Psychological Self-Help

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some naturally occurring way. Examples: the reluctant student who
needs to reward himself for studying will, hopefully, soon receive
intrinsic satisfaction from studying itself, such as intellectual
stimulation, new interesting conversations, pride in his/her classroom
and test performance, etc. Or, the person, who might at first be so
uncomfortable socializing that rewards, like a good book or a night of
TV, are necessary to overcome the shyness, should eventually find
socializing sufficiently satisfying to maintain itself. 
Step 7 mentions the importance of occasionally checking for
backsliding. Like "phone therapy," another approach is to team up with
a buddy who faithfully checks on your progress, is tolerant of
backsliding, but urges you to re-attack the problem if it gains ground
on you. Losing some valued characteristic you have gained through
hard self-help efforts should be a loud warning signal. It tells you to
immediately plug the dike. Mend the damage soon or face a major
repair job. Chapter 4 discusses relapse prevention in detail; you have
to guard against the return of bad habits. Support from others is
important when we start to weaken. Keeping our failures to ourselves
reduces our motivation. 
Maintaining your gains or regaining them involves the same kind of
self-help methods that enabled you to make the gains in the first
place. So, this book should be useful here too. Also, a book by Todd
Davison (1998), a psychoanalyst who believes that back-sliding after
therapy is inevitable unless one continues self-analysis, could be useful
in this maintenance step. He emphasizes the use of meditation,
journaling, and the importance of forgiveness. 
Don't forget to celebrate your continued success (sometimes success is just
holding your own).
 
Step 10: 
Learn from Each Self-Help Experiment; Use Your Knowledge
It is hoped that you will keep this book handy, using it frequently
for ideas concerning your problem-of-the-moment. With the passage
of time, as the result of your self-experimentation--trying out and
evaluating self-help methods--you will acquire a great deal of unique
knowledge about yourself and self-improvement methods. Make notes
about your preferred methods, what problems were changed
successfully, what methods failed, the techniques that were the most
fun, what parts of your problems seem to be the most troublesome,
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