Psychological Self-Help

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Effectiveness, advantages and dangers
There is almost no scientific evidence that reading about various
self-deceptions and fears (steps 1 and 2) or about psychology in
general leads to self-insight and a more realistic self-concept. But
since psychotherapy and group therapy do alter many peoples' self-
concept, then ideas via reading probably do too. Frankly, I doubt if
many people are interested in thinking much about their self-
deceptions, their fears that enable them to remain unchanged, and
their conflicting parts. That's the big disadvantage of this method.
There are no known dangers, except that an already overly self-critical
person could use these traits against him/herself. 
Challenging Irrational Ideas
Challenging irrational ideas (Rational-Emotive therapy)
Our thoughts influence our feelings. If you think people won't like
you, you feel disappointed and withdraw socially. If you think nothing
will work out well for you, you feel sad or passive and won't try. If you
think you must have help to do something, you may feel inadequate
and be dependent. If you think you are stupid and incompetent, you
may feel worthless and be indecisive and self-critical. No doubt there
are connections between thoughts and feelings and/or actions. 
Rational-Emotional therapy is built on the belief that how we
emotionally respond at any moment depends on our interpretations--
our views, our beliefs, our thoughts--of the situation. In other words,
the things we think and say to ourselves, not what actually happens to
us, cause our positive or negative emotions. Thus, as Albert Ellis
(1987) would say, "Humans largely disturb themselves... your own
unreasonable, irrational ideas make you severely anxious, depressed,
self-hating, enraged, and self-pitying about virtually anything--yes,
virtually anything." This is a very old idea. 
As a man thinketh, so is he.
-The Bible
Men are not worried by things, but by their ideas about things. When
we meet difficulties, become anxious or troubled, let us not blame
others, but rather ourselves, that is: our idea about things.
-Epictetus, about 60 AD
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