and tried to help him/herself but nothing seems to work. Usually when
your psychological problems are quite serious, you will need therapy,
medication, a support group, and self-help. Get what you need.
Furthermore, if anyone earnestly suggests that you seek
professional help, take their advice even if you don't understand why
or don't agree with them. Never be embarrassed about seeking help;
why should you expect yourself to know everything about psychology,
any more than you would expect yourself to know calculus or how to
repair a TV set? Indeed, what is really foolish is to need help but
decide not to get it. Research has clearly shown psychotherapy to be
helpful 2/3rds or 3/4ths of the time. Don't let your own lack of
knowledge or fear of what might happen or concern about "what
people will think" keep you from getting help whenever you need it.
selection of a therapist carefully by getting recommendations from
people who know and by checking his/her training and credentials. It
pays to know a lot about psychotherapy, the training of therapists, the
types of therapy and which are most effective with different problems,
the cost of different approaches, etc. Several links cited there provide
the information you may need.
Understanding 13: This book cannot meet all your needs.
The highly self-controlled person needs more than a bunch of self-
change techniques. He/she must pick his/her own values and goals,
set his/her priorities. He/she must have insight into him/herself and an
accurate view of the world. He/she needs companionship, acceptance,
None of us can solve all our problems by ourselves, no matter how
well informed we are about self-help methods. This book, plus
hundreds of others, can suggest many effective methods and even
"care for you from a distance," but you may need specific feedback to
identify your specific problems, confrontation about some foolish idea
you have, warm approval and support when your confidence lags, or
someone to take you to a hospital. This book can't give you individual
attention or a hug or a shoulder to cry on, in times of stress. I wish I
could, but those things must come from a caring person near by, such
as a friend, a relative, or a teacher. Getting and giving care are both
highly therapeutic. You will have to reach out to others and when you
do--please be very explicit about what you need. Most people want to
help others and benefit from helping.
Understandings for groups and classes: Be clear about the purposes of your
group, know how you can contribute, maintain confidentiality, and help
others feel safe. Be sure you understand the reasons for the requirements
of your group.
Many students tell me they learn more from small group
discussions than from reading books and classroom presentations. I'm