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What is Self Help Psychology?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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Psychological treatment typically aims to address the mental state and behaviors of a person. This type of treatment generally requires specialized knowledge and is rendered by professionals. Self help psychology involves tools and methods that allow people to treat themselves. This form of treatment can be controversial, although it is growing in popularity.

One reason why some people prefer self help psychology is because it is more affordable than seeking professional help. Many people cannot afford visits to a psychologist, but they may believe that they need help. Another reason people may choose self help psychology over professional help is because they do not want to share their problems with another person.

People who choose to treat themselves have a variety of options. The Internet makes a wealth of information and tools available for self help psychology. If a person believes she has a problem, she can get online and take tests that may help her to identify the problem. Even professionals can have difficulties diagnosing their patients, so untrained individuals are likely to need additional assistance.

After the problem has been identified, there are also tests that can reveal the best treatment style for a various personality types. These are important because they can forewarn a person of what her shortcomings may be while attempting self treatment. A test may reveal that a person is a procrastinator, for example, and advise against any actions that can be easily avoided.

There is a good deal of information available on psychological issues of various sorts. Whether a person is schizophrenic or obsessive-compulsive, he is likely to find articles, pamphlets, and books to offer guidance and treatment advice. CDs and DVD on certain conditions are readily available. Chat rooms and Internet forums may also be an option. These can often give a person direct or indirect access to professionals without requiring him to reveal himself or any information that he does not want to share.

Although there are variety of self help psychology options, these are not generally recognized as valid treatment. Insurance companies are not likely to reimburse a person for any money spent on self help materials. If an employer requests that an employee seeks treatment or approves leave for this purpose, the employer may not approve self-help treatment.

A person may be able to work through various programs or use a variety of tools to address certain problems using self help psychology. If a person has serious problems, however, it is not wise for her to rely solely on this type of treatment. People with serious psychological problems are often incapable of being objective about their own mental states and behaviors. Even if they choose to use self help options as supplements, it is best if they seek professional help.

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