benefited, and suggestions about what to do if the problem persists (e.g., see a health professional). Some of the books contain much or all of the content of cognitive-behavioral treatment for a specific type of problem. For instance, in his popular self-help book 'Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy', David Burns (1980) encourages readers to overcome depression on their own. The book includes information on diagnosing the level of depression, applying cognitive and behavioral techniques, and using relapse prevention methods. Anecdotes of individuals who tried and benefited from the suggested techniques are provided throughout the book. It is now common for psychotherapists to recommend self-help books to clients as an adjunct to psychotherapy (Adams & Pitre, 2000; Pantalon, Lubetkin, & Fishman, 1995; Starker, 1988). This situation raises a modern version of Hans Eysenck's famous question about whether psychotherapy works: Do self-help books actually help?
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: The Behavior Therapist, 30(6), p. 129-131
Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 0278-8403
Field of Research (FOR): 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
HERDC Category Description: C2 Non-Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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