Psychological Self-Help

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it, from being concerned to preparing to act and then acting, from self-
improving to maintaining the gains. New research on the whole self-
help process is just getting started (Prochaska, DiClemente, &
Norcross, 1992; Klar, Fisher, Chinsky, & Nadler, 1992). Furthermore,
new kinds of psychology teachers are needed, and delivery systems
must be changed or developed. It won't be easy, but how else are we
going to help all our grandchildren cope well with the daily problems
that are a part of living? Let's get on with making this a better world. 
Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity.
-George Bernard Shaw
An appeal to all scientists and practitioners: Share your useful
knowledge. Remember, "’Tis better to light one candle than to curse
the darkness." 
A brief review of the idea of self-control
When the discipline of psychology started to develop over 100
years ago, it left terms like will, free will, volition, self-control,
determination, and cognitive control in the hands of philosophers. But
since the 1970’s or 1980’s, cognition has become an expanding part of
psychology. Now, concepts like choice, decision making, problem-
solving, self-esteem, self-efficacy, optimism, feelings of mastery and
many other similar terms are in favor in psychology, partly because
researchers continue to find relationships between one’s self-control,
including sense of mastery, and one’s mental and physical health.
Shapiro (1996, 1998) has summarized well the research and theories
about self-control during the last 40 years. 
Most people assume they have “free will,” i.e. the ability to make
choices that purposefully guide their lives. Indeed, our legal, moral,
and social systems assume that individuals have “free will” because
punishment, rewards, blame, praise, etc. would make no sense if the
person were not responsible and/or couldn’t help what he/she was
doing. Among scientists “free will” is still debated, but a growing group
believes that humans can weigh options, make decisions, and form
intentions that direct, within limits, their lives (Rychlak, 1977). This
self-direction or “will” is considered lawful and understandable, not
magical or mystical. If you are interested in a more detailed discussion
of "free will," "moral responsibility," and self-control, please see
We humans want to control our lives, being out of control is often
very scary. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that normal, healthy people
over-estimate their degree of control and under-estimate their
vulnerability to control by others or circumstances. When confronted
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