methods (this is described in chapter 11). This sounds a little
complicated--but don't let it scare you.
You have just been exposed to many self-help methods. All might
work for you, but the best plan is probably a simple one. (It is your
plan that needs to be simple, not your mind or your knowledge of self-
help!) So, develop an easy-to-use approach by looking over the list of
20 behavioral change methods above and see which ones seem most
likely to work with the problem you are working on. Keep in mind, the
generally most dependable, most usable methods for most people are:
(1) change the environment to increase your chances of carrying
out the desired behavior, (2) observe the antecedents and
consequences of the "target" behavior, keeping accurate
records of your progress, and (3) do everything possible to
reinforce the desired behavior when it occurs. Rather quickly put
together a "treatment plan;" the idea is to try something and see if it
works. As explained in chapter 2, however, once you have decided to
try a particular method, then be very careful to apply the method
correctly. Refer to chapter 11 for detailed directions for each method.
Try it out and see what happens.
If your first plan doesn't work, figure out what you might be
overlooking, perhaps some emotion or an attitude or a skill, and
modify your plan. There are hundreds of possible ways to change--
and, in most cases, you can find a workable approach better than
References and Methods for Unwanted Behaviors and
A few books discuss "habit control" in general: Wexler (1991),
Miller (1978), Martin & Poland (1980), Birkedahl (1991), and
Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross (1994) are among the best.
Abuse--physical, sexual, psychological--must be dealt with
immediately and requires professional help. Suspected physical and
sexual abuse of children (under 18) must be reported to Children and
Family Services authorities who will investigate and arrange for
treatment. See chapter 7 for physical abuse. See chapters 7 and 9 for
sexual abuse (chapter 10 for date rape). If you fear you might hurt
someone, get help immediately by calling your Mental Health Center or
going to a hospital Emergency Room.
Addictions, in general, were once thought to be the result of
overwhelmingly powerful drugs or innately defective personalities (e.g.
inherited or moral weakness). Today, the understanding of addictions