Psychological Self-Help

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introduction to the procedure. You only need one or two methods to
start with. 
For basic information about changing your behavior, it is best to
start with chapters 2 and 4. Chapter 2 outlines the steps in any self-
help project. Chapter 4 helps us understand our behavior and
thoughts. It introduces the basic learning and motivational concepts,
upon which the methods described here are based. This chapter
provides straight-forward, detailed instructions for 20 behavior-
changing methods. More complex treatment plans for problems are
given in chapters 3 to 10; this chapter only deals with level I of the
problem, the overt behavior and simple thoughts. 
As discussed in chapter 2, much has to be done before you are
ready to work on developing a self-help plan. For example, you must
accept and become aware--highly conscious--of your problem. You
must definitely decide to change and get motivated to do the work
involved in changing. As Prochaska, Norcross, and DiClemente (1994)
have shown, if you aren't ready to launch into a self-change project,
you must start in the stage you are at (e.g. facing the problem and/or
learning enough about it and its consequences that you are
determined to change). When you are exploring specific ways to make
the changes in your life you want to make, it is time to skim these
methods. If three or four seem of possible interest, read them in more
detail and select one or two for your plan. Don't forget the other four
parts of your problem (see chapter 2). 
If you don't know which methods to start with, try methods #1,
#2, and #16 first. They are useful in almost any situation. A
combination of self-help behavioral methods is often the most effective
approach you can take. For instance, a popular writer, Anthony
Robbins (1991), suggests first getting motivated to change by
associating as much pain as possible with the unwanted behavior or
with not changing. At the same time, associate as much pleasure or
rewards as possible with changing, i.e. with the new desired behavior
or lifestyle (methods #5, #13, #14, #16 & #18 and see chapter 14).
This emphasizes that when you need to stop or disrupt the old
unwanted pattern of behavior (methods #10, #11 & #12), you must
be sure to develop new desirable ways of getting the same pay offs as
were provided by the old unwanted behaviors (method #2). The new
behavior must be practiced and reinforced strongly (method #16
again) until it is well entrenched as a habit. This motivate-and-
reinforce-a-new-behavior plan usually works, but if it doesn't, you
need an individualized plan. Just as important as the scientific basis of
your self-change plan is the do-ability of your plan; an intellectually
impressive treatment plan is worthless if it isn't used. The to-be-
learned behavior needs to fit in with the rest of your life; it needs to be
simple enough to do routinely; it needs to be something you can learn
to enjoy. 
Within each of the following descriptions of behavior-change
methods, the basic idea is first described, then possible uses are listed,
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