Psychological Self-Help

Navigation bar
  Home Print document View PDF document Start Previous page
 40 of 50 
Next page End Contents 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  

building self-
Chapter 14
Chs 4 & 14
irrational ideas
Chapter 14
awareness & diary
Chs 4, 11 & 15
sources of fears
Chapter 15
revise life script
and games
Chs 9 & 15
Obviously, step 6 is addressing the "nuts and bolts" of self-help.
You can't be a competent self-controller without knowing how to use
several self-control methods (you, of course, already know some).
Many of the self-help methods are fairly complicated for a beginner.
Not that they will be hard to learn (if you read carefully), but you can't
just "fly by the seat of your pants" either. You will need very clear and
detailed directions. Chapters 11 to 15 give step-by-step instructions. I
have tried hard to draw on the best books, the best research, and the
experience of the best therapists or self-helpers. This may result in my
telling you more than you want to know. That's OK, just read the steps
in bold print if that is all you need to know. These how-to-use
chapters also spell out the common problems encountered with each
method (by my students, by me, or by clients), the estimated time
needed to use the method, the overall research findings, the potential
dangers, and the precautions you should take with the method. This is
useful information. Some of these self-help methods may require
considerable practice before you can use them effectively. Others are
easy and ready-to-use. 
Try out your plan; Attack the problem with vigor; Give your
plan a fair trial
Launch into a self-help project with as much zeal and optimism as
possible, but allow each self-change method enough time to have a
chance to work. Be realistic, don't expect miracles. For instance,
suppose you have been self-critical and have uttered to yourself 25
negative comments per day (1 or 2 per hour) for 10 years. That's a
total of 91,250 self-putdowns. A few positive, private comments forced
out of you by a skeptical, half-hearted self-help project aren't going to
wipe away a ten-year-old bad self-concept. What will? No one knows,
but perhaps 25 positive, thoughtful, genuinely felt self-appraisals
expressed every day for 100 days would be a good start. Then, add on
two or three successful self-improvement projects, and you will see
some genuine changes in your feelings about yourself and your future. 
Even when you have a self-help plan and know how to use the
self-change methods you have selected to use, there is still the
problem of remembering to do the specific things you need to do. This
is not an unimportant or an easy part of the process. Often, self-
helpers are trying to stop a well established habit which can occur
almost without your awareness. Or, you are trying to respond in a new
way to a common situation you have dealt with automatically (or
emotionally), e.g. you may want to find ways to compliment your son
rather than yelling at him when he wastes time or is careless. It is not
Previous page Top Next page

« Back