Psychological Self-Help

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father influence this behavior?” it will take much longer--and may be
more exciting.) Total=about 10 hours. Of course, one could be more
casual and sloppy about it. In some instances, you may have no choice
since a change may not be possible without the better understanding
of a careful analysis. 
Common problems with the method
As mentioned before, some people naturally abhor keeping
systematic records, especially about themselves. A lesser problem is
going through the process and finding that you didn't record the
relevant information or that you don't yet know enough about the
theories to make sense out of the data you have observed. 
Effectiveness, advantages, and dangers
A careful observer almost always learns facts about his/her own
behavior that he/she hadn't realized. In that sense it is effective. It is
unknown how often it leads to effective self-change, however. No
dangers although it is possible you may not like all the things you find
out about yourself. 
Additional readings
Nelson, R. (1976). Assessment and therapeutic functions of
self-monitoring. In M. Hersen, R. Eisler, & P. Miller (Eds.),
Progress in behavior modification, Vol. 5. New York: Academic
Also see Watson and Tharp (1972), Thorensen and Mahoney
(1974), and Birkedahl (1990). 
Disrupt the unwanted habit; thought stopping; self-distraction
A habit flows along smoothly. Once interrupted, however, it is
easier to stop or alter its course. Likewise, an unwanted response, like
an outburst of anger, can be reconsidered if there is a pause in the
process before any action occurs; thus, the wisdom of the old adage,
"Count to 10 before getting mad." Furthermore, it is easier to avoid
temptations if there is a delay of gratification and attention is directed
away from the temptation. Walk away and get your mind involved in
something else. 
Unwanted worries or fantasies can sometimes be delayed or
ordered to stop, which is a form of disruption. However, in other
cases, attempts to suppress an obsession make it worse (see method
#12 and chapter 5). 
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