Psychological Self-Help

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1181
Common problems
The difficulty many people have accepting determinism is
discussed in the last method. Likewise, most people believe they are
their actions, beliefs, feelings, etc. Becoming detached from what has
been the "essence of ourselves" is very difficult. That is why it takes so
long to learn. 
Effectiveness, advantages and dangers
Several major therapies, as well as Eastern philosophies, advocate
"centering" and have great faith in it. Aside from personal testimony,
there is little research of it effectiveness (research mostly consists of
assessing the influence of something that can be carried out in 30
minutes or so). The advantages of being calm and an astute observer
are obvious, if they are true. There are no known dangers, although
anything that might reduce our vigilance and sensitivity to problems
could be a problem. 
My greatest reservation is centered on the promises implied about
peace of mind, much like the promises associated with meditation and
hypnosis. The promises of "clear, accurate perceptions," "effective
minds free of confusion," and "a real self that can't be hurt," are
bothersome. 
Recommended readin
Mikulas, W. L. (1983). Skills of living. New York: University
Press of America. 
Reducing Unwanted Emotions
Meditation
Meditation is, in its simplest form, an unguided, unintentional,
sustained fantasy or mental state of reflection and contemplation. It is
a relaxing experience, and adult "quiet time," a self-paced
desensitization process. But insight is often hoped for as well as
relaxation. Indeed, the Tibetan meditates to commune with the
"cosmic mind," not to relax. But why might some insight occur even if
you don't believe in a cosmic mind? Meditation involves shutting out
the complex and confusing external world and, at the same time,
making no demands on the mind. Some theorists assume that the
mind, unburdened with pressing everyday demands and monumental
problems to solve, is automatically clear and creative in providing for
our growth and inner harmony. Thus, when the mind is free to focus
where it will (not where we direct), it explores important topics and
gains deeper understanding for us. Other theorists make different
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