Psychological Self-Help

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There are many ways to gain insight, to glimpse a little of our
unconscious. Freud himself faithfully set aside time each day for self-
analysis, a time to explore his own motives and childhood influences. I
have selected a few of the best methods and briefly described how you
can use them. They include: (a) psychological testing, (b) projective
techniques, (c) guided fantasy (including "Momma and I are one"), (d)
feedback from others, (e) reframing, (f) focusing, (g) free association
and word association, (h) catharsis and abreaction, (i) early memories,
and (j) other methods. These methods are grouped together because
they serve the same purpose (insight) but they are not used together.
They stand alone; thus, there are no steps. 
Psychological testing: online testing
Most of us want to know how we measure up. There are thousands
of paper and pencil personality, interest, and aptitude tests (Buros,
1990); some were already discussed in chapter 14. Taken honestly,
tests are about the only objective way to compare yourself to others,
in terms of depression, dependency, personality traits, prejudice, self-
efficacy, optimism, self-monitoring, the use of ego defenses, etc. On
some dimensions, we may have a fairly accurate impression of how we
feel, say how depressed we are, but we may not know how our level of
depression compares to others' sadness. That is useful information. In
many areas, we have little or no idea of our own condition, e.g. many
people do not know if they are internalizers or externalizers (see
chapter 8) or if they are much more cynical than they realize. Since
you were unaware of these characteristics, as you are your blood
pressure, these aspects of your psychological health could be called
To complicate matters, we may be somewhat different people in
different situations and we are certainly seen differently by different
people, such as our spouse, our best friend, our boss, our co-worker,
our child, etc. It would be helpful to know about these differences.
Harary and Donahue (1994) provide this feedback, using the Berkeley
Personality Profile which is part of their book. They measure the "Big
Five" personality dimensions: (1) Expressive Style--introverted to
extraverted, (2) Interpersonal Style--inconsiderate to generous, (3)
Work Style--lackadaisical to dedicated, (4) Emotional Style--calm to
intense, and (5) Intellectual Style--traditional thinking to seeing things
differently. Then the same five dimensions are assessed from different
viewpoints: how you see yourself inside, how you think others see
you, how you would like to be, how you see yourself in different roles
(spouse, worker, friend), and, finally, how others actually rate you on
the same dimensions. The entire book focuses on how to interpret and
use this information to self-improve and relate better. It is easy to
In a similar way, another book (Hirsh and Kummerow, 1989)
utilizes the Myers-Briggs which measures Jungian personality types
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