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How do I Choose the Best Self-Help?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are so many things for which people attempt to choose the best self-help, that it’s difficult to say what constitutes “best” for every person. A few things can be done to narrow down choice, and folks will have to try out a few books or programs to determine their favorite one. In a search to choose the best self-help, people might first want to pick their subject, read some reviews on available material, get recommendations, and then take a trial run of the most likely choices.

It’s valuable to make sure subject choice is very clear. This isn’t always easy because some self help is more general and aimed at improving life or outlook on life. If narrowing down is difficult, people can make a list of the things they’d like to address. If there are more than one major self-help issues on the list, it might be a good idea to save one until focus has been fully given to the other. Working on one problem at a time is hard enough.

With a clear goal, people might start a search to choose the best self-help on the Internet and see what’s available at places like large booksellers. It’s a good idea to read descriptions of programs or books, and also to read customer reviews. People can assess from customer reviews if overwhelmingly positive things are said about a particular self-help source. Reviews on sites that are owned by the person publishing the book will always be positive, so these need to be weighed carefully.

Getting recommendations to choose the best self-help is another way to approach the situation. For instance, the parent who wants a good parenting skills book might ask a pediatrician for suggestions. Those in therapy who want to improve their relationships could ask therapists. It’s not a bad idea to simply poll friends or family on books they’ve tried, particularly if they have a similar issue they’re trying to resolve.

Ultimately, a person has to choose the best self-help by reading or trying out the material that gets recommended or reviewed. To make this process less expensive, check material out at the library or purchase it used. Self-help tends to be effective when it emotionally connects with the person using it, and it’s hard to guess whether this will occur by simply reading descriptions of it or getting recommendations. By trying out different books or media, most people will get a sense if they’ve really chosen the best for them.

People are independent and many like to solve problems on their own. This isn’t always advised. Some issues can be made worse if self help tactics are employed. There is no best self-help for conditions that require medical or mental health care, or for situations where a person is endangered by others or a danger to self.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
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Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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