Psychological Self-Help

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be subtle pay offs for your unwanted behavior or emotions. Several
chapters discuss the excuses we often give ourselves for not changing. 
Seek professional help
If you are still unsuccessful after a couple of revisions of your
treatment plan, seek help from a friend, teacher, school counselor, or
mental health professional. Clinical and Counseling Ph.D. Psychologists
are the best trained; Counselors, School Psychologists, and Social
Workers with a M.A. are adequately trained and could probably be
helpful with self-help; some ministers are trained as counselors but
many are not; the family doctor is ordinarily not any more familiar
with self-help than you are. Do not be embarrassed that your self-help
has, thus far, failed. Instead, be proud of making an effort, including
consulting with them for help with changing. 
Why don't we seek help? About 20% of teenagers appear to have
problems, but few seek professional help. Kuhl, Jarkon-Horlick &
Morrissey (1997) found several barriers: many teens believe that their
parents and friends are sufficient help; "Oh, I can handle it" or "it will
work out OK" are other thoughts that block seeking help; also "I don't
have time," "I don't want others to know," "people will think I'm
crazy," "it will cost too much," and "the doctor will tell my parents and
my school" are barriers to getting the help they need. Usually health
insurance will cover the costs. The therapist will explain to you the
confidentiality guaranteed by law. 
How to Find a Therapist 
How to find psychological help depends on many things: the nature
and severity of your problem, where you live, how many and what
kind of therapists are nearby, whether you are covered by insurance or
not, who is recommended by your Primary Care Doctor, Insurance Co.
or HMO, your financial situation, your past experience with therapists,
etc. A detailed discussion about the nature of therapy and how to
Psychotherapy (http://aboutpsychotherapy.com/). A very different
view of "How to Choose a Competent Counselor" is given by Martha
Ainsworth at Metanoia (http://www.metanoia.org/). It would be good
to read both. There is also a book that gives advice about selecting the
right therapist for you (Finney, 1995). 
(Note: I apologize for my focus being on finding a therapist in the
US. If any of you will send me information about how-to-find a
therapist in other countries, I will include it here.) 
As a general rule, if your psychological treatment will be paid for
by insurance or if money is no problem, go see an experienced,
highly recommended therapist in private practice. These therapists,
usually Ph.D. clinical psychologists or very experienced registered
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