Psychological Self-Help

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Common problems
It is time consuming and so difficult to grasp the implications of
seeing each other differently that many people will not have the
patience to use this method. Disclosing always involves some risks,
arguments can arise, some disclosures may be upsetting, and so on. 
Effectiveness, advantages and dangers
There is no known research of the effectiveness of this method.
Perhaps simple, unstructured disclosure would be just as effective as
this highly structured method. The advantages of self-disclosure were
discussed under the last method. As is true of many other theorists,
Laing derived his views of human behavior from emotionally disturbed
people; yet, he assumes his theories explain the behavior of all
people. Clearly, more and more evidence is accumulating that
supports the notion that cognitions (interpretation of the situation,
attributions, expectations and so on) have a powerful influence on
behavior. We (psychologists and everyone) are going to have to deal
with mental events. 
Recommended readings
Laing, R. D., Phillipson, H. and Lee, A. R. (1972). Interpersonal
perception. New York: Perennial.
Laing, R. D. (1972). Knots. New York: Vintage Books. 
Social, Conversational and Dating Skills
Overcoming shyness and loneliness
New worlds open up to you when you get to know new people.
Shyness and loneliness are common problems, however (see chapters
5 and 6). No one needs to be lonely; almost certainly within a few
blocks there is another lonely person. The task is to reach out, to take
a risk. Many of the skills involved in socializing and dating have
already been discussed, including overcoming fears and shyness
(chapters 5 and 12), self-disclosure (method #6), and listening and
empathy (method #2). Other skills are also needed: Knowing where to
meet people, how to start a conversation, how to keep up the
conversation, how to make future dates and how to have a good time
and develop a good relationship. Only a summary of these skills will be
given here but several references will be cited. 
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