Psychological Self-Help

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Once you have found that this book truly deals with your basic
concerns, you will be more likely to explore the whole volume for
interesting ideas. The important thing is that you stay interested in
improving yourself! The most I can do to help you with your
motivation is to feed you useful information. But useful information
must be used, and only you are in control of that. At least skim the
following understandings, and then decide where you want to go in
this book or in other recommended books. 
Finding other self-help books and Internet sites
Useful self-help information exists primarily in two places--in books
and on the Internet. Thus far, these two worlds don’t interact very
much, i.e. books cite books and Internet sites link to other sites. Of
course, the 50,000 self-help books published over the last 50+ years
contain much more information than the current Internet, but the gap
is narrowing. The Internet could grow rapidly with more and more
people getting access to free advice within seconds or minutes. The
Web is an ideal way to gain knowledge, but the Internet has a
problem, namely, it doesn’t as yet make money, like books do, by
selling information. Therefore, as long as publishers can buy and
control the best self-help material for books, hard copy publications
may, in general, be the better sources. Hopefully, Internet sites will
find support allowing them to compete and buy excellent information
and deliver it free via multi-media formats. In the meantime, the
prudent self-helper will search both the Web and hard copy books. I’ll
help you do that. 
To find specialized self-help books, the best starting point is
where you are, i.e. reading this book, Psychological Self-Help. Simply
find the topic that concerns you in the chapter indices (or use the
search engine on the title page). Then read the relevant material and
look for references. Most self-help books are rather specific, dealing
with a circumscribed problem area. Once you have the author and
year, you can get the full reference in the bibliography. 
In the same way, other comprehensive self-help books could be
used to find specialized books (Weiten & Lloyd, 1997; Creer, 1996;
Butler & Hope, 1997; Epstein, 1996; Lazarus & Lazarus, 1997).
Specific guidebooks to self-help books include Norcross, et al (2003),
Santrock, et al (1994) and Giblin & Bales (1997). Santrock and more
recently Norcross used ratings by professionals to evaluate self-help
books (and I have frequently cited their findings). Unfortunately, a
self-help book is four or five years old before the ratings can be
published by Santrock, et al. 
Another good approach to finding a self-help book on a particular topic
(http://www.amazon.com) or at Barnes and Noble
(http://www.barnesandnoble.com). Book evaluations by experts and
readers are often provided. Finally, a search for information about a
particular problem on any of the major search engines, e.g. Alta Vista,
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