Psychological Self-Help

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19. Mental processes: covert sensitization=temptation--
-} unpleasant fantasy; self-criticism and self-coaching to
do better next time; covert rewards=self-praise, intrinsic
interest, pleasure, pride. 
20. Extinction--no reaction, no payoffs following the
Note: More detailed descriptions of each method and explicit
instructions about how to carry out each of the above methods
are given in chapter 11. 
Review of Methods for Controlling Behaviors
Developing a treatment plan for changing behavior
Whether you want to increase some desired behavior or decrease
some unwanted behavior, the 20 methods above must be considered.
Many of these self-help methods have already been discussed in this
chapter. However, we will review the methods and provide examples
for coping with consumatory responses--eating, smoking, and
drinking. The self-control methods for all three problems are very
similar. If none of these three areas is a problem for you, the
description of the methods could still help you devise a plan for
changing any behavior (or you can move on to a more relevant
The major intent in this section is to give you a brief description of
each of the 20 self-change methods. More details about how to apply
these methods are given in chapter 11. Also, more information is
given below about the frequency, causes, effectiveness of treatment
programs, and best available books and Web sites for these three
First, let's consider the big picture of what goes in our mouth.
Concerning food, about 25%-30% of adults in the US are overweight,
another 12% are severely overweight (Brownell & Rodin, 1994). These
Americans are obese in spite of health risks and a national
preoccupation with dieting. Almost 40% of adult males and 50% of
adult females feel they are overweight; 25% of males and 40% of
females are dieting right now. Even in my college classes, close to
75% of 18 to 22-year-olds want to lose some weight or to tone up. Fat
tends to be a long-term problem; 70% of over-weight teens become
over-weight adults. One in 5 children are over-weight; 50% of 4th
grade girls have already dieted. Fat costs insurance companies $130
billion in medical expenses every year. Look at all the magazine
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