Psychological Self-Help

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1107
Don't expect instant results. Keep improving your method.
Continue until a better way of handling the situation is well
established. 
Time involved
Total time=1 or 2 hours. In many ways these methods will give
you more time, i.e. reduce time wasted on unwanted acts (eating),
worrying, getting into arguments, etc. 
Common problems with the method
Most common is forgetting to disrupt or stop the ongoing response.
Frequently, one's self-concept interferes with behavioral control.
Example: if one sees him/herself as "hot headed," "flirtatious," "weak
willed," or "too old to learn," this counteracts the effectiveness of any
self-control method directed towards eliminating these reactions. (See
cognitive methods and self-concept in chapter 14.) 
As Wegner (1989) points out, effective suppression temporarily of
thoughts may cause problems, because the troublesome thoughts may
return even stronger; suppression, he says, doesn't solve problems.
To solve a problem you often have to get it out, deal with it, talk to
someone about it, make plans to change, etc. 
Effectiveness, advantages, dangers
No carefully controlled research is available. However, practitioners
frequently recommend this type of method. It is easy to learn and you
can see immediately if it works. There is no danger, unless strong
emotions are involved, such as intense anger and suicidal depression.
The method should reduce the risk of destructive action but everyone
must exercise maximum caution when potentially violent emotions are
involved. In such cases, seek professional help and support from
family and friends immediately. 
Additional readings
Lazarus, A. (1971). New techniques for behavior change.
Rational living, 6, 1-13.
Substitute a new response to replace the unwanted habit; Habit
Reversal Training
An old habit can be broken by replacing it with a new, more
desirable habit. Azrin and Nunn (1977) use this approach to controlling
habits (see chapter 4). A similar concept is used in two other
situations: (l) more acceptable responses can replace unwanted
habits, e.g. one could listen instead of give advice or chew gum
instead of smoking, and (2) a better way of meeting one's needs could
be found, e.g. one could handle loneliness by learning social skills
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