Psychological Self-Help

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time the young man spent washing by using desensitization to urine so
that eventually he could tolerate touching urine without anxiety. That's
fine, but it's a typical behavioral solution to a problem, i.e. superficial.
An aversion to urine may only be part of the problem. What about the
young man's sexual adjustment, his guilt about sexual thoughts and
urges, and his relationship with the sister? 
Suppose Little Hans, that Freud wrote about, came to you for help.
Besides reducing his fear of white horses with black mouths, what
would you want Little Hans to understand and handle better? His guilt
for fighting with his little sister? His interest in sexual parts? His belief
that women may have been castrated? His jealousy of his father's
relationship with his mother and ways of coping with that? His concern
about being loved? His transfer of interest away from his mother? His
It may seem silly for me to encourage you to explore your own
unconscious. You might ask, "How can I do that?" I'd like to give you
some suggestions. You could read accurate descriptions (not stories by
novelists) of the needs, urges, motives, and interactions of others and
see if they apply to you or give you any insights. You could ask
yourself probing questions and look for the answers. Examples: If you
are afraid of serious dating or intimacy, ask yourself: Am I afraid of
being hurt (rejected)? Am I afraid of emotional or physical closeness?
If yes, emotional closeness, what is the source of that fear? If yes,
physical closeness, what about my body or my history causes me to be
uncomfortable? Is the Oedipus or Electra Complex involved at all in my
case? Am I more interested in keeping my same-sex friends than in
having a love relationship? If so, is that an escape from something
scary and/or is there no one of the opposite sex available at this time
and/or are there some homosexual tendencies involved here? If simple
questions like this make you uncomfortable, and you want to rush on
to another topic, it sounds like you haven't learned to accept all of
yourself yet (see chapter 15). Of course, the secret is learning to ask
serious, "on target" questions that demand thoughtful answers. This
takes time. 
Any person who is serious about understanding him/herself should
also try some of these things: keep a journal, record your dreams, use
awareness exercises, take psychological tests, use imagery
techniques, talk with others about their psychological needs and
motives, watch psychologically oriented talk shows, read a lot of
clinical psychology, and seek therapy if needed. See chapter 15. Don't
get uptight about exploring your psyche. It would be unwise to dwell
on your unconscious, but even more foolish to not consider these
factors at all. Think of it as an adventure, have fun. Every mind is
fascinating. What a shame that many people never explore their
unconscious at all. 
Summary of How to Handle Stress, Anxiety and Fears 
A. The behavioral-environmental part of the problem--
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