What are the Different Types of Self-Help Services?

G. Melanson

Self-help services have become an increasingly popular alternative to one-on-one professional counsel, due to their comparably flexible and affordable nature. Whether someone is seeking help with losing weight, getting fit, making money, gaining self-confidence, or quitting smoking, there are self-help services that offer assistance in dealing with virtually every conceivable roadblock in life. Self-help services come in such forms as books, magazines, videos, workshops, and support groups, and are often marketed by public figures who are well-known for having had success in the respective field.

Grief from the death of a loved one may be better helped with the aid of a doctor or counselor than with self-help.
Grief from the death of a loved one may be better helped with the aid of a doctor or counselor than with self-help.

In lieu of, or in addition to hiring a personal trainer, many people interested in losing weight or getting fit typically purchase such self-help products as fitness magazines and books, training videos, exercise equipment, and dietary supplements. While many of these products come with an applicable set of instructions for exercise and strength building techniques, some focus more on the psychological aspect, such as setting fitness goals and maintaining motivation. An ideal self-help regime for getting in shape should address both the mental and physical aspects of fitness.

When it comes to advancing your career and making more money, the most popular self-help services include books, videos, and seminars. They offer strategic advice on everything from how to deal with people in the workplace, to how to negotiate a pay raise, to how to optimize your employability. One of the most popular self-help gurus in the corporate world is Anthony Robbins, who boasts a complete array of self-help services, from books, to DVDs, to CDs, to seminars, and even one-on-one career coaching sessions for the very wealthy.

Amongst some of the less solitary types of self-help services are support groups, in which people seek counsel and camaraderie with those who are facing the same types of challenges as they are. Although support groups provide an important fellowship component to self-help, they may lack in expertise, depending on whether or not a trained professional is leading the group. Workshops, however, are almost always led by a qualified professional in the respective topic, and also offer the bonus of socializing with others who are interested in the same area of self-improvement.

Although there are self-help services and products on the market for dealing with emotional issues, it is not recommended that people try to deal with severe emotions alone. For example, grief from the death of a loved one, or emotions stemming from trauma or mental illness are better helped with the aid of a doctor or counselor than with self-help. A trained professional may also be able to recommend some supplementary self-help materials that are tailored to one’s individual needs and issues.

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