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What Are the Different Types of Self-Help Resources?

By Alicia Sparks
Updated May 17, 2024
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Some of the most common types of self-help resources include books, audio publications, and support groups. Many self-help organizations and businesses exist to provide clients with self-help programs and other materials. Even therapists and other health professionals can provide self-help strategies.

Books are probably some of the most recognized types of self-help resources. Many traditional bookstores feature self-help sections, and most online bookstores sell hardcopy and ebook versions of self-help books. Most bookstores sell journals, and some sell self-help journals. A self-help journal might look like any other journal, with blank pages and space for writing anything from diary entries to dinner recipes, or it might feature pages pre-printed with self-help exercises. Some bookstores and similar shops also sell self-help audio materials, which some customers choose to listen to during long commutes or other spare time.

Even though support groups consist of several people helping one another, they are still among some of the most popular types of self-help resources. Generally, a self-help support group consists of like-minded members who are trying to improve upon some similar aspect about themselves. For example, members might be learning how to cope with mental illness, rebuild their lives after a death or divorce, or develop and maintain their own self-esteem and self-worth. During support group meetings, members share their own stories and listen to those of others as well as offer support, advice, and suggestions. A support group might even be modeled after a particular self-help program.

The self-help business is a popular one, and various self-help organizations and businesses exist to help people learn the skills of self-help. In fact, many of the other kinds of self-help resources available, such as books, journals, audio materials, and even support groups, are organized by professional self-help organizations and businesses. Some of these businesses provide for-pay and free self-help resources on their websites or for order directly from the company.

Employing therapists to act as self-help resources might seem contradictory, but these professionals can provide patients with self-help techniques and strategies unique to their situations. For example, a self-help book about dealing with grief might help someone who’s lost her father, but a therapist can teach this person specific self-help strategies catered to her personality, lifestyle, and even religion. For some patients, seeing a therapist for one or two sessions is enough to teach them effective self-help methods they can use on their own.

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